1. You shall not have any other gods before me
,, Later, much later, I started thinking about what we are here for on earth, but I have not found an answer. We are set up, that's all. I do understand why people want to explain storms, illness, death, everything that happens to us - and it gives, I hope, a great sense of security to know a destination - but I can't. I get letters from people who recommend herbal women and prayer healers, but I only trust my own doctor. I recently received two people from the Salvation Army. They were the nicest. When they heard that I had cancer, they became even more persistent in their belief that God could help me. I said, "Believe me, what you hope for won't happen." I am sober, just like my parents. I do not believe in a hereafter and if there is a God, he will certainly appreciate my unsteadiness. I searched even though I couldn't find it. I've tried it. Will He then say: do you just stay outside? ''
2. You shall not make a graven image for yourself, or any form of what is above in heaven, or what is below on earth, or what is in the waters under the earth
,, Look, Jesus is hanging here. He is missing an arm and I have had to glue his head a few times. It is simple and awkward, overwhelmingly beautiful. "
3. You shall not use the name of the Lord your God in vain
,, It was not so much the upbringing; I just imitated my parents. They didn't smoke, I didn't smoke. They didn't drink, I didn't drink. They didn't swear, I didn't swear. I was a docile child. "
4. Remember the Sabbath day that you sanctify it, six days you will work and do all your work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God, and you shall do no work
,, I used to go to the catholic church on the Admiraal de Ruijterweg. I was impressed by the light that came in, the images, but especially the silence in that beautiful space. I still like to go to a church, but preferably where faith is professed with passion. "
5. Honor your father and your mother
,, In the last year of the war, someone from Fokker - the company my father worked for, even though he was more or less in hiding at that time - came to tell us that a car with 'Fokker children' was coming to Friesland would leave. "They can go to farmers," said the man, "and Rudi can come." My mother, who had given birth to her second child two months earlier, was on a hunger hunt with her sister. They went to Utrecht on a bicycle with wooden tires to find something to eat. I always thought: if my mother had been home, she would never have liked me to go, but my father said, "You're leaving tomorrow." I could not say goodbye to my mother. The only thing that kept me going was the promise that I would go to a farm. I could imagine that: Ot and Sien-like scenes, with lots of lambs and calves. But I ended up in a barren, windy region, in a tiny house. Father, mother, seven children. When I walked in, "mem" said disappointed that she preferred a girl. One of their daughters had child paralysis. She was limping, in braces, and they wanted a girlfriend for the child, a girl to play with. What did they get split in the stomach again? "
,, Mem was big and fat. She had a great voice, but spoke a language I hardly understood. She was also harsh: those who did not listen got a bang. The first night in Friesland I started to pee in my bed again. I was sad, had no idea if I had to stay there for a month, a year or forever. I understood that I had to leave. There was no food. And then there was that little brother ... No, I never thought: they don't like me, but I have always felt that something was wrong with me. "
,, The war passed, I was allowed to return to Amsterdam and there was no more talk about it. I became silent, lived in my own world. "
,, When I was thirteen or fourteen, I started looking for - yes, what did I actually look for? Tracks. My mother worked outside the home and my brother was in the hospital. In a cupboard, under the sheets, I found a stack of letters with a pink ribbon around it. It was the letters that my mother had sent to my father when he was employed in Germany during the war. I opened one and read: "I know that you are very critical of Rudi, that you are disappointed because he is difficult to learn, is not technical and plays with puppets, but I am very happy with him." I was completely upset. It was such a huge blow ... Especially the bitterness with which my mother spoke. I found out that my parents were not at all as happy as I had wanted and thought. I was ashamed that I had learned things about them, I was troubled by the thought that I was among them. And yet I know they have loved each other very much. The last thing my mother said to me was: "Won't you abandon Daddy?"
,, At the end of his life I received the pile of letters with the pink ribbon from him. I never talked about it, not even at that time. For me, the image my father had of me was the confirmation of my own thoughts. I was convinced that it was a failure. I saw myself sitting at the table with my father again. He did my homework. Geometry, algebra - I tried, but it completely passed me by. I didn't get it. I was silent, my father became bit and said, "If you can't do it, I'll do it for you again." I was a big disappointment. "
,, My parents had both only attended primary school, but they did a terrible job of achieving something. My father was studying night after night to get a little higher at Fokker. He succeeded in doing so, but he more or less sacrificed family life because I only remember him in the first years of my childhood as a figure who is reading, bent over his papers, under a desk lamp at night. My parents also bought books and there were reproductions of Van Gogh paintings on the wall. Nobody in our neighborhood had that. They consciously opted for communism. I found out when someone told me that De Waarheid, which was delivered to us, was a communist newspaper. My father was good at drawing and writing. He worked for a while with Karel and Gerard van het Reve's father for a leaf. When I told Gerard about this in a letter, he wrote back: "Don't piss, I am not interested in my father." Yes, I was, despite everything. You are right, he failed. But did not many parents do that emotionally at the time? I have a huge admiration for my parents, I felt very connected. They never forced anything on me. I unquestionably assumed that they were following the true path. Many of the ideals they advocated at that time are still doing well for me. " You are right, he failed. But did not many parents do that emotionally at the time? I have a huge admiration for my parents, I felt very connected. They never forced anything on me. I unquestionably assumed that they were following the true path. Many of the ideals they advocated at that time are still doing well for me. " You are right, he failed. But did not many parents do that emotionally at the time? I have a huge admiration for my parents, I felt very connected. They never forced anything on me. I unquestionably assumed that they were following the true path. Many of the ideals they advocated at that time are still doing well for me. "
6. Thou shalt not kill
,, It may sound a little strange, but I tried to commit suicide three to four times. After one of those times I had contact with a psychiatrist for a while, but those were nonsense sessions in which I played his psychiatrist rather than mine. He had nevertheless been the figure to whom I could have told what had happened to me in Friesland, but it just didn't work out. Time and again relationships were the reason, I just couldn't find out what I could expect from living with someone. I couldn't find a way out, I couldn't argue, I let everything lean on me. The whole thing boiled over. It could not happen to me now, but I must honestly say that when I was told that I had cancer, I immediately asked my doctor about the possibilities of euthanasia.
