Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Strange, To Wander In The Fog


It's that time of the year. Gray in gray is in fashion again. Where are the greens of spring, the dark yellows of summer and the color splotches of fall. All gone. Disappeared and replaced by different shades of nondescript.

People are hiding inside, deserted are the streets. Even the pooch wants to get in as fast as she's done her business and hibernate on the blanket.
Fortunately these days are rare. Fog can and does happen, but often it is just for a couple of days and then either a front from the north cleans it up, or a cloudy, humid and warm front from the Gulf of Mexico pushes it back to where it came from.

From middle school I remembered that famous poem "In The Fog" by literary Nobel prize winner Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962), he was just 28 years old, when he put these famous lines down. As a teenager I was petrified. My first profound experience with existentialism even though Sartre, Camus and Kafka didn't follow till later on paper and me growing up or trying to, in high school.

But despite the forlorn melancholy in these lines, there is also a certain beauty. It's part of life and s ok to be alone, as every individual is to a certain degree at any certain time. It's not about sucking it up buttercup, it's about embracing and enjoying it. It's only through self evaluation, that me as I am, can take control of my life and try to live it meaningfully.

And as far as I know that tree is still standing there...
Im Nebel

Seltsam, im Nebel zu wandern!
Einsam ist jeder Busch und Stein,
Kein Baum sieht den anderen,
Jeder ist allein.

Voll von Freunden war mir die Welt,
Als noch mein Leben licht war;
Nun, da der Nebel fällt,
Ist keiner mehr sichtbar.

Wahrlich, keiner ist weise,
Der nicht das Dunkel kennt,
Das unentrinnbar und leise
Von allem ihn trennt.

Seltsam, im Nebel zu wandern!
Leben ist Einsamsein.
Kein Mensch kennt den andern,
Jeder ist allein.

In the Fog

Strange, to wander in the fog.
Each bush and stone exists alone,
No tree sees the other,
Each is alone.

My world was full of friends
When my life was filled with light,
Now as the fog descends
None is still to be seen.

Truly there is no wise man
Who does not know the dark
Which quietly and ineluctably 
Separates him from everything else.

Strange, to wander in the fog,
To live is to be alone.
No man knows the next man,
Each is alone.
Sources: Image (Hesse by Jorma Komulainen, Creative Commons), Poem: Hermann Hesse

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