Songs my father taught me

How many roads must a man walk down
before you call him a man
B.Dylan, Blowing in the wind

People ask me what I think during these long hours riding the bicycle. To be honest: not too much. I am more occupied with the landscape around, with the road conditions, the traffic, with taking pictures. Sometimes I think of future projects, I sing or listen to music, and once in a while I utter sudden bursts of laughter when I remember obscure or funny situations of the journey I was part of. And many memories which come and go reach further back, reach back to youth and childhood. One of my earliest mind pictures is my father sitting on one of these dark brown leather couches so common in the 80ies, his guitar in his hands and playing and singing. We had a whole series of song books, liederwolke, liederbaum, etc. and he sang a lot in those days, songs from his own youth like the golden „Jenseits des Tales“, the wistful „Lili Marleen“ („und wenn die späten Nebel dreh’n, wer wird bei der Laterne steh’n“) and more recent ones, „Donna, Donna“, „Lady in Black“, Dylan, „Good night, ladies“, „Bolle reiste jüngst zu Pfingsten“, „Nehmt Abschied Brüder“.
I still remember every single line of these songs. Each song formulates an own perspective on the world, each one presents considerations on situations known to all of us, each one teaches us something about human nature. But the most I learned about people was from the example of my father himself. I’ve never met a man with such an intuitive knowledge of human nature, with such an ability to listen as my father.
On this particular journey, I had to deal anytime with new encounters, I always had to rely on the help of others, be it for shipping me over an impassable lake, aiding me to get a cardboard box or just to watch the bike for a moment while in a shop. The aptitude to open people and to know whom to trust I owe to my father. On the occasion of his birthday I wish him all the best!