7. You shall not commit adultery
,, I think back with love and gratitude to the people I have had an affair with. I have tried to keep a bond with each of them, but I have not succeeded in binding myself to one man. For me, the work was paramount. The dance was my salvation. The desperate things, those suicide plans; it all happened before and in the early days of my artistic leadership. Then I was sucked in by the responsibility I felt for the group. I no longer got around to that kind of thought. And other people, I knew, couldn't help me. I had to do it alone. The people I gathered around me were just as closed as me. Yes, I have felt lonely, but on the other hand: apparently I have found a way to live with it. "
8. Thou shalt not steal
,, My father collected stamps, Russian, from before the war. Large rags, with all kinds of colors. He had more or less given them to me, but it didn't really matter to me. One day, I was about seven years old, a boy in my class had brought a magnet with me. It was such a red horseshoe, with metallic ends. I found it fascinating: a magic thing that stuck with just about anything. The boy wanted to trade his magnet for my Russian stamps. When my father found out, he was deeply shocked. Why had I not discussed it with him? I think he was sorry that the past, his past, meant nothing to me. I was so sorry that I had disappointed him, that I decided to cancel the exchange. But the lady had already taken my magnet - probably because I had played with it during the lesson. I now remember how I made the terrible decision to pick the magnet out of the closet. I waited until the class was empty, grabbed the magnet off the shelf, put it in my sock - I feel it! - and later offered it to the boy: They belong to my father '. Yes, he gave them ... ""
,,Crazy, huh? That something more than sixty years later comes to mind as the first example. Apparently that one act, pecking, standing up against the authority of the lady, has made such an impression on me that I never wanted to experience it again. "
9. You shall not speak false witness against your neighbor
,, It was no secret, it was rather a lie, a denial. My mother must have felt that something was wrong with me, but I never wanted to talk about it. I only did that twenty years after the war. I was busy at the time, many worries, great worries that prevented me from thinking a lot about the past. But then, one day, I went back to Friesland because the father of the family had died. I stood there on the dike along the IJsselmeer and saw all those places again - Laaxum, Warns, The Red Cliff - and everything blew over me again ... "
,, We came from Warns, where I went to school. The other children walked ahead of me. A car stopped. A young soldier knocked on the door and signaled that I could drive. I had seen him before, he was part of a group of Canadians or Americans who were building a bridge in the village. The strange thing is: I felt something was wrong. While we couldn't even talk to each other. There was no language, no dialogue. In the beginning, he was not too fussy. And yet I knew I shouldn't have boarded. I should have said no, run away. We drove to a quiet place. He kissed me there and - you know, I still have trouble using the right words for it. Even then, I was staggered: of course I was scared, but it also had something honorable to be chosen by one of our liberators. I had heard my father say so many times: "When the English come, the war is over!" It took about two weeks and nobody noticed. I could not say that I did not want it, but he did notice that I was scared. It always had to happen secretly, in places where nobody was there, in a hurry, dragged along ... And yet he also had something nice, something vulnerable. From a small village somewhere in another continent, I ended up in incomprehensible violence. Girls in Friesland were, as I recall, totally inaccessible to those boys - no, no, I am not trying to defend him, but I am trying to explain to you why he chose me and not a girl. The only thing that I blame him is that he had suddenly left. The master said: "The soldiers are gone." I ran to the bridge, to the meadow where the tents were, but everything was empty. I felt abandoned. There was a great dependence; I still thought he would bring me home. And if there were no one left, I would always have that soldier to look after me. "
,, When I was standing there on that dyke, a grown man by now, I knew: I have to tell. Maybe I have ever released something about it, but for some reason no one wanted to keep asking. A year and a half after my visit to Friesland, my mother died. At that moment I decided to write it down. For her. My autobiographical novel: For a lost soldier. I don't know how she would have thought about it, perhaps she had found it embarrassing. The copy I had given to my father was found among his things after his death. When I opened it, I found notes everywhere. It stated how I could have formulated it better. No comment about the content, only commentary on language technical things. I am still surprised about it. How is it possible? I break a great silence in that book and he does not spend a letter, not a word on it. The only thing he wanted to tell me was: it could be better. Or maybe: I can do better. Apparently I had disappointed him in that as well. "
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house; Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour's
,, Is it possible for your neighbor's time? I still have a lot to say, but do I have to sit down at a table with pen and paper, pampering my loneliness, or am I going into nature to enjoy silence? It is a terrible choice. I hope something will give me the feeling that I still have time for both. "