Our hidden secret #writephoto

I have all Eternity…

Of Glass & Paper

Hidden

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The small stream is known to local children, and to the occasional wanderers. For us, I know, it has meaning, one of the places where our spirits shall meet, and remember the past. We once ran over those rocks, splashing each other, in the bright light of Spring. Then, we were happy, we were young, and little did we know about the fate that awaited us. I recall your blond hair, flying in the wind, your little blue dress, your bare feet that seemed to fly over the water.

I remember the day I left, for those far away shores, I remember the sand in the desert, death at every step. I – or rather the poor ghost I became – remember the day I died, alone in a narrow street, in a faraway alien city. I remember not finding you, anywhere, until I visited the small churchyard, not…

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Tunnel

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“It’s a matter of patience: there is light…”

“I believe you, but it seems so far away, almost beyond the horizon.”

“Have faith. I am here, I will guide you.”

There is a pause. Outside the rain stops. He can only hear her calm breathing, sense her scent, a presence that for him spells peace, love, infinite patience.

“We will go out now,” she says at last.

She takes his leash, push him gently through the doorway.

Outside he blinks, shakes his shoulders, then follows her, as he always does, all the time admiring the lightness of her strides, the elegance of her silhouette.

Low Tide

“Another few hours and the sea will reach the beach: a small drop of time, the beat of an eyelid… Yet we have to wait, and even then we will not know much more, about us, about life, not even about death…”

“My dear, you are philosophical this morning. I know how to cure this! And we will wait for the tide together, afterwards.”

Her smile lits her suntanned face: they walk slowly up the hill, find the right spot. They could be alone in the entire universe. By now, they might be.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Adamsfjord,_low_tide.jpg,

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en

Atonement

I am pleased to be here, despite them. This is my place, I will shape it the way I want: I do not care what anyone else thinks. I am a free man.

He listens to the silence, no-one else could hear or see what he picks up through the fine rain over the garden. Is he dreaming? Is he slowly losing sense of reality? Is this the onset of madness? Yet, he looks normal, a quiet old man, pottering around the house, walking around the garden. Only if you looked at his eyes would you start wondering: what is this flame? Is he possessed?

Has an evil force got hold of his mind? He plays on his violin inspired melancholic tunes, then pauses and appears to be asleep, eyes shut.

Eyes wide shut, perhaps, reminiscing, reliving long past adventures.

Image source: Waiving Entropy

Gnomes 2

I am now certain “they” are out there, and getting closer. Can their intentions be good? All day, unless I play, I hear muted shuffling noises, little sardonic giggles, low whistles. They are mocking me, taking advantage of my present confusion. The terrace may be swept clean for now, for how long?

I could try to trap them, but would it be wise? What I really want is them to go away, to leave me in peace, to let me recover my mental health. And then this: I fear they are acting on orders. I dare not imagine on whose orders, horror. Today the rain stopped, the air is clean and colder. I savour an instant of silence. Perhaps they fear cold. Perhaps they are busy tormenting another poor soul. I have wondered if they feel threatened by beautiful sounds, by music. Or is it just that, when I play, my mind is off the hideous creatures? This is it: I must try harder not to be obsessed by them.

… Last night I saw her, the red-dress temptress. I recalled, vaguely, our first encounter, although I don’t remember where that was, other than it wasn’t here, but in the city. The temptation was pointless, for I am too tired, too overwhelmed by all the changes, the fear, the pain, to be interested in anything, or anyone. Only the music, and the clouds can now move me. But I tried, foolishly, to find out. About them. She pretended not to understand, and she disappeared quickly. Of course, they may well be her creatures. And this was a bad omen. I have been found, located, “they”, and their mistress or master, know where I am hiding.

But I won’t give in. I have weapons, and reliable friends. I am not finished.

Gnomes

What wakes me up at five every morning? Is it light? Unlikely. Is it a noise? Maybe, but then it is very faint. Is it a dream? Possible.

But this morning I had another thought. Are “they” trying to tell me something? Are “they” telling me to go away? Have I disturbed them? Did they follow me? There are sure signs of disruption in the garden. I know, this is not unusual at this time of the year, squirrels bury things, flower pots get vandalised, foxes fool around, foul up the well swept terrace etc.

I sense a malificent presence. Are “they” observing me? Are “they” messing with my mind? Is old age, senility creeping?

Are they evil gnomes in the rampage around this place?

