15:37 I Amy Flécher

»Dear reader:

Thank you for reading my entry and supporting this event from Gasteig. I am very grateful to be nominated to participate in this exciting event and play a City Guard for Munich. Before I started my Guard duty, I did some research as to why a City Guard (or Wache) was historically important. My thought was right; it was mainly to watch out for fire, not for crime or invaders, although that could happen too. And, the people who held watch were usually volunteers, older men who were retired or had a physical condition where they could no longer work their regular job.

So, with this in mind I started my watch duty. I have chosen my upper balcony (Dachterrasse) as it gives an excellent view across the town and the fields. It is cold, there is still some snow on the streets, and most people have already taken down their Christmas lights. I decided to leave our lights up until the COVID-19 lockdown is over, a little light and joy in these darker times. It is colder than I thought, but I have space to walk around and be warm.

Tomorrow is the day that the city will pick up our Christmas trees. I look around and see various types of pine trees, which brought us so much joy in the past weeks, lining the still snowy streets. Once covered with lights, ornaments, tinsel, they are ready to become firewood or mulch. The clear sign that the cherished holiday period is now over, and winter will get stronger before the warm spring starts.

Suddenly, the Jimmy Hendrix song: All Along the Watchtower played in my head. While made famous by Hendrix, the text was actually written by Bob Dylan. During this hour of solitude, it seemed appropriate:

There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief
There’s too much confusion
I can’t get no relief
Business men, they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my earth
None will level on the line
Nobody offered his word
Hey, hey
No reason to get excited
The thief, he kindly spoke
There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke
But, uh, but you and I, we’ve been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us stop talkin‘ falsely now
The hour’s getting late, hey
All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went
Barefoot servants, too
Well, uh, outside in the cold distance
A wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching
And the wind began to howl, hey
All along the watchtower
All along the watchtower

My instinct to comfort kicks in and I realize that I am sending the city a virtual embrace. I am wishing the city, all the inhabitants, in fact the world a better 2021. The pandemic has been tough. I have lost people dear to me due to the virus and other reasons this year. I have not made it to my home country to see my family in over a year. Yet, I have also learned to appreciate my husband, daughter, dog, my home and our surroundings more. I have a fantastic family, fields to walk, a garden to play in, friendly neighbors and a nice community. I have re-learned to appreciate the normal things in life, and that will stay with me. As the last chords from Jimmy´s guitar play in my head, I wish us all health and happiness in 2021 and beyond.

Amy Flécher«