The story of the departure ceremony (15): “Good enough”

Modern man thinks he is free, but the gross and physical coercion of the past has been replaced by a subtle and far more powerful compulsion: that of self-discipline.”

Michel Foucault

Sunrise departure ceremony
Sunrise Departure Ceremony by Jolle Schraa

Last Saturday was our departure ceremony at sunrise: the pilgrim lauds. We make a silent walk through the abandoned Stevens Church in Nijmegen. A reader reads a text from our first pilgrim book of hours, Seasons of Life. This time, Sytske Zwart read a text by Damiaan Messing, the pioneer of the Walk of Walk of Wisdom.

“Isn’t it true? We live in a free country and yet, unconsciously, many of us live in lack of freedom. There is no one to tell us what to do, but there are constant standards that we impose on ourselves. They appear in all kinds of forms: if you want to be successful or have an interesting profile, if you want to be an attractive partner, a good parent, a true friend… We measure ourselves or we think others will do it for us. The result has become our compulsion and the road to it often doesn’t feel free.

Can it be done differently? Of course. The key is love. With the eyes of love, goodwill and sincere commitment are enough. But can we choose love alone? Most of the standards we impose on ourselves have to do with others: we want to live up to the other person’s eyes. It’s easy to give each other what we need most – the feeling of being good enough – but who dares to start?


Judith Krebbekx
Mother, by Judith Krebbekx

Image: A miniature in Seasons of Life