Sunday, October 30, 2011

You can fly...

Another song by Reinhard Mey

Lilienthals Traum (english) lyrics

Lilienthal's Dream

He knows that his journey will end here,
on this wagon bed; he hasn't ever erred.
The doctor and Gustav whisper
and they whisper about him.
Came to Stölln to fetch him home to Berlin.
Wheels hammer on the tracks,
Images running past fast:
Mother at the piano, playing Schumann's "Traemerei".
Family home in Anklam, school, failure and goodbye.
Hiding for days with Gustav in summer meadows.
Watching the storks weightless rounds,
Their rising, soaring, now understanding and suspecting:

You can fly, yes you can!
Let the wind blow from before,
Spread your wings, you'll see:
You can fly, yes you can!
First flight attempts ,the villagers laughed.
To escape ridicule, he tries only at night.
A new construction, a new technique.
The number 4771, his first patent!
Agnes by the house and garden in long black robe,
Agnes of full zest for life, Agnes, full of warmth.
Going with the children to the windmill hill on Sundays.
Seeing the world from bird's-eye view,
On giant cotton covered willow rod wings.
Summer 1891 and now he'll succeed!

You can fly, yes you can!
Let the wind blow from before,
Spread your wings, you will see:
You can fly, yes you can!

How the bars creak, how the wind sings in the wires.
How the wing gently and eagle-like swings o'er the horizon.
How the rise and fall of the air lifts his flying machine!
His legs are quite numb,
how long has it already been?
The doctor from Rhinow says the blow
Hit the third vertebra, whatever this means.
What will Agnes feel, and the children, when they'll know?
Agnes was anxious, never without fears all these years.
One can't explain this longing to fly,
one must experience it by
those three steps to the precipice
and then the floating happiness !

You can fly, yes you can!
Let the wind blow from before.
Spread your wings, you will see:
You can fly, yes you can!

A good wind from the east
on this Sunday in August.
Already the first flight floats far to the valley,
And now soaring his desire, for
The second will go still further.
But the wind tears him steeply upwards there,
standing almost still; he pulls his legs and torso up
The wind's veering him 'round, he is no longer calm,
And now he's rushing down at earth from sky.
He cannot change the fall , uncontrollably gone.
With a crashing comes the right wing.
Was he reckless? Or an accident,that he crashed?
He will never let his dream be dashed.

You can fly, yes you can!
Let the wind blow from before.
Spread your wings, you will see:
You can fly, yes you can!

Then sleep comes like a good, dear friend.
Good that he is returning home again.
This Man's first step towards flight,
It was worth it, by God's might!
Others will succeed, and man will yet
fly 'round the world ,if he wills.
And then will he escape from narrowness and bonds.
With all limits and struggles overcome!
He hears the children's voices,he feels Agnes near.
In this darkening wagon,
He is quite near to his dream now
He sees the storks flying;
sees himself in their bright round dance.
Free and weightless, knowing now,
how to soar heavenwards in the sunlight.

You can fly, you can!
Let the wind blow from before.
Spread your wings, you will see:
You can fly, yes you can!

translated by Karl S. (dec. 12,2008)
( From: )

And in German:
Er weiss, dass seine Reise hier zu Ende gehen wird,
Auf diesem Feldbett, in diesem Waggon, er hat sich nie geirrt.
Der Arzt und Gustav fluestern und sie fluestern ueber ihn,
Nach Stoelln gekommen, um ihn heinzuholen nach Berlin.
Die Raeder haemmern auf die Gleise, Bilder ziehen schnell vorbei:
Die Mutter am Klavier, von ferne Schumanns "Traeumerei",
Das Elterhaus in Anklam, Schule, Misserfolg und Zwang,
Versteckt in Sommerwiesen mit gustav tagelang
Dem Flug der Stoerche nachzuschau´n auf schwerelosen Bahnen,
Ihr Aufstiegen, ihr Schweben zu begreifen und zu ahnen:

Du kannst fliegen, ja, Du kannst!
Lass den Wind von vorne we´n,
Breite die Fuegel, Du wirst seh´n:
Du kannst fliegen, ja, Du kannst!

