Death and Transfiguration

IMG_0396[1]All Rights Reserved © mmartel∞


“All questions that do justice to the subject are themselves bridges to their own answering.”


In this singular sentence by Martin Heidegger, comes a glimpse that death may not be what it seems…the complexity and simplicity of death and its realms to understanding its meaning.  Perhaps it is, that it is so internalized and personal to each and every own…that one cannot simply come to an understanding, until they arrive at it.  That is to say, that until you are faced with the reality of death as existence…life and death purpose are mere words in abstraction.Merely effigies to an abysmal meaning.  It is only in the darkness that one can know what is light.  And in the brightness, man inquired shelter to fathom the dark.  But it is in the neutrality of neither light or dark…that one begins to grapple in that which is the direction of either.  Simply, representations of soul that cannot otherwise be expressed without the understanding of what it truly means to be and to exist.

Richard Strauss attempted in his tone poem “Death and Transfiguration”.  To surmise in principle, this journey through man…following the path to death.  The beginning, the middle, the end.  All relative to his own property in his apparent existence to death.  The ever changing exploration and polarization of death and what it is to be alive.  
In his words:
“It was six years ago that it occurred to me to present in the form of a tone poem the dying hours
of a man who had striven towards the highest idealist aims, maybe indeed those of an artist. The
sick man lies in bed, asleep, with heavy irregular breathing; friendly dreams conjure a smile on
the features of the deeply suffering man; he wakes up; he is once more racked with horrible
agonies; his limbs shake with fever—as the attack passes and the pains leave off, his thoughts
wander through his past life; his childhood passes before him, the time of his youth with its
strivings and passions and then, as the pains already begin to return, there appears to him the
fruit of his life’s path, the conception, the ideal which he has sought to realize, to present
artistically, but which he has not been able to complete, since it is not for man to be able to
accomplish such things. The hour of death approaches, the soul leaves the body in order to find
gloriously achieved in everlasting space those things which could not be fulfilled here below.”
Richard Strauss

In 1948, near the end of the composers life, he wrote a song called Im Abendrot (sunset) using a text by Joseph von Eichendorff (below). This song describes the end of a long tiring day, but the last five words (in German) reshape the meaning by asking the question “Is this perhaps death?”


Wir sind durch Not und Freude
gegangen Hand in Hand;
vom Wandern ruhen wir beide
nun überm stillen Land.Rings sich die Täler neigen,
es dunkelt schon die Luft.
Zwei Lerchen nur noch steigen
nachträumend in den Duft.Tritt her und lass sie schwirren,
bald ist es Schlafenszeit.
Dass wir uns nicht verirren
in dieser Einsamkeit.O weiter, stiller Friede!
So tief im Abendrot.
Wie sind wir wandermüde–
Ist dies etwa der Tod?
Through sorrow and joy
we have gone hand in hand;
from our wanderings, we will rest
in this quiet land.Around us, the valleys bow,
the air is now darkening.
Only two larks soar upwards
dreamily into the haze.Come close, and let them twitter,
soon it will be time for sleep –
so that we don’t get lost
in this solitude.O vast, tranquil peace,
so deep in the sunset!
How weary we are of wandering–
Is this perhaps death?
At this moment in the music, Strauss reaches back sixty years and quotes the resurrection theme from Tod und Verklärung as an answer to the question. As he lay on his deathbed in 1949, Strauss told his daughter-in-law that “dying is just the way I composed it in Tod und Verklärung.” This certainty is what makes Tod und Verklärung so meaningful and poignant today.


This piece could actually be thought of as a metaphorical speaking on human (being), the stains that become you, that are left behind and why damage can be an essential part of something beautiful in its truest sense. Shaping the truest form of beauty.  In this day…this metaphor has been confused as being something attainable for most. Finding the beauty and truth in damage.  Though for most, damage is simply solely that…damage.  It is neither true, nor beautiful.  It contains no inherent meaning.  Neither to its owner, or in the stains it leaves behind. Only leaving a contaminated world, with ever growing confusion in its clouded wake. Damage is inevitable.  Damage is change.  Change is damage.  This is ever clear from the synthesis of youth into adulthood.  Change must happen.  Damage must happen. It is what and how this damage is preserved and molded, that speaks to how much change will alter one’s existence or stain.

Perhaps on a minuscule scale…this is why the world has become inherently blackened and demoralized in a meaningless sense and text.  Damage serves its purpose, only as far as one can erase or replace its stain…with the inherent meaning of a purpose not only for those who leave it, but for those who will encounter it…again and again throughout time and history.  It is the constant encounter of the self, its damage and its essential need for self- preservation.


“Custodians and owners of old books will sometimes have to make tough decisions. They want their books to be used – why else would they have them? – yet they also want them to be preserved for the future as well. In the case of manuscripts and early printed books, the materials themselves are old and often fragile, and part of the textblock or binding may have come apart. While in most cases it would technically be possible to repair the damage, this is not always the best option for the book or the user. Instead, a conservation specialist may advise to simply box a book and not treat it at all, or propose minor treatment and consolidation only of the fragile state. Is that a result of sparse conservation budgets, or can there be other reasons?”


Please read on…

“To conserve or not to conserve, that is the question”



All Rights Reserved © mmartel∞



Midday Respite


Kein Hauch in kühler Luft
Zur Abendzeit sich regt
Schwarz glänzt der See im Dämmerlicht
Seit Stunden unbewegt
Nur eine Welle noch
Zerfließt ans Ufer schlägt
Der Stille unbeflecktes Tuch
Sich auf das Wasser legt
Die Nacht beginnt sie wirkt
Geheimnisvoll vertraut
Und wie ein Auge tränenfeucht
Der See zum Himmel schaut


Not a single breath in the cold air
Stirs in this evening hour
Black glistens the lake in the half-light,
Since hours unruffled
Only a single wave still
Runs along the shore, smashing
The spotless cloth of silence
Lays itself down on the water
The night begins, it seems
Mysterious, familiar
And as an eye wet with tears,
The lake looks up into the sky

A Decent Man


The fear of appearances is the first symptom of impotence.