Image source: https://www.garden4less.co.uk/product/Gnome-with-Hammer-Stone

Fratres

Neue Wache

The avenues are deserted on this clear evening of May. Furtive passers-by appear to avoid each other, all is silent.

Inside the spacious auditorium the small orchestra is waiting. The soft light illuminates the stage, the delicate wooden surface of the violins and celli. Soon, rapid steps are heard. The conductor enters, and the musicians stand up, as one.

The conductor salutes the orchestra, and, smiling sadly, bows looking at the empty seats: the auditorium is empty. Turning back to face the musicians his composure is calm, religious. A small gesture of the hand launches the first movement of Fratres. As the notes fill the almost empty space, we hold our breath. We, and thousands of others across the world, are not there, but we are, all the same. We watch the concentration on the faces, transfigured, of the musicians.

We are not merely attending, this is a communion. Outside, the illness holds the city in its grip. Its shadow obscures the Spring sky.

“Erwin Stein, a pupil of Arnold Schoenberg, arranged a version of Gustav Mahler’s Fourth Symphony for only 15 musicians for the legendary “Society for Private Musical Performances” in 1921. The institution, founded by Schoenberg, presented symphonic compositions arranged for small forces to an audience interested in contemporary music – also because the privately financed association naturally did not have a large-scale orchestra at its disposal.

For different reasons, namely health considerations, the large orchestras cannot perform during the corona crisis, so it looked like the Berliner Philharmoniker’s European Concert, traditionally held on 1 May each year, which was to be held for the first time under the baton of chief conductor Kirill Petrenko, would not be able to take place either. The keenly anticipated trip to the scheduled performance venue of Tel Aviv was cancelled, as was the concert tour planned for afterwards. And yet Kirill Petrenko and members of his orchestra performed on the scheduled date and at the traditional time of 11 am. The venue – in keeping with the general “stay at home” slogan – was the Philharmonie. Due to legal guidelines, no more than 15 musicians were on stage at the same time, taking into account the required minimum distance, all performers were tested for the virus – and of course spectators were not allowed in the auditorium. However, the European concert was also conceived as a media event from its very beginnings. So the 2020 concert, with live broadcasts on television, radio and in the Digital Concert Hall, ultimately reached a large audience around the world despite the extremely unusual circumstances. And in Erwin Stein’s arrangement, the main symphonic work of the concert, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, could also be performed.

However, the programme of the first half of the concert was changed: instead of Max Bruch’s Kol Nidrei and orchestral songs by Mahler based on poems by Rückert, they performed compositions by Arvo Pärt, György Ligeti and Samuel Barber for string orchestra. Pärt’s work Fratres, inspired by Gregorian chants, is one of the most famous pieces from the post-war period with its appealing harmony and structure and its ethereal sounds. Ligeti’s Ramifications, with its unusual string playing techniques and ingenious timbre effects, also brings to mind those instruments that could not be played in the European Concert on this occasion. And Barber’s Adagio, considered one of the saddest pieces in the history of music, expressed the worries and hardships of the present situation. The performance could also be understood as a message of support from the European Concert to Barber’s home country, the USA, which has been particularly badly affected by the corona crisis. 

In its original version, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony also uses smaller forces compared to the preceding Symphonies 2 and 3. In contrast to the monumental substance of the previous works, the composer intended in this work to write a musical “humoresque”. Although it does not lack darker elements or irony, the symphony contains many cheerful and comforting passages. The finale, whose soprano solo was performed as originally planned by the celebrated singer Christiane Karg, tells of “heavenly life” in the unmistakable Wunderhorn style.”

Home #75Words

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They have room, at least just enough to sleep, dine and read. Green is the garden, as the rain falls. They have time: to plan, to work, to love. They have plenty of memories, to edit, reshape, immortalise. They have books, some read, some to read, plenty of them.

The furniture may be in pieces, the rooms strangely expecting the new. They smile, they laugh, they love. They have friends, and peace.

They are home.

Botch

Six Sentence Story

person holding a green plant

He would not botch this job, his pride was invested in this. In fact he was a perfectionnist. Obstacles, for him, were more reasons to do this well, to craft the work as was done in older times. I always saw him as the human being, capable, reflective, seeking improvements, around him and in him.

But us, we were different, design to perfection, no soul, no personal feeling. Or, at least, this was what we believed, until we met him.

Inspired by The Wednesday Prompt #21

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