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Friday, May 31, 2013

No man is an island by John von Daler

     Flying in to the #Faroe Islands through the
drifting clouds, the friendly man next to me pointed out from our window the exact spots where a few planes like ours had fallen. The runway started at the edge of a cliff.

    Later, on the drive towards Torshavn, a car stuffed with six tipsy men in black Hombergs and olive overcoats flipped off the road and 360 degrees later landed on a green slope. None of the men moved. Their hats were still on. Our bus drove past without stopping.
    We spiked our concert at the Nordic House that
night with adrenalin from our experiences.
    Afterwards, sitting in the bar we drank some beers just to restore a kind of tranquility to our lives. Later we started to jam with people from the audience.
    One bearded, stocky man borrowed an accordion from the piano player. This islander played some very wild stuff and he and I got going pretty well. During one very ferocious passage, his stocky arms pulled so hard in opposite directions that the accordion ripped into two pieces.
    I felt at the time that I did the only right thing: I
stopped playing and gave him my violin. Without losing the beat he swung my dainty Viennese beauty under his chin and began to saw out raw passages all alone.
    The piano player eyed me sadly. He ripped mine apart and now you gave him yours?
    A quiet man who had been listening to our impromptu concert offered to repair the accordion.
    No, no, said the piano player. We're leaving at ten tomorrow on the bus to the airport. But the man insisted that he would work through the night and that he would bring back the accordion at ten, good as new. The piano player consented
    I coaxed my violin from the flaying islander who still had untold depths of feelings to express and we went home.
    At ten the next morning we stood all packed in front of our hotel. No accordion. What's more, no bus either.
    I consoled my friend, but he looked wildly up towards the green slopes and tiny, wooden houses. I'll never get it back!!
    Then the bus arrived a half an hour late and we started to move our bags and instruments - except for the accordion - into the bus. The piano player sat down sadly in the back and looked out at the continuous Faroese rain.
    A car swung in front of the bus. The accordion fixer emerged, pulled the case out of the back seat and sprang up into our bus - to be met by a barrage: Where were you at ten! We could have gone! You have your nerve!
    Now the Faroese are used to rough going. The man just quietly sat down, looked the piano player in the eye and replied: Everyone in Torshavn knows that your plane is late because of the fog, so your bus is late too because the driver doesn't want to sit around in the airport, and besides
his wife is pregnant, so I knew you would be waiting here, because where else can you go? This is the Faroe Islands after all!
    We all sat and watched the rain for a while from the bus and then the piano player said thanks and the man got off and we drove to the airport where we sat making calls on our cell phones and rearranging our schedules while we watched
more of the rain and waited.

                My book, Pieces: A Life in Eight Movements and a Prelude (WiDo Publishing) is now available. Order through, the publisher or your local bookstore. Click to buy Pieces. Please feel free to write a short review of the book in your own language at or GoodReads. Thanks for your support!

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