Jaap Robben: “You miss more than you experience” (departure ceremony after sunrise)


At our departure ceremony after sunrise at the beginning of this month, Monica Boschman read a text by Jaap Robben, which he wrote for our first book of hours Seasons of Life.

You’re missing out on more than you’re experiencing.”

“You’re missing out on more than you’re experiencing.”This is half a statement by Martin Bril. I think it’s a poem. It’s an enlightening poem. Actually, there are three more words after that, but they never interested me that much. You miss more than you experience, that touched exactly what I felt. And that’s why I repeated that phrase to myself regularly. For example, on the Friday evenings when I was just studying and took the bus to my parents and drove past a café with fogged up windows. ‘That’s where I should have been,’ I thought. There’s everyone but me. I had the same thing with girls. Ever since I was a toddler I have been chronically in love, preferably with all the girls in the world.

With big cities, I still get that feeling. It’s hard for me to choose what I want to see on the map of Stockholm or Berlin. Basically everything. Every church, museum or gallery. And all at the same time, because at any time something can happen somewhere. Like a mantra I mumble: You miss more than you experience.

For a long time, I was not interested in the other three words of Martin Bril’s statement. Until I suddenly came across those words, painted on a wall in the city center of Den Bosch.

You’re missing out on more than you’re experiencing.

Not bad at all.

Since then, I only repeat those last three words when I see a beautiful girl hunched over on a racing bike going through the city. And I don’t buy city maps anymore, I’ll see what I find.

Jaap Robben (2015)

More about Jaap Robben

The text was read this month by Monica Boschman. Monica is chairman of our foundation and a poet and writer herself. More: link.

Jaap Robben writes novels and poems, among other things. His latest novel Twilight Life won an award in 2023. Check out Jaap Robben’s website for more information: link.

Stevenspedel Ton Reijnders, with ‘Medieval’ hat
Steven pewball Jeroen van Zuylen with ‘Medieval hat’.

In the pictures two of our masters of ceremonies with our recently made ‘Medieval’ hat. We also have a modern hat, which we used until recently. We now leave the choice to the Stevenspedel on duty.

Coat and (medieval) hat refer to the clothing that was probably worn by Duke de Berry, the commissioner of the Nijmegen brothers of Limburgh. They made books of hours, of which our own series is a modern version (more). By the way, the official name of our masters of ceremonies is ‘Stevenspedel’ (pronounced pedèl).