And there I was standing in the middle of the river the Our, with in each hand a child, a child that was born through me. The moment I put my camera away the magic happened. This was what I wanted to film, this feeling of pureness and aliveness, of presence.
With my new camera and a film script I went with my family to the Belgian Ardennes. The words for our holidays were brook (my sons), grass (my husbands) and splashing (my word). In de last days before our holidays I also bought a sound recording device to record sounds separate from the camera. Especially for the sounds of nature and the sound of kids playing. So I was fully prepared to make my first film fragments! In the film script was a episode about children playing with rocks in a river, connected with nature (the rocks, the river, themselves, each-other).
The camping was beautiful and after a night of noise from a group of youngsters we installed ourselves on a quiet place at the riverside with a brook in front of us debouching into the river. The children started building dams in the brook right away. After a week or so we started thinking about moving to another camping and I started to plan the filming. The weather was cold in the mornings and there was a lot of wind. Not the scenery I had in mind for the film. The children found another spot to play at the playground of the camping and opened a sand-restaurant. I enjoyed their way of preparing the food and serving them so professionally to their clients (parents :)).
The weather became better and we did not want to move yet. We enjoyed the nature, quietness and playing opportunities for the children very much. By our decision to stay I felt space for filming! I asked the children if they wanted to play at the riverside so I could record it for my film. They wanted to play at the riverside, but they did not want me to film it. They did not want to be seen in my film.. My oldest son asked me to put my camera away. He wanted to play with me and thought it was not safe for them (they could not swim) to play at the riverside without me being fully present. And all of a sudden I found myself in the middle of the adventure of making the film. These were real issues; their privacy was important, my presence was important. How could I film and be present with them at the same time? And was there a way to film them and respect their privacy at the same time?
After some filming, assuring my children I wouldn’t show the material to anyone without their permission, I put my camera away. My oldest son stopped playing when I filmed, so I stopped. And from that moment we were together again, in connection, at the side of the river, curious about this river. We all wanted to walk in, explore, feel its stream in the middle. And there we walked, hand-in-hand, with the water at knee-level and thigh-level. It was probably the best filmshot of the holidays, however not on film. Somehow this made this moment even more special and I engraved it in my memory and in all cells of my body. And how wonderful to write about it and make a drawing. A great invitation (again and again) to let go of any outcome and flow like the river.