I never felt I really fit in, though I tried. I really did. I never succeeded, but I can play the part like I fit in. This led me to a discovery. I feel there’s so much grey between walking out and staying in. I lived in that grey for years and will continue to. I am a bridge builder and man of many worlds. I am at the edge of everything, therefore also a Walk Out. For years I struggled with this, until I bought a book about the fool. When I saw the book, I immediately knew it would change my life forever in ways I couldn’t know yet.
Among these changes the book led me, after a few unexpected twists of fate, to meet Margaret Wheatley and Tim Merry, some of the people who are now part of the Walk Out Walk On community. I found that the archetype of the fool helped me to accept my role as man on the edge of everything, the free player who doesn’t live by the rules of his society. I now sometimes teach this role to others, they become free from and free to play what is needed in a given situation. I also started (with others) a school outside of the system, which is now called Knowmads. This school educates its students to move about and create their own destiny regardless of terms like “in” or “out.” Part of this has to do with the Dutch conditions.
I live in the Netherlands, and there is hardly space to start anew or grow everything yourself. So the Walk Out here doesn’t look like the other Walk Out communities around the world. In the Netherlands, I feel I’m part of a growing grey undercurrent network that walked out, but in many ways doesn’t know it yet. This network has started building everything anew: schools, houses, businesses, networks, festivals. These are not localized in one place, but all over the country. It is a community without leaders (one could say there are speakers with influence, authority and knowledge), structure or a centre. It’s all in flux. But we at least know who many of the others are, we support each others’ growth and endeavors. We have inspirational evenings (Charlie and Rainer especially rock!), events where we share and grow together and develop tools to do this better, on and offline. One such tool is the powerful Dare to Ask method (site not yet fully translated from Dutch).
So here I am at the edge of the fields of possibility and feel, as ever, carried by the bigger whole. I feel I live in a world that is in danger unless we dare to step out of roles we feel constricted to. I feel my role, at the moment, is liberating others to step out, eh, oh, walk out, and help develop a field or community they can walk on to in the Netherlands.