Friday, August 1, 2014

What Rivers?

It's entertaining to think that only three years ago someone said to me: 'That's because they're from below the rivers.' My reply: 'What rivers?' How very far in my relationship with the Netherlands that I have come since that time. Far in terms of the person I've made myself into. But also far in terms of the ways in which I see the country, and the ways in which that seeing is buttressed by knowledge. Seeing is, after all, more than only about the act of looking; it is strengthened by familiarity, and context. And so I continue to accumulate and absorb–the latter being key to this equation–more information on both the history and landscape of this very low lying country. Were that same situation to be repeated today, I'd reply: 'The rivers, you say? Perhaps you mean the Rhine, Meuse, and Scheldt?'