Lost to the World…

St. Kevin & the Blackbird
Oil on panel
12 by 12 inches

This is how I have been feeling of late.

Lost, ill at ease, not of my own society, but not unhappy. In fact delighted and productive.

 I am seeing an analyst ( a Jungian, and such a fine match) who has been acting as my Charon in the Underworld of my existential ambivalence. One of the loveliest aspects of my treatment is his frequently suggesting  music, literature and poetry (frequently German and French) that might shine light on my shadow inked  path.  Touchstones that he thinks will resonate with me.

And they do.

Charon
Attic
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK

He recently sent me a link to Mahler’s Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen performed by Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau. It was extraordinary and I needed to share in gratitude.

By Friedrich Ruckert, set to music by
Gustav Mahler. One of Mahler’s 5 “Ruckert
Songs.

Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,
Mit der ich sonst viele Zeit verdorben,
Sie hat so lange nichts von mir vernommen,
Sie mag wohl glauben, ich sei gestorben!

Es ist mir auch gar nichts daran gelegen,
Ob sie mich für gestorben hält,
Ich kann auch gar nichts sagen dagegen,
Denn wirklich bin ich gestorben der Welt.

Ich bin gestorben dem Weltgetümmel,
Und ruh’ in einem stillen Gebiet!
Ich leb’ allein in meinem Himmel,
In meinem Lieben, in meinem Lied!

==== English translation by Emily Ezust ====

I am lost to the world
with which I used to waste so much time,
It has heard nothing from me for so long
that it may very well believe that I am dead!

It is of no consequence to me
Whether it thinks me dead;
I cannot deny it,
for I really am dead to the world.

I am dead to the world’s tumult,
And I rest in a quiet realm!
I live alone in my heaven,
In my love and in my song!

 

Such terrible beauty.

My doctor also suggested I read Mary Oliver’s reflection upon Mahler’s magnificent Lied.

Ich Bin Der Welt Abhanden Gekommen
by Mary Oliver, from the House of Light

Today is
Gustav Mahler’s
birthday, and
as usual I went out

early into the sea-green
morning where the birds
were singing,
all over but mostly

at the scalloped edges
of the ponds
and in the branches of the trees,
which flared out and down,

like the clothes of our spirits
patiently waiting.
For hours I wandered
over the fields

and thinly thing that kept me company
was a song,
it glided along
 with my delicious dark happiness,

my heavy
bristling and aching delight
at the world
which has been like this

forever and forever-
the leaves,
the birds, the ponds,
the loneliness,

and, sometimes,
from a lifetime ago
and another country
such a willing and lilting companion –

a song
made so obviously for me.
At what unknowable cost
And by a stranger.

(I copied this by hand, trusting I made no errors).

Link to book:

http:/https://books.google.com/books?id=MwVgdA0WynkC&pg=PT25&lpg=PT25&dq=Mary+Oliver+ich+bin+der+welt&source=bl&ots=X7iRPjbSGm&sig=9dyMvHbYctqQl9na1rys5f3T9Dk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwisnf-msKfZAhUliOAKHb7rAG0Q6AEIOTAC#v=onepage&q=Mary%20Oliver%20ich%20bin%20der%20welt&f=false

With that , I leave you to live in your song.

Author: babylonbaroque

I am a painter and printmaker working towards creating a body of work that reflects my own developing aesthetic. New work ,first link. The second link is an on-line portfolio.

4 thoughts on “Lost to the World…”

  1. I too feel this angst. Thank you for sharing this. I could feel as I listened that this poem, this song, is a love story also to the self. Time lost but realized and the acceptance of what we are . We are beings In a world where rules can strangle and don’t always work and I am thankful for the gray. And I am truly thankful that you are in the universe .

    1. They are difficult. Difficult to acknowledge yet solace is found in knowing they aren’t singular. The retreat from worldly “tumult” ,to quote the poem, can be as simple as an intention or as complete as sealing off an anchorite. How does one balance that ? I struggle.
      So pleased you found something admirable in the post.
      Gratitude to you my friend,
      LG

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