“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.
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?
Extracts taken from :
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