Nu Elck Syn sin – Petronius’ journey

On his 50th birthday Petronius blew out the candles and left home. He had packed everything he thought he needed on his bike and went off. He wasn’t unhappy or anything, he just had an itch, a profound need to get away from it all, to see the world. He had been working since he was 18, never went on a roadtrip or an extended holiday, he was in dire need of a change. His colleagues laughed and told him to fix his midlife crisis: “Just buy a motorcycle”. But Petronius wanted to pedal.

The first few months he rode his pants off, like he was propelled by an invisible force. He was in total awe of the new scenery. He saw the ocean for the first time, tasted the salty wind on his lips. He felt the thinning air in the mountains, the endless loneliness on the flat plains. He felt deliriously happy.

But after 7 months a tiny, nagging feeling surfaced. Every day his motivation to pedal declined further. At first he ignored it, but the feeling grew and after a while he needed to face it. He wanted to go home. It took a while, but finally he rode his bike into the main street of his small hometown. To his big surprise someone had put a “welcome home” banner above Main Street. Suddenly he was surrounded by a small crowd. All familiar faces smiled and waved at him. He felt tears running down his cheeks. He was home.

* Nu Elck Syn Sin is a sentence in old Dutch which appeared on a few antique clocks from the city of Zaandam. Historians believe it’s a motto to express freedom.

Object 2018 | Copyright © Derek Scholte
Mixed materials, approx. 38cm long, 20cm deep and 38cm high.
Materials used: Vintage bell / dome, parts from an antique “Zaanse” clock, many vintage and antique little boxes, a pair of compasses, antique match box, vintage key rings