On Nothing

I tried to write a post about something historical, something interesting, just something, but as I pressed and shook the cerebellum, nothing came out. So over the last days I stayed in bed longer than usual, dreaming away.
At different times in my life I had very vivid dreams and got the impression that I actually was living an interesting life when I slept. I recall absolutely no content. Sometimes I even thought that the dreams were connected, that it continued where it stopped when I woke up. Maybe this here, what we call real life, is nothing else but a dream ? Floating through different stages of conscience and / or awakening can be a nice and interesting experience. Bits and parts of ongoing conversations, blurred images that fade or simply vanish ; usually surrounding sounds are the first things of the “real world” I observe, like someone working in the woods or clearing a garden, a distant tractor, dogs barking – after all it is a village where I live. Usually I have the blanket over my head and peeping out, I can imagine looking out of a cave into the big white nothing – the sheets, and my stark nearsightedness helps, of course. Floating in and out for some minutes, even falling asleep again, but at some point it’s over and I have fully arrived ; get up, close window, get coffee.
When I go to bed I read a chapter or two in whatever book I am actually interested in. It is normally late in the night and silent, and while concentrating on the text in front of me other parts of the brain seemingly start whatever they have to do ; maybe a tune comes up, snippets of a distant conversation I do not understand, traffic noise – what was that sentence again ? Switch off the light, pull the blanket over head, and gone.
The days are longer now, but it is cold and will get colder. A bloke I met in the lift today told me that he had to brush snow from his car in Nuremberg this morning.
I can not get a person out of my head, a man I knew in the nineties. He was at least twenty years older than me, in his early fifties then, spending his time in the cafeteria of the philosophical building, translating. He told adventurous stories about his life and times. I am pretty sure that he died in 1999, and keep wondering what happened to his Nachlass. He lived in a hole of a flat in the meanest part of town. As I mentioned he translated, and was working on an anthology of poetry. We seriously discussed words over vending-machine coffee and roll-ups, smoking was still allowed inside the building. The room he lived in was stuffed with papers, manuscripts ; under the roof, not insulated, terribly cold ; I visited him there once, January or February ’99. Last thing I heard, but do not know from whom, was that he had died in an hospital in Frankfurt. If the stories are true – or even if they are not – they should be written down ;  and I should ask some people, look for evidence, traces.
It is a strange time of memories, blurring lines, foggy haze.

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9 thoughts on “On Nothing

  1. I can relate to the stark nearsightedness, the foggines… For the oddest reason I still remember the middleaged man who would at times stand at the same Busshaltestelle early in the morning with me. We were on our way to different workplaces. I was in my early 2Os. The only conversation I remember is when he told me how quick youth goes by. He was right and I often wonder if he is still alive. I hope you find out about your friend.

  2. I hope the fog has cleared MsScarlet. It is not nice inside sometimes ; the fog outside, or the sense that everything is papmpered in cotton wool, silenced, hushed, like it is this evening when the snow suddenly came and blanked out anything, this can be nice. I quite like it even.

    I thank you very much, dear Savannah. You are the kindest person in whole Bloggsville.

    Yeeehaawwh ! Thank you LX !
    Actually I have conversation with Mr. Mueller from Thurgau. He’s a nice chap; a bit on the cheap side sometimes, but reliable and strong.

    I carry this around with me for some time Foam. The death of his wife and the serious illness of his kids de-railed him. He put a lot of effort in his work, whether it was really a “job”, eine Auftragsarbeit, as he told me, or not. I still have some of his self-made pamphlets here ; mostly Aphorismen, Sprüche. Very interesting biography ; right into the middle of German history of the last century. I’d like to see the house he spoke about, in Sweden. And of course, where is the material ? In the end, I guess, it was destroyed when they had to clear his flat.
    I feel guilt ; ich bin ihm was schuldig.

  3. The border between the “real” and the dream world are often blurred for me too. I also recognise that brain-chatter that it seems to do. It’s a difficult thing to silence. Certain types of music work (and certain types of music seem to have the opposite effect–of making my brain talk even more).

    It’s not particularly cold here now, but grey and wet, rain, rain, rain, or wrose–that non-stop drizzle–which makes me even more grateful for any small bit of blue sky during the day.

  4. Most people think of this way to go as the most peaceful : Just sleep, and never wake up again ; just easily slipping away. But I think that this would somehow be not adequate to you, Melanie.

    I gave up on music, on beer also – it stimulates, the chatter becomes endless.
    Ah, Nieselregen, that non-stop drizzle, it comes through any clothes; a bit like walking through clouds all the time. I read somewhere that in some parts of England there is still land under water, for some weeks now; and that more rain is forecast; all this greyness must affect the mood and all – best wishes Looby !

  5. I hope you can trace those pages, how terrible for work to be lost in perpetuity.
    It must be the cold and the weather, being sunlight deprived can do the strangest things to the grey cells.
    Take care, Mago.

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