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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Opulence in #Bornholm. By John von Daler

                  It was quarter past one. We had played our last encore in the little, packed music club in #Gudhjem on the island of #Bornholm. The audience had gone out into the quiet streets talking and singing, a little drunk I suppose. We packed our instruments in their cases and drank a beer in the little dressing room with its autographed posters of other performers who had played on the miniature stage.
                  Now the singer and I were on our way out into the dark cobblestoned lanes that connected and separated the tile-roofed houses of the old town. We were going to take a swing down to the harbor with its many light-blue fishing boats. Bornholm is a good place to watch shooting stars in August. Every minute or so they streak across the dark sky; from the harbor, you could find good rocks to sit down on to watch the meteorites.
                We put our instruments on the grass and sat on the boulders. A light breeze blew across the tourist's yachts and we could hear the banging of the sail ropes against the metal masts. Sleeping gulls lined the piers. In the black sky, the darting stars raced past some plodding satellites and then, leaving them to circle in their fixed paths around the earth, flew on into oblivion. We sat in silence, each in his own thoughts, and watched the skies.
                Musicians sometimes need to restore quietness into their lives and I think we accomplished that while we rested by the harbor. After about a half an hour, without saying much to each other, we picked up our instruments and walked back through the town. Everything was closed, dark and hushed. The cobblestoned streets resounded with our footsteps. From a little yellow house at the end of one dark lane, a light shone into the street. As we approached, the aroma of fresh-baked bread reached us. We stopped at the window to watch the baker hard at work.
                He was rolling and patting the small balls of dough that after a quick bake become the buns that Danes love to eat with their morning coffee. As he put a whole batch of them into the hot oven he caught sight of us. Wiping off his hands on his white apron he came to the window, opened it and offered us two hot, freshly baked rolls. We talked for a while, mostly about his day starting and ours ending, thanked him for the rolls, and went on back to our rooms.
                Having said goodnight to the singer I went to my room, took off my clothes, crawled into bed and lay there watching the sky through the open window. Millionaires have this feeling, I thought. Of owning everything: the quiet night of shooting stars, the music, the silence, the fragrance and taste of a freshly baked roll, the water, the gulls, the warm breeze, the clean sheets and the kaleidoscope of dreams that wells up and drowns you in pleasant cacophony. All mine. Rich. I am rich. Not a dissonance in sight.

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 below. 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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