Lately, I’m having a series of flashbacks, some pleasant, some not so pleasant. As a friend told me, these might be from having begun to dig myself out of troubles in the past that seem to have lingered on for quite some time (25-30 years in my case). Anyway, he said that this is fairly common for people who begin self-healing work.
And today I experienced something, which seems to qualify for a major, if not THE flashback of ’em all. I was riding the bike, hoping to get some shots of the winter scenery to be included in a little calendar project I’m currently working on. When heading back, temperatures had dropped so drastically that I decided to warm up over a cup of tea or hot wine at a pretty popular live music club and restaurant at the railway station, one stop from my village. The place is called Steinebacher’s and features local as well as regional and even some international acts on a regular basis. It’s known far beyond the limits of Fuenfseenland and even beyond Bavaria and Germany. It’s a shame: I’ve been living in its immediate vicinity for almost three years now and never went to see one of the shows. So I decided to make this my warm-up stop. But first things first: I headed for the bathroom, which is almost outside the place itsself in the basement – almost typical for small clubs of this kind. In front of the doors, there’s a “wall of fame”, packed with posters of a great many acts who have performed at Steinebacher’s. Some of them I knew and would you believe, some of them I had even had the pleasure of being in the line-up for some 20 years ago. In particular the poster advertising “Freda and the Freaks” caught my attention as I had met Freda once for a session with a all Afro-American musicians and me being the only white kid of the gang. Anyway, she was a really terrific singer, keeping herself pretty busy with studio gigs, doing background vocals for a number of bands and apparently – which must have escaped me at the time – had her own band going by that name. And then there were other names of bands, whose front act or sidemen I once knew personally.
So, I revisited that time, some of the experiences, the feelings that were attached to those experiences, the hopes and dreams I had been nurturing back then, the trials and tribulations I had faced, mostly with women and fellow musicians, some with jobs I held and predominantly with the disapproval of my folks, who had wanted me to probably become something along the lines of a lawyer, doctor, teacher or similar. Conservative, I guess, is the word for that walk of life.
And here’s the eerie part of sharing this story – a quite unique one, I’ve never ever experienced before: I stood in front of this wall, studying the posters, all by myself in that basement, luckily none of the customers had any immediate physical needs and so I contemplated over the “what if, what might have…”, if my ideas and plans in teenage years would have worked out the way I would have liked them to. As I stood there, I felt cold chills creeping up my spine, my eyes immediately and unexpectedly filling with tears, my body trembling and shaking as if suffering from hypothermia, and my heart racing as if I were going for the finish in a sports competition. It felt as if the spirits of all those acts on that wall had come together in that little basement to surround me and whisper to my soul “You’re one of us – and you KNOW it!”
Now – don’t rush to any premature conclusions. I have streaks of character running in my personality that seem totally incompatible with the music scene – lack of patience and an overdose of ambition being only the most pronounced ones. Plus, I was raised in the idea of going for material security – so that is ingrained deeply in my personality as well. However… if there has been one true love in my life, one genuine passion, one healing power, one path to peace, one road into the moment – it has been and still is music. I find expressing onesself through music the best activity there is in life – surpassing even romantic relationships and the physical action as a part of the latter. I remember having sent one of my early girlfriends away for the benefit of practicing my instrument – and in hindsight, I’d say I almost certainly would have “got some” that afternoon. But – she picked the wrong time and there was nothing that could convince me otherwise (oh well… that might have changed later ;-))
What am I to do with this? I don’t know. And it doesn’t even matter that I don’t. Music will become a more prominent part in my life, one way or another, that’s almost for certain. In which way? We’ll see…