I am tired and a bit melancholic. The Duden Lexicon of Foreign Words explains it as “Melancholie, die; Schwermut, Trübsinn”, what I find in my dictionary translated with “gloom, doldrums”, also an interesting sounding and to me unknown word – “megrim” – is listed.
The 1963 Fremdwörterlexikon explains melancholia (Ger., Eng.) as “vorübergehende oder dauernde Herabgestimmtheit des Lebensgefühls”, how would you translate this? A down-toned attitude towards life? Toned in shades of bluishgrey?
It is difficult to motivate myself these days. I have to write and research, literature has to be analysed, and of course ten useless books create an eleventh useless one – here no book, but a kind of essay or evaluation. I am over time. And I did not receive the promised advance payment, it was my customer’s idea and I happily agreed, but there is always the bureaucracy.
I am no friend of February, I have no good recollections of this month. It is an “in between”, undecided, still winter not yet spring.
Spring has another light, the air becomes clear. The sky is of a special and unique blue, in sharp contrast to the pure white clouds, they hurt the eyes. Large puddles of water stand in meadows; small streams, becks?, are filled with cold water and step out, over their boundaries, over night they become strong and dangerous, luring, glittering, tempting and inviting; water is not silent, it creates its own silence by small sounds, dripping and gurgling, a distant rush; clear and cold it streams, no place to sit, avoid wet trousers, they become heavy. The stream, it is a being of its own right, to be respected.Now and then it demands a sacrifice.
In March, not yet. Now its dirty grey heaps of snow rotting away in the streets; cold wind; and everybody wants it to be over.
At least some heart warming music.
… there is nothing much to say. Sunday afternoon I spent at a meeting organized by students – some of them I knew from my seminars – discussing about our science; felt honoured to be invited. Monday session was fair, today I saw Dr. B. and we worked for two hours on a text, amazing when one considers his very high age and the fact that he is currently in a kind of home, but “no worries”, he’ll return in his house in some days.
Maybe I become misanthropic, I don’t know. Sometimes I’d like to turn around and vanish. If I win in the lottery tomorrow I will search and find a house on the countryside with a lot of land around it.
Hans Blumenberg was right (obituary). He followed Minerva’s owl. Or as Tucholsky once put it: “Sprechen – schreiben – schweigen”.
… there’s not much I’d have to say.
In fact, nothing.
I am sorry Portia, Proxima, Savannah. Is that an invitation, Amanda dearest?
This Axe-man chap wants me to do a meam. I can’t count to six. What describes me best now is the text of “Peoria” by King Crimson: Go for the life-version on “Earthbound”, track two on side one. If you want to listen to this noise from 1972 (10th of March, recorded in Peoria), be sure to be in the right mood … hear it loud, be drunk and don’t give a damn.
The six word memoir could be:
“It makes no difference”, “what you think about me”, “BUT”, “it makes a whole lot a difference”, “what I think about” “you”.
In the end there is nothing left but hope. All human beings without exception, do live because of hope. The human condition, the existential conditio humana, is loneliness and the experience of being solitary: alone you face the abyss, nobody else takes the decision, it’s me. Maybe I do not like this “me”, but I have no other. Better understand “me” and work with it. The alternative is living in an institution, fremdbestimmt*.
Hope is a promise and needs future, the unknown coming. In the middle of life you realize that future gets smaller – “easy to grasp” my dictionaire calls that, “überschaubar” is the German expression: you can see or at least sense the end. You realize that it is limited. That is all we are allowed to know. Everything else is belief, faith, maybe philosophy … Hope is not comfort, consolatio, the word shares it’s root with “to hop”, “hüpfen”, maybe a good party would do. Con-solatio originally is the togetherness of solitudes, Einsamkeiten, means to overcome loneliness. For a time.
* Can not translate this, too much to be explained.