Friday, April 10, 2009

My Swan Songs

(So They Say)
by Rainer Maria Rilke & Morten Lauridsen

"Abandon entoure d'abandon,
tendresse touchant aux tendresses...
C'est ton interieur qui sans cesse
secaresse, dirait-on;

se caresse en soi-meme
par son propre reflet eclaire
Ainsi tu inventes le theme
du Narcisse exauce."

(English Translation)
"Abandon surrounding abandon,
Tenderness touching tenderness
Your oneness endlessly
Caresses itself, so they say;

Through its own clear reflection.
Thus you invent the theme
of Narcissus fulfilled."

There Will Be Rest
by Sara Teasdale & Frank Ticheli

"There will be rest, and sure stars shining
Over the roof-tops crowned with snow
A reign of rest, serene forgetting,
The music of stillness, holy and low.

I will make this world of my devising
Out of a dream in my lonely mind,
I shall find the crystal of peace; and above me
Stars I shall find."

Calme des Nuits
by Camille Saint-Saens

"Calmes des nuits, fraicheur des soirs,
Vaste scintillement des mondes,
Grand silence des antres noirs
Vous charmez les ames profondes.
L'eclat du soleil, la gaite
Le bruit plaisent aux plus futiles;
Le poete seul est hante
Par l'amour des choses tranquiles."

(English Translation)
"Stillness of the night, cool of the evening,
Vast shimmering of the spheres,
Great silence of black vaults
Deep thinkers delight in you.
The bright sun, merriment,
And noise amuse the more frivolous;
Only the poet is possessed
By the love of quiet things."

The above songs are among my favorites that I have sung in chorales. They have moved me once again even though I am no longer able to sing them with my colleagues. It is not just their melodic harmonies and rhymic nuances, but their lyrics and the meaning they convey for me at this time in my life.

I must now admit that this stint of "blog writing" has been "my process" of letting go and expressing my over-riding interests and concerns in my life and career. It has, for the most part, been narcissistic and self-aggrandizing. It has helped me remember what I've done and what I've believed in. My teaching/learning is not over by any means. I will continue to do both, but I no longer feel the urge or necessity to share about them on the internet in a blog. I wish I could share the full impact of these songs/lyrics by down-loading the actual music in this blog but that is beyond me technically. It is an experiential thing.

"There Will Be Rest" originally moved me as one of our songs for the "Eistedfod"(sp) An Olympics for Choirs in Wales. Now I'm re-examining the meaning in the original poem and what it mean to my life now. Its content is more and more what I seek daily. Rest. I enjoy observing the on-going struggles of "the world", "our nation", "our culture", "our educational institutions" and I just don't have the desire to try to influence it, change it, fight it or comment on it anymore. It is not that I don't care about what seems to be happening, but I just realize that my time(s) have come and gone and I can't do very much about it anymore. I don't even want to. "Que sera, sera." Instead, I seem to enjoy quietness and meditation more and more. I'm not saying that I don't still enjoy "bright sun and merriment with amusing frivolities from time to time. We just celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary in the sun with much merriment and amusing frivolity...but it was at the Huntington Gardens, galleries and Tea Room. We are still very much in love.

So, this is my "Swan Song" for blog posting for now. I might get the urge with another post or two or even a new blog but I think I'm done with this one. This is truly a "Good Friday" for me. RRR

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's another translation by Peter Rutenberg from the CD Album: "Lauridsen - Northwest Journey" cut #2: "Unrestraint overwhelmed with unrestraint, fondness touching fondness...It's your inner-self that never ceases caressing itself, or so they say; caressing itself by its own nature, by its own sparkling reflection. Thus do you forge the image of Narcissus praying." That kind of sums me up, I'm afraid. Is there hope for me? RRR