If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


17 SEP 2017

DELFT - Refined readers will note that one bench offers sun and the other shade. I tend to call that A Thoughtful Touch. Crafts persons can see which is new and which has seen some weather. Those bent to Just So-ness see how artfully they are spaced and set. Most importantly, my partner can see them.

What is not clear in the photo is a statue of a girl, beyond the wall and under the tree. She is rough-hewn and sand-colored. In her hands is a pottery jug; she is pouring water from it. For all the time I have lived in Delft, she was at the foremost entrance to the city - right across from the train station. About a year or so ago, she was moved to where she is now. Far fewer people notice her, even those using the benches are facing the other way.

Inquiring Minds

"My partner has to read my columns, and she often completely baffles me with her remarks. After reading the previous Sunday's column about benches, she asked bluntly: "Where are they?" I answered: in the photo. She looked very closely and said she could not see them.


Along the Schie, the canal running Hague to Rotterdam thus through Delft, there is a prime spot - with benches. When I used to go that way, I'd see ten or more people, having a good time, all around the benches. Some are outside the Jumbo supermarket when it opens: cigarettes and beer. They'll hang around, being jovial for a while, then drift away.

For a month, there was a guy with beard, turban, flowing robes and a look of fire in his eyes. He strolled through Delft proclaiming something; it did not sound like Dutch. I recall the same type, except the Christian version, when I lived in Texas. Crazy knows no boundary and all religions seem to have some. I'd say ours here are not desperate and have help when they are ready.

To my mind, she is a design of simplicity; she is completely absorbed in what she is doing. A quiet face looks down and she is dressed with modesty. I think her new place is a good decision by the guardians of the city.

My mind calls up old song lyrics when I pass by her on my way somewhere: "Good morning, Mr. Leach. Have you had a busy day?" I answer in a Paul Simon: "Something tells me it's all happening at the zoo".

A little crazy, but who amongst us is not? In this world, being crazy is not rare, comes in varieties and colors, and for a limited time only, free downloads. I recall a guy I knew from the Engel; he was a contender.

I mean in the Craziest Person of the Year contest, awarded a winner who is just not completely with the rest of us. In Delft, there are places where such folk find solace, so long as they keep it down.

In America, when you check out of a grocery, you stand in line (queue). Magazines in racks, there to distract. One shouts: Inquiring Minds Want To Know! and contains all sorts of excited articles and blurry photos.

G. Wiley / NLStrabo - © Copyright - All rights reserved - gwileynl@gmail.com
In memory of Herb Caen