by Matthew Lien
Date: 02-20-2002 18:10
Thank you for your comments. Now make yourself a cup of hot tea, sit back, and I’ll tell you a story about Bressanone…
Several years ago, I fell deeply in love with a young woman, and also with a part of northern Italy known as South Tyrol. It borders Austria, just south of the Brenner
mountain pass which separates Italy from Austria.
South Tyrol used to be joined with North Tyrol (now a part of Austria) and West Tyrol (now a part of Switzerland). The people of this area speak a dialect of German. But since Tyrol was divided and South Tyrol became a part of Italy, all the place names are in both German and Italian.
Anyway… I once worked for Greenpeace many years ago, where I met a young
woman who melted my heart. We met while on a retreat in California’s Yosemite
National Park. After the retreat, she returned to the Colorado Greenpeace office, and eventually went back to school in New York state. I returned to the San Diego Greenpeace Office, and eventually went back to my home in the Yukon, Canada. Over the months we stayed in touch. Soon we discovered that we would both be close again. She was going to study art in Florence, Italy, and I was going to live in Munich, Germany performing with a rock band called "Marching Powder"… ahhhh
yes, Marching Powder… but that’s another story.
When we were both in Europe, we made arrangements to meet in a place that was
close to being between Florence and Munich. This was the South Tyrolian town
called "Brixen" in German, or "Bressanone" in Italian. Bressanone is a beautiful town surrounded by small villages high in the mountain valleys with churches ringing
and sheep in the meadows, and the awesome peaks of the Dolomite mountains
We spent several days exploring the mountain villages and each other’s hearts. And when the day came for her to return, I took her to a train station in a nearby village, and we said goodbye. It was very sad to be going our own ways again. With tears in
my eyes, I got on a bus and headed for the train station in Bressanone. During the short 40 minute bus ride, I fell asleep. And while I slept, I had a dream in which I
could hear this song, complete with the words and music. When I awoke, I got off
the train and went to the nearest coffee shop to write the words and music on a napkin, so I would not forget.
It was years later when I finally recorded the song. I will always have a place in my heart for her… and for that village… and for this song.
Thank you for listening. Now… off to bed with you!