Not that there's that much to tell. But even a scientist
is first and foremost a human being. So, maybe the rest of
my site is rather formal, here's a glimpse of the person
behind it. I was born in 1965 in Haarlem, supposedly the
place where the purest Dutch is spoken. At age 9 however,
I had already lived in 7 houses in 5 cities in 2
countries. I guess that has contributed to my ease in
adjusting to new places, and in letting go.
My favorite place is Surinam, where I lived from age 5
till age 8. When I returned there for a vacation in 1994,
I knew immediately this was my place of happiness. In a
way, it has been formative for my religious basis. Even
now, the summer sun on my skin is an incentive for
mystical thoughts and feelings. A much needed correction
for a pervading all too rationalistic tendency (with its
own painful antecedents). I was lucky to spend the summer
of 2003 teaching in Paramaribo.
My idol (probably idealized) is Wessel Gansfort (presumed
to be the brother of my ancestor), one of the leading
lay-theologians just before the Reformation. He has been
described as a biblical humanist with a touch of
mysticism. Nowadays, Roman-Catholics and Protestants still
discuss to which group he belongs. I like that.
A son to my ancestor, a father to my children. Maarten
(1984), Philip (1986), Reinier (1987), Bernard (1989, died
after 7 weeks), Wijnand (1991), and Ewout (1994). And
a grandfather to Tygo (2016), Maeve and Nikki (2018), and
Milan and ??? (2021). Days spent with them remind me that
being there is what counts. They're my future, and
probably the best I contributed to in my life, even when
my contribution to their lives is less and worse than they
deserve. And between (grand)sons and (grand)fathers -
caring for and being cared for - are the brothers, the
friends, the lovers. I cherish the memories of being at
home with Marc who passed away in 2016. I am grateful for
the love and life Annas brought to me from so far away.
History and future. Time transcending the limits of who,
where, and when I am. Time longing for and referring to
eternity. As love and desire refer to the ultimate and
virtual reality of the sacred.