Because, first of all, I am at fault for being more intelligent than anyone around me. (I’ve always considered myself more intelligent than anyone around me, and, would you believe me, I’ve sometimes even felt embarrassed by it. At any rate, I’ve always somehow looked sideways and could never look people straight in the eye.)

It was sheer torture, a continuous intolerable sense of humiliation at the idea, which turned out to be a constant and direct feeling, that I was nothing but a fly before all that fine society, a revolting, obscene fly – more intelligent, more cultivated, nobler than anyone else, that went without saying, but a fly nonetheless, forever yielding the way to everyone, humiliated and insulted by everyone.

A cultivated and decent man cannot be vain without setting a fearfully high standard for himself, and without despising and almost hating himself at certain moments.

Every man has some reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone, but only to his friends. He has others which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But finally there are still others which a man is even afraid to tell himself, and every decent man has a considerable number of such things stored away. That is, one can even say that the more decent he is, the greater the number of such things in his mind.


“If everything on earth were rational, nothing would ever happen.” …So much for politics…



“Intellectualism is a sort of psychological disorder whose main symptom is an inability to combine one’s intellectualizing with the work of one’s emotional and physical centers. The result is a hollow being who uses big words and fancy concepts to camouflage a profound fecklessness. We can only be whole beings if we find ways to combine the work of our three centers—intellectual, emotional and physical—in a harmonious way. Ignore any one of them, and what you have is a slightly crippled being; ignore two, and what you have is an invalid.”

“The conservatives are fools: they whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can’t make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.”

“Ted didn’t say it, but I will: both ends of the political spectrum, and all points in between, are merely projections of the technosphere. The political parties are social machines, and different mechanized political tasks call for different kinds of machinery.”


Please continue reading this brilliant article and blog (comment sections are great as well):


…and whilst you are at it…a bit of historical revisionism is in check for the “Mr. Ted”.  Don’t just gobble up the news turkey-heads…there is more than can only be encountered on a shiny, hand-fed surface. Inform yourself before you can even begin to wrap your head around any kind of truth. Hunt for the lot… your brain is niente(anything and nothing). The truth may one day grace you with its beautiful appearance, but it will be far too late to undo your laziness. :

Click to access kaczynski2.pdf

A Nighttime Companion of Solitude


For those whom wile away time as a seller…

For those whom are mistaken, in their very own duplicity.

Thou art the most colossal of fools…


For those whom lead us astray…

Leading us in guile, the perchance in a true name

Thou art drowning in your own self-ridicule.

Thou art the truest of fools….


For those whom believe leading in an unbending path for freedom…

 Will somehow realize your own value,

Thou art forging your own path of demise.

Thou art the creator of naught…

and naught shall become you.


Go Eat yourself.

You are devouring your own rotten flesh.






Space Love


In the space of earth and other fleshly love…there is a divide that one cannot discern.  It is in this sweeping expanse, that limits find their un-boundedness.

If earth is not space and love is not of the flesh…the divide does there exist.  The expanse will uncover and therein lies a hint of its possibility.

If earth is space and love is of the flesh…the divide simply is itself.  The expanse still present, the un-boundedness of different plane.

If love is of another in the constancy of space…the divide constantly repeats itself, the love is ever present.

If earth cannot be of space…constancy still expands.  The divide begins to reveal itself, as earth moves towards un-space.

In the space that is flesh…love is of the earth and if the earth is a divide, flesh inhabits an expanse not bounded in ordinary plane.

If love is a divide and the earth inhabits this space…the divide becomes ever wider, the plane of ordinary existence becomes unbounded.

If existence is unbounded and ever inhabiting its earthly space…time eternally repeats itself and love cannot be of the flesh.


∞ Dedicated to those whom search in true diligence, with an ever-increasing strength in the divide…for that which cannot be found. Yet remain ever equal and true in that of unboundedness, which is existence. ∞


All Rights Reserved © mmartel∞

Will…The Valiant Tread Here No More: Piece III (“Exhaust Inhibits”)



Dejected fire, when exhaust inhibits

Ravenous desire,  soiled with self-service.

You whom have wiled away your soul for the faintest of reason…

You whom have wiled away your will.

Nuturing eternal impotence,

could you face your seeded self-treason?


Dejected fire, when exhaust inhibits

Ravenous desire, absolute void…

furthest of the far,

undeviating in-ablity to preserve us.

You whom have winnowed your worth, for the airs of false beauty

You whom consign your trust,

bereft of each and every authentic duty.


Dejected fire, when exhaust inhibits

Ravenous desire, draped in idle self-will

Will you only have the worth, worthless to submerge us?

You whom are wallower in your martyr pool of self-pity.

You whom consider honesty is a given…

Fool of greatest fall.

Wallow in your undying and boundless,

pitiful prison.


Dejected fire, when exhaust inhibits

Ravenous desire, coward of endless debt…

payment in debased courage…

your Lilliputian heart, grows evermore timid.

You cannot ever find truest perception

lying in deep pools of shallow depth.

Whence you cannot feel what it is to die for…

to live mired in worthless meaning in greatest breadth.


To be alive is a bestowing simply for the fervent and rugged…

but whence exhaust inhibits,

Death in ravenous desire,

let it be… your only conciliate.



All Rights Reserved © mmartel∞