Sunday Music

Here I sit in my dusty and cold book repository. Dusty because I simply did not get meself to hoover the rooms for some time, what I regret now, because I do not want to have silly small “things” on the soles of my feet when I go to bed. Cold because I switched off the heating sometime last week when it became over 15° C and more outside, I forgot to turn that thing on again. Over the next days we will see the temperature drop to the freezing point again. I felt pretty cold & damp when I came back home this evening. Of course I had been travelling to Suebia again.
A quick glance in the fridge showed me cold white emptiness, such must be Canada on a bad day. With the notable exception of a piece of cheese that was heroically stinking against all and everything – I never thought that a piece of run-of-the-mill-brie would develop such a personality.
Among tons of nonsensical emails was one that made all too much sense. My old professor sent me the draft for an obituary on his colleague. We came in contact some weeks ago since he had recovered from a severe illness, and this necrology is overdue.
I studied under the deceased, and now helped to piece together this part of the institute’s history, name old colleagues etc. And en passant opened a can of worms of memories. Memories I do not want to have, things I want to forget, images of persons I am not in contact with anymore, and – GOd ! – a long list of people I knew and who already have died.
Sometime in this week I will walk over to the institute and simply drop by. There is a new head now, a new ruler, I do not know much about her. I only hope that she wants to stay, and make the whole operation her own, regardless of her scientific or philosophical position – these are things to be discussed – , but what the whole thing needs is another long streak of continuity. As it was under my old prof for 25 years, and his predecessor for nearly the same long stretch. After the master’s retirement people came and went, it was no good.
In one case I went out in anger, literally fuming, I made no secret about my feelings. Not that this had any “impact”, I never was in a position to have any “impact”. But … well … The guy, who caused this, already drunk himself to death. Again successors fumbled on and off : It is time for a new Queen Now !
And no – I am not speculating on a position at the new court, seriously not !
Madame scientia (pretty much like her sister fortuna) is a damn – insert your curse word of choice for an alcoholic lady with dubious moral settings. I learned some time ago that I am not fit for this. “This is what losers say” you may mumble, and perhaps you are right. But honestly, the kind of infight I watched among “civilised” people in academia was enough to drive me away. I do not regret this, even when the other things I tried were not as successful as I had wished and hoped for.
What counts even more : The university I studied at, and where the seniorissimus and the deceased were employed at and spent their academic lives – this university is dead. After 1989 something happened here – I speak about the Western Germany university, even the whole educational system. The whole system changed.
It is not precisely explained with the slogan “Bologna Process” and what is connected with this, it is more. I have only a faint idea about this, and I seriously do not want to think about it now. It may be connected to my observation that I’m kinda “out of time” now, I do not fit in any more. In earlier times I could vanish in the herd, simply go unseen, this is nowadays at least more complicated than it was. But there is always the possibility that I am just plainly mad.
Anyway, the obit the seniorissimus sent me needs some touches – some wording & phrases are too strong. There shines something through I’d not want to be shown. Of course I know that he never shied away from confrontation, but I also liked the man who brought me into this science, and under whose guidance I finally reached my academic grade. And yes, I am proud of this grade.
It is an irony of history that a) nobody nowadays really knows what this grade means (hey, after all i received an official document from the philosophical faculty where they describe what they think of me & what I am possibly capable of, with seal & all !), that b) there is basically just one institute left (this one here !) that still carries the name of the science or field in its name, and that c) a nearly ninety year old man and a bus driver write the obituary of a philosopher who more or less by accident slipped into a unique role at a German university’s institute.

Strange days. Now I’ll gulp down a strange beer, a “Nordic Porter” by Störtebeker (with 9.1 % alcohol), and then fall into my bed. Tomorrow in the not so early ddm* (Copyright by Savannah) it’s job-as-usual. Sooner or later it will be necessary to Break On Through, here in a version by Mark ZITTI e I Fratelli COLTELLI – I hope you enjoy the music. Let’s hope for a quiet and peaceful week. And let me tell you – avoid philosophical faculties, it’s been the ruin of many a good man …




12 thoughts on “Sunday Music

  1. It’s winter that makes us see the end as being so much closer! I am CONVINCED that when we’re feeling cold (and sitting in a dusty room never helps) we only see the dark, never the light! And, Sweet Mary Sunshine, being asked to review/edit an obituary is surely going to bring one’s spirits down! *hugs* I try not to even think about the damndarkmorning on Sunday evening! xoxox

    p.s. I gave up on the music after the singer started! I’m not sure every rock song can be flipped into a swing beat! But, that could just be me! ;) xoxo

  2. I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your teacher and friend. I think death is always harder and sadder in the dark cold of winter. I wish you much peace, serenity, and strength.

