I am not one of those who believe our lives follow a single line. One’s biography appears more as a ravel of shimmering lines, wound together in a kind of automatic drawing. Chance is not something we possess, more a thing of which we form part. Thus the privilege of the “doodler” is to see that things can prove different to what we had imagined before.

I was born at the end of the Sixties, in the Ruhr area, the industrial steppeland of the “economical miracle”. My parents grew up there with the bombs falling like rain drops. Later on they played on the rubble of the cities. After it was cleared, there was space for we, who came after.

But we had no truck with the traditions of steel and dust; we sought the threads of life in the labyrinth of personal development. Thus I coiled and uncoiled myself. I always had a pretty clear idea of what I didn’t want. Nevertheless, I passed my baccalaureate and went on to study something questionable but worthy. I learnt that one should not strive to become that which already exists. But none of this helped me find my way out of the labyrinth. To the contrary, I became entangled by love and was unexpectedly blown away to the south.

In Catalonia I sat next to the sea and watched how my sons floated ashore with a mermaid. I forgot my mortality and played on the beach for years, allowing my tracks to be covered by the wind and waves. And I remain, still striving to touch the horizon. What a strange idea.