The story of the Departure Ceremony (2): ‘You miss more than you experience’

, ,
Miniature by artist Judith Krebbekx

During the Departure Ceremony/Pilgrim’s Lauds of the Walk of Wisdom on September 5 in the Stevenskerk in Nijmegen, volunteer Ivan Beemster read a text. From poet Jaap Robben this time.

The text for each Departure Ceremony comes from the book ‘Seasons of Life: a contemporary book of hours and pilgrims’. Below you will find the text. Ivan also voiced it.

You’re missing 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
City Poet of Nijmegen 2009-2010

Miniature: artist Judith Krebbekx

Information about the upcoming Departure Ceremonies can be found in the Agenda.