Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bald, Jüngling, oder nie

Out the window to my left, snow quietly accumulates on the green roof of the Staatsoper. The sounds from the Kärtnerstrasse below are muffled and slushy, and you imagine you can get the scent of the fresh snow even from this side of the double-paned windows. Through the doors and walls float the morning's collection of notes and characters: a determined noblewoman, a party animal, a grieving father, the birdcatcher, the messenger, the princess. On the piano are the collection of notes for later today, Mozart and da Ponte, some for the shallow end of the pool with a beginning conservatory class and some for the big boys and girls upstairs. In my mind is the usual collection of joys and irritations, little hooks to hang my mind on, insubstantial, fascinating, meaningless and dear.

If these collected thoughts and sounds are gathered together, they have just substance enough to push other fragmented images into the darkest corners, nearly out of sight. Tired travelers making the walk from the cramped plane to the carousel, all those eyes scanning for familiar suitcases packed with shirts and shoes, books, watches, gifts, all those waiting with plans, work to do, children to embrace, dinners to eat, wrongs to right. How many times have I - no, how many times have we all - no, no, no.

A shameless, helpless plunge back into work: hiding from the world? helping it? Everybody keeps practicing.

Mi portasse una speranza di cangiar l'ingrato cor.
I'm strong, and I know it, and I'll stay strong, and that's all, and that's enough.
Dich leitet Lieb' und Tugend nicht.

Across the street, the white roofs of Vienna match the clouds exactly. The whole town seems attached directly to a cold, unblinking sky.


peace to Moscow and all places suffering from fear and violence

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