Tim Hinck's thoughts on music and life- There is a lady living across the street from me. She is dying of cancer. I have never seen anyone so full of life and energy. She loves to work outside in the flowers and grass of her yard. I can see her savoring every sunny day... the way she stands up from planting a flower bulb with such satisfaction on her face and claps the dirt from her gloves with resolution. I want to be like that lady.

Location: Schalkwijk, Utrecht, Netherlands

Saturday, February 18, 2006


If you spend any length of time in Europe these days, you can't help but notice the growing immigrant populations of every major country, and just as noticeable is the accompanying sense of unease that this brings to the local residents. As immigrants, especially from Arab/Islamic countries, pour across the borders into the Northern-European States, the locals are left with an ever-decreasing sense of cultural identity: let's just say that their comfort zone is being shaken. Two of the countries which seem to being having the roughest time dealing with this issue are France (roits and car bombs) and Denmark. When a local Danish paper 'Jyllands-Posten' recently published 12 cartoons depicting the Islam Prophet Mohammed in less-than-flattering style, the French paper 'France Soir' quickly published their own cartoon with a front-page title that read: 'Yes, we have the right to caricature God'. Other North-European newspapers have reprinted these cartoons as well: German 'Die Welt', Icelandic 'Daily DV', etc.

Many feel that these publications had very little to do with freedom of speech, and of course, much more to do with the immigrant issue, especially the Arab/Muslim-issue. A common concern seems to be the escaping sense of cultural identity as articulated by Folkert Jensma, editor in chief of the Handelsblad daily: "It's funny We now want to teach immigrants more about our identity, and we discover that we're not sure what's left of it!" Many countries have responded by standing firmly against the abolishment of customs that are part of their culture even though they may cause discomfort for foriegners: requiring co-ed swimming classes, making immigrants to Ireland renounce poygamy, or serving alcohol at political gatherings.

These types of actions are unsettling to me because they show a marked lack of compassion among fellow humans. But what is far worse, is the ignorance and isolationism of the North American countries. I recently read this blog quote:

"I can't believe that western governments are still allowing muslim immigration. Can't they read, don't they know what is happening. Even in cutesy, perfect, Switzerland, muslims are causing problems. I live in Canada , I used to love this country, but at the local mall, I see muslim women in full body covering,or head scarfs. What is going on." - Stephen Burns , Canadian blogger. [I especially love his reaction to Arab women wearing Burqa's, like the reaction of an Amazon warrior when he first sees a blonde woman.]

Unfortunately, the reaction of Americans can be even worse:

Ignorant Americans

All we can hope for is first a global education of the problem of cultural identity vs. compassion, and a swift development from kindergarden tantrums (as witnessed above) to adult sensibilities.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Jeremiah and I like to take pictures of ourselves in mirrors. I don't know if this is a psychological imbalance or some kind of hobby. Even though I know there are ten times this many "tim and jere mirror" pictures floating around, these are a few that I could find on my computer. Most of the pictures above were taken by Jere, but I am also guilty for many of the pictures in our little narcissistic indulgence.

What is it about mirrors in photographs that so attracts us? I like to think it's not just because we can see ourselves. Maybe it has to do with our professions. I am a musician and Jere is an architect. And if there are two closer professions, I certainly cannot think of them right now. Architects and musicians both deal primarily with STRUCTURE. It is the basis of our work, and perhaps our tendancy to often take pictures which are 'framed' in solid structure is an insight into how our particular brains are wired.

...Or maybe we just like to look at ourselves.