So it would seem that my posting in November was both terribly accurate and terribly inaccurate. Accurate insofar as it clearly really is always hard to get started writing again after a hiatus, as evidenced by the fact that the posting in November can be referred to as THE posting in November. And further by the fact that it is the only posting in nearly ten months, since my postings centered on the Ring cycle in Seattle in August. The posting is terribly inaccurate insofar as, when I made it, I thought I would be starting to post once more. Clearly, that didn’t happen.
The easy thing to say would be to reiterate what I did in November, that there was very much going on with work and family. And as a consequence, I was in one of those dark, melancholy places like I described in Mood Music.
Indeed, that’s so easy to say, really tells the reader nothing new that I hadn’t planned to do a “why I’ve been gone” posting. I have a posting in mind that I was going to craft (which is coming soon) that brought me back to the blog.
But then, when I was talking about the hiatus with friend Jenny, I realized that the silence on the blog represented more than simply being busy or a bit down. I realized that stopping the blog for me was rather like what people who are fleeing war and persecution with their prized possessions must sometimes do: they must urgently cast off and away things that they value, treasure, are expressions and representations of who they are in a desperate effort to simply survive. The act of casting off and away is so urgent, done under such duress that questions of what you’re losing or what you feel about it simply don’t exist. All that does exist is the base, primal instinct to simply survive. Cast it off and away: we’ll worry about those questions later, if we survive.
Well, I have survived. Battered and bruised, but ultimately bettered for it all. And like survivors in my analogy sometimes do, I have taken stock of what I’ve lost and now have come to the blog. Reading through the past entries, I begin to remember how much I was digging into music when I was writing it, how much I was reading about it and listening. And I realize it’s been months since I cracked open a book on music, months since I went looking for something new and interesting, months since I really listed to anything outside of the music that has been my guide through these hard times like like I described in Mood Music.
And so, as I re-read the blog and remember that all, I realize that this past year plus (for all these things were going on well before August) has been a time not just of difficulty and stress and strain. I realize too that it’s been a time of loss. A time where I have lost some things that are important to me, that are a part of me.
So, sitting down to write isn’t simply a mere posting, it’s me, like my survivors, returning to the place of loss to see if there’s any way to retrieve what I lost once again.
The fact that I’ve realized all this, that I have a posting in mind, and that I felt the desire to go through the blog this morning and clean it up, fix broken YouTube links and generally make it neater and nicer tells me that I have recovered this part of myself. It’s been a while, I’m not sure what the person and voice moving forward will be like, but I’m back.
And as I realized this, I realized that before I could sit and write the posting I had in mind, I had to write this. To make a statement about what this all is, if only to preserve it for myself. And so too, I realized that I needed to listen to something on the drive in to put me in the right frame of mind for this posting, something that speaks to where I’ve been, where I am, what this all is.
And the answer presented itself to me, with the single, simple clarity of a trumpet solo rising above the din of the orchestra. It was time to dust off a dear, special friend whom I’ve not listened to in a couple of years but who has been there for me in times of major turmoil and transformation since we first met my sophomore year of college: Gustav Mahler’s second symphony.
For all the sense of Mahler as being dark and gloomy and depressed, I know of no piece that is so ethereal, that describes rising to new heights from the depths, that conveys such a sense of beauty and serenity as Mahler 2, especially the music and text in the fifth movement.
And so, with this posting, I and my blog heed Klopstock’s and Mahler’s call to Rise again, yes rise again. I believe now that the trials and loss of the past year plus were not for nothing, that what perished has indeed risen again.