Sunday, August 08, 2010

Bildung I

Schwarze Röcke, seidne Strümpfe,
Weiße höfliche Manschetten,
Sanfte Reden, Embrassieren –
Ach, wenn sie nur Herzen hätten!

Herzen in der Brust, und Liebe,
Warme Liebe in dem Herzen –
Ach, mich tötet ihr Gesinge
Von erlognen Liebesschmerzen.

Auf die Berge will ich steigen,
Wo die frommen Hütten stehen,
Wo die Brust sich frei erschließet,
Und die freien Lüfte wehen.

Auf die Berge will ich steigen,
Wo die dunkeln Tannen ragen,
Bäche rauschen, Vögel singen,
Und die stolzen Wolken jagen.

Lebet wohl, ihr glatten Säle!
Glatte Herren! glatte Frauen!
Auf die Berge will ich steigen,
Lachend auf euch niederschauen.

I had said I was going to post more this month while in Germany, but the motivation I thought would magically appear never came.

I have been very busy since arriving. I'm in class, and desperately trying to finish up some work that was supposed to have been done before I left, but which, for many reasons, remained unfinished at the time of my departure.

That things remain unfinished could be my epitaph, for this blog, and for my life over the past 5 years. This can be a good thing, and in the case of my son, who is as yet "unfinished", it is indeed delightful.

I have tried to be very careful about writing about "my life" on this blog and my life. The main reason for this has been professional, but walking a fine line between concealment and disclosure lent itself to a playful distancing which suited me just fine. I could talk about "my life" comfortably, while leaving my life somewhat untouched.

However, the reality is that in playing this role, it gets harder and harder to write when the day-to-day of one's life so completely consumes you that the idea of writing anything, be it a blog post, an essay or an e-mail to a friend for coffee, becomes too much to bear. Suffice to say that my life has become nearly unwritable under the terms I've tried hard to write under. More clearly, I have had a really, really awful year.

And unfortunately, I am nothing like Kafka, for whom writing became an escape from the pain he felt about himself and the world around him. Or maybe I should say, it is no longer an escape.

So I am sorry that this "vacation" post from Germany begins on such a sour note, but it would seem strange to pretend that all those things are not in the background and stopping me from writing. I am hoping instead that by writing with this out there, it will be easier for me to write about the good things, like the fact that I find Goettingen very charming, and the university a very nice place to hurriedly finish something that should have been done long ago but for which there was very little space in my world to get to.

The same could be said for blogging - work and my personal situation (I leave what that might entail as an exercise to the reader, except for those readers who already know, or who think they know but don't) have made it difficult for me to enjoy the things I, uh, enjoy doing, like writing on this blog and reading German literature.

Am I blaming these things for my misery? Well yes! Am I absolving myself of any responsibility? Well no! But all this weighs upon me nevertheless.

Ok, enough. The next post will be more interesting and less personal, or more personal and more interesting. Hopefully.