The River


This book is no longer available for sale.

The River

an illustrated poem by Bard

About the Book

This little booklet announced itself one day out of the blue when I was struggling with writing something completely different. I needed a strong metaphor for life and its cycles and the image of a river came up as great candidate. But however hard I tried to put that into words, it kept falling short of my expectations. It either became too complicated and contrived, or too obvious and almost trite. 

I was about to give up on the whole idea when - quite by itself - a paragraph rolled off my keyboard onto the screen that simply described the very first moments of the life-cycle of a river, when the water evaporates from the ocean into the sky. I liked what I saw, even if I didn’t really know where it came from, so I decided to follow this thread to see where it would lead me.

In as many days, 12 short paragraphs appeared, written almost without my involvement; I was just doing the typing.

Once it was done, I had this prose poem in my hands and it seemed to stand on itself. It didn’t need further explanation; it did not need to be tied to the other texts I was working on. It contained its own story and all the messages implied therein.

The illustrations are my attempt to visualise and evoke the atmosphere of each chapter for those who are more visually inclined. Having written the text in 12 days, it took me another 12 months to produce the paintings, but now that it’s done, I’m very happy I stuck with this project.

I hope you will be glad I did so, too.

About the Author

Bard Papegaaij
Bard Papegaaij

I am a philosopher, writer, practitioner and teacher with a deep compassion for the human condition and a burning desire to help people live better lives, do better work and create a more sustainable and socially connected society in the process. Those may be lofty goals and sound somewhat unobtainable, but I have a uniquely pragmatic approach to these challenges. I break complex concepts down into simple, compelling and powerful stories, frameworks and models. My keynotes and workshops give people practical tools and ways to take control of their own development. And my very personal style, sprinkled with humour, anecdotes and pearls of wisdom, engage and motivate audiences to see beyond the obvious and the limited, into a future in which anything is possible.

I have spent my whole life trying to understand what makes us humans tick. Even though I worked most of my professional career in the IT industry, I have always approached everything from the human angle: how does it make us feel, why do we behave in this way, how do we decide, how do we change - or don’t? Introduced by my late wife Michal Levit to the field of Emotional Intelligence, I have explored the idea of the emotionally mature workplace and how to achieve that. Throughout 30+ years of working with organisations all over the planet I have helped individuals and organisations with maturing their awareness and mastery of their individual and collective emotional abilities; creating more inspiring and sustainable approaches to leadership and team development; and taking responsibility for the future evolution of their organisational cultures.

I don't just talk about these things, I can coach, mentor and facilitate workshops and off-sites for individuals, teams and even whole organisations. I always tailors my keynotes, workshops and off-sites to the needs of my clients, combining material from my extensive library of topics and modules with fresh material in new and effective ways.

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