Friday, July 10, 2009

when peering into a tremendous ocean overhead...

cdv horn player circa 1890

... the clouds flew low and fast, and when he looked up, he felt he was peering into a tremendous ocean overhead, streaming above the earth.

now the earth was an isolated marble for him, sapphire-blue and streaked with white in the blackness of the universe, a tiny particle floating in the void – as he had seen in color photographs. this picture of the earth was not something he had in daily life. usually the earth was the school building, the fish ponds, a mood of the sky that he wrote down in a notebook... no, not even these things, it was made up only of things that were taken for granted. the most usual and normal, the most humdrum things, which were repeated a thousand times, so that he didn’t even register them anymore – that was the earth. from far away it was something that seemed like his conception of life: something wondrous, mysterious. but the closer he came to this life, the more it dissolved into details, into tiny things, through repetition. life was a vegetative thing, just as the earth was nothing special in the universe, a triviality. he rode the train and noticed he was thinking about the earth as though it were an alien star, so remote in the infinity of space that he could not tell it was inhabited by human beings, as though he himself were living not on it but outside of it. he felt as if he had fallen from the earth. it was an oceanic feeling of loneliness.”

gerhard roth, winterreise

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Blogger Elizabeth Garvey said...


6:16 AM  

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