    I honestly believe that there is life after death. In a universe as magnificent and wondrous and so beyond our understanding, there exist impossible and fantastic things, like life and miracles and forces we cannot see nor feel yet are all around us. We are made of stars. And to the stars we all return and become suns, the light and warmth necessary for life on other worlds.

    I wish you a good week. I leave you with an Eskimo saying that I take comfort in when I miss the people who’ve passed on:

    “Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”

    I wish you safety and warmth and sunlight for the week.

    P.S. That was a very creative take on a rock classic. I’m impressed at their work. Very well done!

  3. Dear friend,
    I am sorry for the loss of your mentor. If I could, I would share a beer with you and raise a toast to all those special individuals who helped shape us along our life journey.

    But perhaps, you will appreciate that light is better appreciated when set against darkness, life better appreciated when we remember our mortality ….. it helps us focus on what is important in our lives.

    I wish you warmth, love, joy and hope for happy days not yet dawned.

  4. Dear Mr Mago… the Prof seems like a good human being, a rarity, a special person. And he has certainly done well in being remembered by people who care for him. I wish him a good next life.
    Academia seems terrible, I hear horror stories from a friend struggling with her doctorate at a certain university in my country. Maybe after being a senior VP she does not have the thick hide the work demands.

    Thank you for dropping by. That place did find a mention in one of the books I had worked on for translation, the work sadly unpublished.

  5. I advise slippers for those silly small things on the bottom of your feet, keep them on until you are sitting on the bed ready to get in.
    Sorry you have lost your old professor, it’s a hard thing I imagine, I’d be devastated to hear mine had died (but that should be a while yet).
    How was the porter (sounds stronger than I could cope with these days)?
    Wishing you a happy week. X

  6. Of course you are right Savannah, not all songs can be transponded into another genre without problems, and Mr Zitti is surely not Jim Morrison, but he has other qualities.
    Thank you for the hugs, really, i felt a bit … left over.

    Thank you for the kind & encouraging words Eros – and the sunlight even arrived today !

    Thank you for friendly words & beer LGS, both highly appreciated. The sun I mentioned to Eroswings is already warming my back !

    Academia is nowadays really a sharktank – not to say that a generation ago intrigues would have been unknown, surely not. But I think the amount simply doubled. There is a kind of competitive or even agonal aspect now in “studying” that surely was not there when I graced the seminar. At least in the arts, history etc – iura & economics always have been marching to their own drums, there things were different.
    Ah, the unpublished … I hope that more of your work will come out soon Austere !

    Yes, slippers are a solution for the symptoms, but I hoovered and thus solved the problem, dear Eryl.
    The porter was so black, it emulated a black hole in a glass. Incredibly malty, not unpleasant while I had only a small one, but I doubt that I’d like it in a 0.5 l. One was enough for testing. Other products of this brewery will follow soon.

  7. I’m kinda “out of time” now, I do not fit in any more.
    I wrote the exact same thing in my personal journal the other day, and I think Savannah is right – things seem far worse at this time of year.
    I’m sorry for your loss, m’dear.

  8. I think late winter / early spring is the most lethal time of the year, dearest MsScarlet.
    This “not fitting in any more” has two sides, maybe it’s worth to write about it.

  9. I cannot imagine helping to write a friend’s obituary, with the memories that would come flooding in. Good on you for taking on that task, and my condolences on the loss of your friend and mentor.

    I hope you have turned the heat back on, and I also would recommend slippers, both to keep your feet clean, and also warm!

    I much prefer The Doors’ version of that song… somehow this version seems off. Take care and stay warm! And definitely be proud of your grade and all the work you put into earning it.

  10. Your “heroically stinking” brie with “a personality” reminds me of a ripe brie we ‘entertained’ briefly over Christmas. Except that our brie had bypassed personality and gone straight to a brutal thuggishness. Needless to say, it was evicted from Chateau DeVice and inflicted upon the bin men. I hope they and their truck survived…

    Whether or not you “fit” in that academical world now, you certainly fit here. And perhaps a pot or two of early colourful Spring bulbs – daffodils, hyacinths and the like – placed on a cool windowsill in Mago Towers will banish (or at least mask) the Winter Blues until Spring arrives?

  11. It was a little like the proverbial “can of worms”, but now the deed is done, dear Ponita.
    Yes, the version is a bit “off”, as I felt when I chose it. But all good now.

    I could look for a little bunch of flowers, that’s a good idea IDV.

  12. I have been staying with a friend who can’t bear waste. Rootling through her fridge, I found a very small piece of blue cheese, nearly all crust, well past its best and I threw it away. Next day, she was searching for it. I didn’t let on. We found another bit, even older and crustier and I suggested it might have to be chucked out. She wouldn’t, but it was ready to walk off the shelf all by itself.

    When Tim was last away, I bought myself a bunch of tulips and it did make me more cheerful. They lasted a fortnight, too.

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