At some point in his lecture on Social Constructionism, professor Alexander Maas becomes quiet and says: “I am my father. If I look at my hands and his, playing the piano: totally the same.” And: “I am my mother.” He gives examples of their resemblance. There’s also something of his grandmother in his personality, and also of his uncle. It’s a beautiful story about Alexander Maas.
Is he referring to ‘being like someone’ or ‘partly being someone’?
Exactly thirty years and one day. That was the age difference between my father and I. Because he passed away some years ago, the time difference between us no longer exists. I might say our lives have become more parallel. He is still here. In me. I am my father.
Maybe I am quite substantially my father because of his talent to deconstruct and construct. No, my father was not a philosopher, but he had a mind of his own and that mind told him to act when it was needed. Although his career turned him into a very capable people oriented manager, he primarily worked with his hands. When something in our house broke, whether it was a clock or a sewing machine, he would take it apart unsupported by any knowledge of the construction. He would this by simply unscrewing, lifting the cover, taking all the elements apart until everything was completely deconstructed. He came to understand the device whilst deconstructing it. Most of the times, one of the parts appeared to be broken. In that case, my father would first try to mend or glue the part together; then he tried to create a replacement, and the final solution would be to find or order a new part (without the internet, that is). Having received the ‘missing link’ he would reconstruct the device and in most of the cases, it worked again.
This is what I was exposed to for the first seven years of my live; what I assisted in the next seven years and what I had copied and taught myself in the following seven years. My father made me do it and now, in the next generation, I am my father.
C.J Hoogendijk (*19-11-1959) C.Hoogendijk (*18-11-1929 †22-7-2011)
Which of your ancestors do you recognize in your own being?
How would you appreciate the word ‘generative’ again?
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