A couple of weekends ago my friend Hope and I went to the local college's end of semester orchestral performance. It was really good! It was a smaller ensemble, but the music they chose was really fun and beautiful. They had a guest singer perform with them. He sang musical selections from Gustav Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer. They kindly thought to add the English translation of the music in the program so I was able to read along while he was singing in German. The music was very sad and dramatic...about a man who loved a woman who was marrying someone else. It was very operatic, so of course it had to be sad, right?
Anyway, this performance happened at the end of a very busy, exhausting, and incredibly emotional week for me and somehow the music and lyrics were perfectly cathartic!
And then, in the sunshine, the world suddenly began to glitter;
everything gained sound and color in the sunshine!
Flower and bird, great and small! "Good day, is it not a fine world?
Hey, isn't it? A fair world?"
Now surely my happiness also begins?! No! No! What I love can never bloom for me!
And how about this part from Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit mach:
Do not sing; do not bloom! Spring is over. All singing must now be done.
At night when I go to sleep, I think of my sorrow!
I mean, that's exactly how I felt about all the snow we were getting and the realization that it was just going to get worse as the months continue!
And this line from Die zwei blauen Augen voo meinem Schatz
To me no one bade farewell. Farewell! My companions are love and sorrow!
Anyway, this guy Mahler was incredibly poetic and somehow he managed to write the music of my soul and the lyrics of my heart for that particular week. Maybe he was more dramatic than I am and no one I love is marrying anyone else and causing me to have a broken heart. I just was feeling particularly sick, tired, emotional and lonely that week and the sad and lonely undertones of his lyrics combined with the beauty of the way they were written and accompanied by such beautiful music really resonated with me. That even in the middle of difficult times there is so much beauty around me in harsh but beautiful winter landscapes, beautiful and expressive words, and melancholy melodies. After the performance my friend and I went to a local coffee shop and caught up for a bit and that too was perfectly encouraging and rejuvenating. I realized that in the midst of my self absorption and pity parties I am so very blessed.
I used to think life was mostly happy with a bit of tragedy thrown in. I was so sheltered and I realize that my earliest memories felt so safe and secure and that for the most part I was a happy child. As I got older I dealt with a lot of anxiety and even depression and wondered when happy times would return or if they would ever return. Now, I think both exist together. "My companions are love and sorrow." The two are always together in some way. But maybe they need each other to grow us up. And maybe together they create something beautiful. Maybe life is always sorrowful but that love redeems it and makes it into something beautiful in the end. A few years ago I wrote a poem that talked about beauty and sorrow going hand in hand. Maybe that's why it resonated with me so much.
Also, I wish I was a real poet and I wish I could sing!