Three Golden Hairs

This week my piece, I wrote for my colleague and friend Emlyn Stam, came over the post, so it is finally published and ready to purchase. Go to Viola Viva!

My father collected fairy tales and stories and took every opportunity to read them out loud. He even liked telling them on stage, immersing his audience – us, his children, his family, pupils and friends – in a world of meaningful imagination. Thanks to our German mother, our favourites were the fairytales of the Brothers Grimm. Both Evil and Good are present in every human being. But in our lives, we have to learn the art of resisting the former or at least of laughing at it. Unfor- tunately, not everyone manages this. Young people’s escapades are rarely meant to be mean, though they sometimes end badly. A lot of courage is then needed to recognise your mistakes and admit to them. In the present fairytale, the lucky boy is confronted with his alter ego. The solution is actually the apology that follows a failed escapade.

Here, Evil is represented by the rascal who yearns for the love of his grandmother. If we view this grandmother as a kind of magnifying glass through which we can see our pranks magnified, it offers us a renewed opportunity to learn to resist Evil.

In 2023, during the hottest summer ever recorded across the world, the Dutch government collapsed amidst the escalating dispute about asylum seekers and the rising number of victims of the war in Ukraine. As Evil grew bigger and bigger, my father came to mind again. I saw him as a grandmother, as a magnifying glass, looking over my shoulder as I wrote this piece.