Through woven woods

Het gevoel in mijn zoektocht naar die elementen van besturing die openbaar bestuur effectief en succesvol maken, wordt het best verwoord door Tolkien in een passage uit The Lord of the Rings.

Ik heb de afgelopen jaren vele documenten en rapporten tot mij mogen nemen. In de ronde tafels die ik heb mogen leiden en de colleges die ik heb gegeven heb ik bijzondere gesprekken met mensen vanuit het gehele publieke domein gevoerd. Ik meen ik markante patronen te herkennen in de zoektocht naar de Heilige Graal van goede besturing.

Nu ben ik in het proces van verwerking, letterlijk en figuurlijk, en ben opnieuw gaan schrijven, om de gedachten, opgedane wijsheden en de punten nader te verbinden. Alsof ik, gelijk Frodo, in het ontzagwekkende bos van Elvenhome ben beland en de veelheid en rijkdom aan geluiden en beelden over mij heen laat komen om in te laten dalen op hun essentie.

Through woven woods in Elvenhome
She lightly fled on dancing feet,
And left him lonely still to roam
In the silent forest listening.
– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings.

The Ferris Wheel of Governance

Kruf, J.P. (2019) Ferris Wheel. Dubai.

The Ferris wheel of governance is indicating that we migrate at a swift pace from the crisis management modus to ‘normal’ management and governance. Democracy re-installs itself after months of Covid-19 crisis management. Old patterns return. The flow and the collective belief vanishes rapidly and the communal obedience of the people is replaced by daily traffic between opposition leaders, governors and citizens.

With one single blow Racism has replaced Corona. I thought. But not quite so though. In the debate today between the mayor of Amsterdam and the elected council – about the fact that she did not enforce the 1.5 meter in an anti-racism demonstration – shows that the wheel is turning. Who is right? I cannot say, but the fact that both worlds meet and spend hours and hours to battle each other with arguments is enough proof for this dilemma. We’re back again where we were before, for sure. The turning of the ferris wheel shows us again the old dilemma’s we are facing and segmentation in politics. At the same time it is about the balancing act of democracy.

On this quiet evening at home, I remembered – as a contrast with the harsh debate this afternoon in Amsterdam (live on television) – the words It’s cloud’s illusions I recall… of  Joni Mitchell in her song Both sides now (1968). I remember the peaceful time we had last months, not always easy but with elements of quietness and easy news. Joni:

Moons and Junes and ferries wheels
The dizzy dancing way that you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way

We’re back.

Emily Dickinson

Daguerreotype taken at Mount Holyoke, December 1846 or early 1847; the only authenticated portrait of Emily Dickinson after childhood. © Wikipedia

Reading the book ‘Poems’ by Emily Dickinson. In the preface two of her friends describe how they found, perceived and eventually published (after her death) the poems. The description of their first perception is a poem on its own:

In many cases these verses will seem to the reader like poetry torn up by the roots, with rain and dew and earth still clinging to them, giving a freshness and a fragrance not otherwise to be conveyed.

As if you can feel, taste here poems from here. They are as original as the woman who wrote them. Straight from the Earth and written with the heart.

Inspiring, again and again, to stretch and challenge the openness and the boundaries of my own perception. Emily has a wide range of doors of perception.

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel wrote the beautiful song The Dangling Conversation and brought the implicit ode to Emily. The lyrics of the song… also a poem:

“…And you read your Emily Dickinson
And I my Robert Frost
And we note our place with book markers
That measure what we’ve lost…”

I am a fan of Emily, forever.