About blooming and softening

Are blooming and softening related? Does one follow from the other or the other from the one? You would almost think so.

Year after year after year we surrounded house and garden with endless attention and love, and just when everything shines and shines like never before, has reached a state of ‘off’, gardener Jan proposes to exchange some clean lines in the orchard for a looser, smoother, ‘softer’ layout. And not because he ‘feel like it’, but because the garden itself indicated it: a number of apple and pear trees had had their day; was ready to make room for shrubs with edible flowers and flowering grass.

And so it is as if the outside world reflects what has been happening inside me for the past 15 years. Unnoticed, straight lines gave way to a more playful, softer, more agile layout. Or no, it is more nuanced. The straight and the curved line, the box and the spaciousness, the predictability and the adventure: little by little my heart dared to welcome the ‘and, and’ instead of the either or or.

As Benedict stated, so it also works: ‘As one progresses in monastic life and in faith, the heart expands’.

Rob Schipper

Today would have been Rob Schipper’s birthday. Together with Ton de Nooy he founded Jan XVII. For years, Rob kept watch faithfully, also literally, in

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Drying the laundry

Without a clothesline, hanging the laundry contemplatively becomes a bit difficult. So it’s great that Aaron recently put down some poles with lines in a

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