Monday, 14 December 2009

Conquering the wasteland

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible. -Vladimir Nabokov, (1899-1977)

Quoting Nabokov makes me feel better this morning. Not that I'm deliberately boycotting this blog, it's just that my exhibition took all my energy this autumn and my chorus was also part of the big picture. I hope to do some writing over Christmas, when the world is quiet.....

Ten years ago I wrote some lines over the New Year period. How time flies! I was alone, as usual, and homesick, as usual. Homesickness is really incurable, but writing usually supresses it.

The Turn of the Millenium

December 31st 1999

There will be no more Mondays for me,
For I will be sitting in the apple tree,
And watching the way I used to watch.

There will be no more Tuesdays for me,
For I will be standing on the sandy shore,
And singing the songs I used to sing.

There will be no more Wednesdays for me,
For I will be walking through the woods,
And kissing the friends I used to kiss.

There will be no more Thursdays for me,
For I will be listening to symphonies,
And shedding the tears I used to shed.

There will be no more Fridays for me,
For I will be climbing the highest hills,
And treading the paths I used to tread.

There will be no more Saturdays for me,
For I will be whispering in the dark,
And telling the secrets I used to tell.

There will be no more Sundays for me,
For all is silent and still and peace,
And I am in the place where I want to be.

January 1st 2000

And now the infant epoch is born at last.
We have shed a tear for times of yore,
A droplet of mourning for tyranny and treachery.
Some have even promised to do better this time.

As midnight crept across the earth,
The sky was shot with a myriad of coloured stars
That almost eclipsed the heavenly ones.
But not quite, and only for a moment.

The silver stars that glimmer on cloudless nights
Were there before the age of man began,
And will be there when all our millenniums,
And all our centuries,
And all our Januarys have gone, forever
Lost in the myriad of stars we did not create.

January 2nd 2000

The party is over.
The streets are empty,
But the echoes of a thousand cheers
Can still be heard.

Nobody was invited,
But nearly everybody came.
Anticipation drove them here
To see what there would be to see,
To drink and laugh,
And pass the time of night.

I came, too.
I came alone, my footsteps hurrying and
“Don’t be late” upon my lips.
But late for what?

Unrecognized, I passed along,
My voice unheard above the deafening screech
Of pop music, artificially merry,
Crying out the turn of the year, century, millennium,
With all its legacy of guilt and misery.

A new beginning for all?
Another chance for me?

After the fireworks I turned my steps toward home.
Where did all the coloured stars come from?
Where did they go?
There is no moon, and not one of the silver heavenly stars is visible.
They are hiding behind the saturated clouds,
And I am hiding behind a mask of obligatory jollity.

I have survived.
We have all survived to tell this tale.

January 3rd 2000

I have seen the light
As bright as day and brighter,
But the darkness is brighter still.
Creating creation,
Burning manmade light and shade
For ever entwined.
I try to remember the new years of long ago,
When we raised our china teacups
And made our resolutions,
Solemnly discarded our shortcomings,
And vowed to keep our promises.
Each new beginning was but another ending.
Had I known then what I know now,
I would have treasured those endings more.
But fate decrees that I cannot revive them.
I only know that time cannot stand still
And did not stand still in those days, either.
But instead thrust me from that life into this one,
And will go on thrusting me forward.
There never was a turning back.
In the past lies the future.
Present and past give birth to that future,
But cannot nurture it.

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