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. 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 remember – 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 (from her incredible song Both sides now, recorded in the fall of 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
Can someone get lost in the city? I do not mean the romantic kind of lost, on a late evening wandering through the city of Paris with your love in search for your hotel. Not the philosophical, in search for existentialism, the Jan-Paul Sartre or Albert Camus-like kind of lost. I do mean the type of Corona lost. Yes it can, to get lost in the city, to get disconnected from the fibres of the city, to be erased from the chess board of life. She feels lost. I feel lost.
That strange and apocalyptic feeling to leave here behind. Presidential powers speak out and give straight orders, like in harsh military regimes. No discussion permitted. Regulation rule. It is this form of dictatorship that modern governments and experts have developed and designed, tested. They called it crisis management, stripped from democracy and love. It is for the greater good, we all know, for the sake of the nation and for society. But it leads to letting here getting lost, disconnected, alone, behind closed doors, no access allowed. It is quite a price we pay, with deep dimensions.
I know she took care, that I know, believed in me, always. Now she feels lost. I feel lost. I framed this to not get lost. To express this impression on soul level. To never forget, to remember, to honour. And already in search for the lost fields, a feverish search, to restore here chess board of life.
Rereading hundreds of essays, related to the management and governance of public values and risks, I concluded this at Christmas 2019, that prose maybe could not be the way to express what is going on. The technical language in essays and reports by scientists, policy makers and advisors in the system world contains words and expressions that the kid in me actually does not understand. It does not reach the inner parts of my brain on the thin path of hope that we will find the way out.
Living in a world of increasing public risks, uncertainties and certainties, international conflicts and huge losses of ecosystems, who to turn to then, to express this most precious feeling? I thought, well, best is Emily.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard – And sore must be the storm – That could abash the little Bird That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land – And on the strangest Sea – Yet – never – in Extremity, It asked a crumb – of me.