Dear mr. Trump,
I know you are a very busy man, and probably have no time to read this, but hope you will find a moment to do so anyway. You probably don’t know me, but when you’ve reached this blog you will become familiar with my work. I’m a young luthier (two years younger than your son Eric) from the Netherlands. Turning blocks of wood into instruments by day and writing by night.
A few months ago I posted an open invitation addressed to you, on my blog. You probably missed it due to your overloaded
agenda and obligations over the last months. It happens to any of us, so no problem.
I would like to invite you to come over to my workshop in the Netherlands to make a guitar together (or a lute, whatever you prefer). It’s a little shop on the edge of the woods, near an old castle. A haven of peace and quiet, a place where people can come to get some relief from the strains of everyday life. A place where someone doesn’t have to shout to be heard (unless we’re working with the table saw or testing an electric guitar).
Making a musical instrument will be one of the most beautiful experiences you will have in your life. It is simple, true and honest work. Making something with your own two hands: cutting and gluing the wood, planing, rasping, filing, sanding and finishing. You will be astounded by what your own hands can achieve and to see how the instrument grows. But it can also be quite a challenge, as people often find and overcome their own limits. Sometimes a subtle puzzle, sometimes a though workout. Wood doesn’t lie mr. Trump, it gives direct feedback of what you do to it. Making a guitar can be a quite transformative and even transcendent experience. It makes us resourceful. A handmade artefact often tells a lot about its maker. Discover true craftsmanship, the a combination of body and mind, theory and practice.
When I work together with people I like to get to know them. Who are you really mr. Trump? What are your dreams and visions? What’s behind that mask of that shrewd businessman? The man of “The Art of the Deal”. Are you really the strongman who stops for nobody? Or is that a character you play for the general public? I would like to understand your ideas and motives. Apart from the rhetoric shrouding them. Are the things you say real proposals? Or do you say them only for effect? Why the strong words? Is it to impress people, or convince yourself? And how do you think to pull it off? I have heard many ideas, but no real plans to back them up. How to put them into practice? And what will be the consequences? For yourself, for the American people, but also for people in other countries?
Up until now your ideas and actions already made quite an impression on me mr. Trump. Every time everybody thought reached your climax there was another thing to top it up. But I would like to know whether that is the real you? What are your personal dreams and goals? What were your childhood dreams? What dit your parents say about them? Have they come true? And why the bitterness?
As I said, you are more than welcome to spend some time in my workshop. To work together or simply sig down with a good cup of coffee. It’s a place where magic happens, where people can be honest and where you don’t have to impress other people. So there is no need for pumped up locker room talk. In my former job I had a couple of colleagues who liked that, but it’s just not my thing. I don’t think you are an evil man mr. Trump, but simply don’t understand your views and ideas and would love to have a face to face chat about them. We have a couple of things in common: easily bored, full of ideas and a mind of our own. I’m not a businessman like you, but make things with my own two hands. And with those hands I try to add a little beauty to the world around us. Believing in honesty, doing a good job and giving people quality, preferably more than they expected. Seeing the good in people, regardless of their faith or ancestry. And convinced of the fact that there is always a way for people to learn and better themselves.
I know that in the recent months there has been a lot of fuss about your hands. People made jokes about them and used it as a way to belittle you. That must have been hard, because the hands are some of the most wonderful parts of the human body. Our opposing thumb is one of the few things that distinguishes us from other monkeys. It gives us the ability to grab something
(as you so elaborately noticed yourself). But I would like to show you that we can do so much more and better with our hands than touching a woman’s genitalia against her will… Can put these little grabbers to work, to use tools and actually MAKE something. A little known fact: small hands can actually be very beneficial for guitar makers, a lot of my colleagues have a hard time working inside of instruments, simply because their hands can’t pass through the soundhole. Hands can be used for good and bad, to make guitars, give out and share food, but also to shoot a gun or punch someone in the face. It’s up to us how we choose to use them. There are great possibilities in our hands. But as you know, with great power comes great responsibility; the obligation to do good unto the people entrusted in our hands, and not only stuff our own pockets. Like with the 2nd amendment; the right to bear arms is intertwined with responsibility responsible use and proper care of them. Unfortunately the latter is often forgotten.
I know you are busy with the elections and all. But I hope this open invitation will find its way to your desk somehow. If you choose to take on this challenge and make a guitar, please contact me via the form or drop me a line at Facebook. I promise to welcome you with open hands. There are no strings attached, I’m not interested in your money. The only thing I ask is your honesty, an open mind and open heart.
Jan van Cappelle – The Dutch Luthier