Sigmund Freud saw dreams as puzzling enactments of our subconscious that allow our repressed wishes, anxieties and passions to be brought to life. He also recognised in them all the characteristics of fully fledged psychosis, including mania and hallucinations. Nevertheless, he was convinced that dreams have meaning and considered them to be the “royal road to the unconscious” …

Although we live in a materialistic world, “things” have a surprisingly bad reputation: they are seen as dead and soulless, and inferior to the organic world of plants, animals and humans in every respect. Anyone devoting themselves too enthusiastically to “things” is quickly suspected of being superficial. You might find that somewhat hypocritical considering we all invest a lot of energy in the quest for beautiful and valuable things, and in order to buy them we have to earn that thing called money…

Perfection is fleeting, so we need to see the beauty in the imperfect – that’s how the Japanese live with their philosophy of wabi-sabi, according to which all things are charming, even those with flaws. But it hasn’t been possible to carry this idea over to people, because in the land of the rising sun, it’s still business as usual: pressure, perfectionism, success …

Taking inspiration from this quote by Hermann Hesse, I want to see every single moment as a new beginning, as the start of a new story with a happy ending. But in tough times – like during a pandemic – I admit that it’s not always easy to maintain this state of constant joyful anticipation …

I received some incense sticks as a souvenir from our neighbour following a trip to Asia. I was eight years old at the time and they seemed infinitely precious to me. They smelt different to anything I’d encountered up until that point, and soon the whole linen cupboard where they were put smelt the same, enchanting and exotic …