Archive for October, 2012

Next Chapter

Things have been quiet here, as a few readers have recently pointed out. Thank you for your emails! As usual, when it’s quiet on the outside, things are bubbling like crazy within.

A few weeks ago I celebrated my 50th birthday. Although I knew for nearly a year ahead of time that this milestone was on its way, I didn’t know what to do. Should I give a concert? Have a big party? Spend the day in quiet meditation? Go hiking? Take the train to Vienna and party with my friends? One week before my birthday, I happened to read the Sunday newspaper. There was an article about my favorite cinema — they were to reopen after nearly one year of renovation just a few days before my birthday! So I knew what I wanted to do. I checked to see what film they were showing: “Moonrise Kingdom” Perfect!

The day before my birthday, I suddenly plunged into a deep place. Oh my goodness, I will be a half century old! It was a strange feeling indeed. On the big day, I woke up thinking, “Oh, no! Why did I invite people over? I would rather spend the day alone after all!” A friend showed up unexpectedly around noon. We had a nice chat, and I felt much better afterwards. In the afternoon, a handful of friends came for coffee and cake. My son came as well, which was a great joy. And he actually stayed for quite some time, even though he didn’t really know anyone. That made my day. My daughter was away at school and didn’t come home until the weekend.

In the evening, we all walked together to the cinema in town, about 15 minutes away. The film was great and we had a nice time. At the end, I was happy it had all turned out the way it did. No big deal, just a fun day with people who are dear to me.

The next day, a package arrived. One glance at the return address told me I would laugh when I opened it. Sure enough! Inside were peanuts in the shell and little potatoes all wrapped individually in tissue paper. The note cracked me up: “This was just on an impulse, since I know you like potatoes. They are from the local organic farm. And the peanuts are made in USA, as a reminder of home.” Then I thought to myself: That’s not everything, it was just the packing material! I dug through the potatoes and peanuts and found a card and a book: “Banga” from Patti Smith, with the new CD inside. Yahoo! I’d bought the CD but didn’t know about this special book edition!

Her card brought tears to my eyes. She wrote that now she’s known me for more than half of my life, and she listed all the milestones in my life which she’d had the “privlege” (her word) to experience with me. She’d been there during night school and at graduation. She’d seen me study at the university and graduate, and she had witnessed the emergence of my family — my marriage and the births of my two children. She was the first to hear me play the songs I began to write and sing, and my biggest fan at the first concert — and every concert since then. She recalled the process of how I worked on and published my books in English and German, as well as recorded 3 CDs. She’d seen me go back to work after 17 years and be successful! And then, she said: “And those are just the milestones!!!”

This review of the past 25 years was touching. A friend of mine will turn 40 in February and is kind of down. He thought he would be further along by now. He expected to be grown up at 40 years of age. My view narrowed the years to the ten between 40 and 50. I realized that the past 10 years were the most productive in my life! And it occurred to me that if someone had told me 10 years ago that I would do all these things, I would have told them they were crazy! Ten years ago I didn’t have the courage and self-confidence to believe that so much could be possible. And so I spoke with my friend and told him about this insight, offering it as encouragement along the way.

In the meantime, it has helped me in the process of letting go and embracing this new decade. The 40’s are over. It was an incredible time in my life and many things happened, most of them were totally unexpected, some were secret dreams that took a long time to admit and pursue. But I did.

And so, the 50’s have begun. I have no huge goals, but some ideas about what I would like to achieve. As usual, I continue humbly on my way and remain open to the universe and what it offers. Today I am grateful for all that was, is and is yet to come.

October 11, 2012 at 11:49 am Leave a comment


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