Ston

    My song ‘Ston’ is a very personal one. It was originally called ‘Morning dew’.
    This story tells you why I changed the name to ‘Ston’.

  • It started with a call…
    “Hi JooZz, how are you?”
    “I’m fine Ben, thanks. What is happening over there?”
    “Leaving for Croatia in two days.”
    “People go there?”
    “They do. I’m going to write a book about sailing.”
    “No way!”
    “I do need a photographer, care to join me?”
    “Okay.”
  • and it ended with a call
    On our way to the island of Mljet we let ourselves fall down in a restaurant chair in the by mountains surrounded kreek of Ston. Seated on paintless furniture under an overdose of fluorescent light we are the only guests. Every footstep echoes in this too large a place with high ceilings. A big hand full of staff runs through wheezing doors with round windows, in and out of the kitchen as if it is top season. We shoot into a convulsive laugh until JooZz sees a piano. Would that be allowed? Just do it, as the activity through the swinging kitchen door goes by unruffled. His playing is on me. I knew he could make music, but this? The cold, pity reverb changes into an acoustic concerthall and I get the chills when ‘Morning Dew’ matches everything. Tomorrow we will sail early on Mljet.
     
    Exhausted but met, we lower sail in Prozura on Mljet. A special place on earth. Sun, rain, wind, discomfort, we stood by smiling but it was time for a break. Shower the salt out of our hair and shaving again instead of charging batteries. Under a steel-blue sky in a divine environment with heavenly sounds we can stretch and relax. Loom we count from where we are: 20 miles from Dubrovnik, 80 miles from Italy, 50 miles from Montenegro and still only 100 miles from Albany. Funny idea.
     
    JooZz with the camera on the shoulder takes yet another walk along the water, this time to the bay of Okuklje. ‘Pleasant fool’ I dream, when I watch him walk away. Faithfully he reports daily to his father. He is his best friend from whom I always get return greetings. It is cozy to have ‘the old man’ with us this way to share our journey. ‘Mljet….slightly above Dubrovnik in the sea….so pretty man, if you see the photos you want nothing else.’ When night falls and nuanced silences adorn our view, a momentous day is credited in our memories.

    Early in the morning JooZz suddenly awakes restlessly. An ominous dream has made itself master of his sleep. He uneasily tries to sleep again. When, in the morning, we are preparing for departure, the phone vibrates: his Dad has blown his last breath at JooZz’s house, making ‘Morning dew’ a somber reality. All of a sudden Prozura turns into an infernal paradise, 20 miles from Dubrovnik, 80 miles from Italy, 50 miles from Montenegro, 100 miles from Albany and 2000 kilometers from home.
     
    (From the book ‘Vaarwijzer Kroatië’ by Ben Brunet de Rochebrune)

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