Saturday, 3 September 2016

In der Fremde (or On German Melancholy)

From the German series Heimat, which coincidentally plays precisely in my birth region
Every pedal stroke brings me closer to the place of my birth.  I will visit the grave of my Great-Grandmother, who only died when I was already 15 years old. Yes, that is also the mother of my 98-year-old Grandma.  This combination just calls for Schumann and remembering the days when Germany was still the Land der Dichter und Denker (The land of Poets and Thinkers) before becoming known as the place of Richter und Henker (Judges and Executioners; Thank you Mr. Duerrenmatt).
Jessye Norman
So at 5 am I sit here in Epernay and I am listening to Jessye Norman singing Schumanns Liederkreis. And the lyrics to In der Fremde bring tears to my eyes, as always.  

But it's not really a yearning for My home.
It is a yearning for A home, for a place of belonging. So far in my life I consider myself fortunate to have found such a state once (because it's NOT really a place), but George died.

So now I am quite content when I take a corner on the bicycle on a warm afternoon and discover a stretch of downhill road into a beautiful green valley.  
And I laugh out loud when the wind rushes past my ears. 
Because in that moment, there is no place more beautiful in the whole world.
And in that brief moment I belong.

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