Sunday, August 21, 2011

There was a strange and mysterious window in Amsterdam...
which will introduce the following entry- there are things happening, Keita is here, the Library project is starting and lots of other things are going on. Nevertheless, here is something forgotten I found in my diary:

On the train through Northern Germany towards Amsterdam:
Reading Patti Smith’s memoir of her life with Robert Mapplethorpe in the early seventies New York. (Just Kids). It is well written and transmits a feeling of urgency: if one doesn’t create one dies!
She met Sam Shepard and became friends with him without knowing who he was. She later knew of course, and they became lovers. When she confided to him that she had a rebellious streak in her that made her want to kick in shop windows at times, the divine Shepard replied: “But kick them in, dear Patti, kick them in. I will pay the damages.” Mapplethorpe, meanwhile, had risen in Manhattan’s social circles and said “Patti, you are a rotten egg!” The affair with Shepard had to end for various practical reasons- but it was difficult. How did they extricate themselves from their love affair? They literally wrote themselves out of it! They wrote a play about it and found the solution within the play!

Travelling by train seems to produce a mental state in me where fragments of half forgotten poetry flit through my mind in tandem with the landscape which passes by the train window. Some lines return for apparently no reason, like the little strophe of German which has attached itself to my mind this afternoon: “ Mein Herz is schwer,……Er kommt ja nimmer und nimmermehr”. I have no idea where this incomplete strophe comes from. It sounds like a Schubert Lieder- and /or perhaps from Goethe. Or is it a translation into German of Tennyson’s ‘Mariana’?
But who is this “He “who will never come back? I cannot fathom it. Nevertheless it created a feeling of desolation in me which was fortunately most efficiently removed by having some excellent chocolate ice cream while waiting for the next train at Osnabruck.


Blogger toubab said...

yes yes, David, you don't need to say anything. I have found it. It is of course Gretchen at the spinningwheel, lamenting the loss of Faust:
"Mein Ruh is hin
Mein Herz ist schwer,
Ich finde sie nimmer
Und nimmermehr."
So it is both Goethe and Schubert.

10:16 AM  
Blogger David said...

For some reason that comment got diverted as an email - but anyway, there you are. And love the Amsterdam window shot. We have a few now from lovable Reykjavik to compare...

1:33 PM  

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