Sorgue

by: Ton Groeneweg

One river flows into another. Their waters mingle – they are watering each other, watering each other down. And hence there is confusion – random, fortunate mingling of waters! Everything is about fortune here – and about mingling.

The Sorgue is a river of the source – even if (or precisely because?) its source is hidden. As such, it is a river of force – its powerful waters are clear, strong, originary. Heidegger, thinker of the source, is never far from the Sorgue. Heidegger cared about rivers – Rhine, Danube – all sourceful and resourceful rivers. And perhaps also the Sorgue is already there, from the beginning, in Sein und Zeit, as the Sorge (Fürsorge – care). A fortunate trick of language, near homonym, which Heidegger knew how to appreciate. He knew how to care (“sorguen”) about language – “für was uns zu-fällt”. Zu-fall, fortune, care: could we ever care for, care about anything that does not befall us?

At the other part, at the other end of this mingling of waters, there is a slow river – one of the ‘breede rivieren die traag door oneindig laagland gaan’. The river Amstel, the river of Amstelredam – so slow, it is hardly a river anymore, almost indistinguishable from a canal. Just like the Sorgue never seems to begin, the Amstel never seems to end – lost as it is in the endless circling of the canals. (Almost like the still waters of a pond, somewhere in a garden in Giverny.) Two rivers then – one at the source, one at the end. And yet their mingling makes everything different. These waters, the source and the end, can no longer be separated. Is this not the definition of chance?

And yet it is here (in Amsterdam, in these paintings) that the mingling of waters takes place – far from the source. Perhaps it is this mingling of waters that slows the river down – by the infinite play of chance. In this mingling, the source is lost – in the end.