Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen"

Howdy folks!

It is I, Miss AG Strange...hopefully, the future Dr. Strange. :) I wanted to write a brief post while this is fresh on my mind, "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen". Now, unless you either know German well or are familiar with Mahler's Fünf Rückert Lieder, the title of this blog post may have you thinking that I was hitting the wrong keys on the keyboard. Nope. Do not worry. The title is as it should be, and it is a title that I will explain shortly.

What I really want to say in this post, is something that I feel entirely inadequate to express, and that ultimately, would take me an endless amount of time and space to even begin to articulate.

I will be the first to admit that I am a thoughtful person. And no, I do not mean that I am thoughtful in that I do nice things for people. I mean "thoughtful" in that I am almost always analyzing, processing, and/or "detailing" something. I like to think. and I think a lot - in fact, my entire field (historical musicology) is centered around music, thinking, and putting those thoughts into coherent and scholarly formats. While I love thinking, sometimes it is draining. My brain starts functioning on overdrive, and as the analytical and detail-oriented person that I am, it can become overwhelming. Oftentimes, my thoughts become so overwhelming that I am left speechless. Being speechless is a phenomenon with which I am extremely uncomfortable. (I am also a "words person", which is another story for another time).

Anyway, in my thoughts becoming "burdensome" as of late, I have found myself prostrate at the feet of the Lord, more often than not. As such, my love for the song upon which the title of this post is derived, has exponentially increased. I suppose that you might appreciate it if I explained the title of this post. As life this semester has been insane and generally more "trying", I have more acutely felt the need to be "transported", if you will, into a realm far more real than this earth (the kingdom of heaven), and plunged more deeply into the fullness that is Christ. "I am lost to the world" - the translation of this post. The state to which I am referring is one of being lost to the world in having your heart set on what is not of this world--being crucified with Christ, expunged and purged of self, and wrecklessly abandoned to pursuing the kingdom of heaven - to wholeheartedly running Home. All of these things have been a prominent theme in my life lately, and my eternal Home is something for which I truly do long. I know that I was born with an old soul, but really, my "morbidity" is slightly disturbing! (yes, Katelyn, I am referring to how I sometimes freak you out) :)

Christian artist Laura Story has a song called "Blessings" which is absolutely marvelous. In it, she talks about things that remind us that this wretched and sin filled world is not our home. She says, "what if my greatest disappointments, and the achings of this life, are the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?". So, while we are "crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2:20), living in and only unto Him, may our heart be ever set on pilgrimage. May we reach for the things we cannot see, and pursue the things that we cannot touch. Let's be lost to the world.

Here is both the German text and the translation for this lied by Mahler. Also, allow me to just add a side note and say that I am in love with Mahler, and that I am ridiculously excited about potentially doing my thesis work on the rhetorical capacity and the semiotic possibilities of his orchestral lieder! *sigh* - be still my beating heart! <3

If you don't know the music of Mahler, contact me and I will give you a list of works with which to start. :)

Anyway...the German text is first, followed by the translation. Please read it - it is marvelous - may we be lost to the world and consumed with the Savior.

Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,
Mit der ich sonst viele Zeit verdorben,
Sie hat so lange von mir nichts vernommen,
Sie mag wohl glauben, ich sei gestorben.

Es ist mir auch gar nichts daran gelegen,
Ob sie mich für gestorben hält,
Ich kann auch gar nichts sagen dagegen,
Denn wirklich bin ich gestorben der Welt.

Ich bin gestorben dem Weltgewimmel,
Und ruh' in einem stillen Gebiet.
Ich leb' allein in mir und meinem Himmel,
In meinem Lieben, in meinem Lied.

 I am lost to the world
 with which I used to waste so much time,
 It has heard nothing from me for so long
 that it may very well believe that I am dead!

 It is of no consequence to me
 Whether it thinks me dead;
 I cannot deny it,
 for I really am dead to the world.

 I am dead to the world's tumult,
 And I rest in a quiet realm!
 I live alone in my heaven,
 In my love and in my song!
Here is a link to a performance of "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" 
featuring soloist Jessye Norman, Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic.
Okay. That's all for now! Thanks for letting me take up webspace 
via the hacking of Katelyn's blog! 
Lost and running Home, :)

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