Die ersten Flugversuche von den Doerflern ausgelacht.
Um den Spoettern zu entgeh´n, unternimmt er sie nur bei Nacht.
Eine neue Konstruktion, ein neues Flugexperiment,
Die Ziffern 4771, sein erstes Patent!
Agnes vor dem Haus im Garten, in dem langen, schwarzen Kleid,
Agnes voller Lebensfreude, Agnes voller Herzlichkeit.
Dann sonntags mit den Kindern ´raus zum Windmuehlenberg geh´n,
Die Welt im Fluge aus der Vogelperspektive seh´n,
Auf riesigen baumwollbespannten Weidenrutenschwingen,
Sommer 1891 und jetzt wird er es erzwingen!

Du kannst fliegen, ja, Du kannst!
Lass den Wind von vorne we´n,
Breite die Fuegel, Du wirst seh´n:
Du kannst fliegen, ja, Du kannst!

Wie die Holme knarren, wie der Wind in den spanndraehten singt,
Wie der Fluegel ueberm Horizont sanft und adlergleich schwingt,
Wie das Auf und Ab der Luefte seine Flugmaschiene wiegt!
Seine Beine sind ganz taub, wie lange er wohl schon so liegt?
Der Doktor kommt aus Rhinow, und der sagt, ein hef´tger Schlag
Traf den dritten Halswirbel, was immer das bedeuten mag.
Was mag Agnes fuehl´n und was die Kinder, wenn sie es Erfahr´n
Agnes war immer besorgt, nie ohne Angst in all den Jahr´n.
Man kann die Sehnsucht nicht erklaer´n, man muss sie Selbst erleben:
Drei Schritte in den Abgrund und das Gluecksgefuehl zu Schweben!

Du kannst fliegen, ja, Du kannst!
Lass den Wind von vorne we´n,
Breite die Fuegel, Du wirst seh´n:
Du kannst fliegen, ja, Du kannst!

Ein guter Wind aus Ost an diesem Sonntag im August,
Schon der erste Flug geht weit ins Tal hinunter, eine Lust!
Der zweite wird noch weiter geh´n. Da reisst´s ihn steil empor,
Fast steht er still, wirft Beine und den Oberkoerper vor,
Der Wind schlaegt um, er bringt den Apparat nicht mehr zur Ruh´,
Und senkrecht stuerzt er aus dem Himmel auf die Ernde zu.
Den Sturz kann er nicht mehr parier´n, unlenkbar sein Verlauf.
Mit einem Krachen schlaegt er mit dem rechten Fluegel auf.
War´s Leichtsinn? War´s ein Unglueck? War´s sein eigner Fehler eben?
Nie und nimmer wird er sich seinem Traum geschlagen geben!

Du kannst fliegen, ja, Du kannst!
Lass den Wind von vorne we´n,
Breite die Fuegel, Du wirst seh´n:
Du kannst fliegen, ja, Du kannst!

Der Schlaf kommt wie ein guter Freund. Gut, dass er jetzt heimkehrt.
Ein erster Schritt zum Menschenflug. Gott weiss, er war es wert!
en naechsten werden andre tun, der Mensch wird irgendwann
Die Welt umfliegen koennen, wenn er will, und dann
Wird er sich aus der Enge der Gefangenschaft befrei´n,
Mit allen Grenzen werden alle Kriege ueberwunden sein!
Er hoert die Kinderstimmen und er spuert, Agnes ist da
In dem dunklen Waggon. Jetzt ist er seinem Traum ganz nah:
Er sieht die Stoerche fliegen, sieht sich selbst in ihrem Reigen
Frei und schwerelos, durch eigne Kunst, ins sonnenlicht aufsteigen!

Du kannst fliegen, ja, Du kannst!
Lass den Wind von vorne we´n,
Breite die Fuegel, Du wirst seh´n:
Du kannst fliegen, ja, Du kannst!

Views from the Road
Some of the things I see on my drive home from work.
What great beauty and joy lie in this Earth.
Along the edges of the clouds were wispy trailers on this day, bringing short bursts of rain.

This is a lovely time of year here in Michigan, soon to be followed by winter, which I love equally.  The mornings have been frosty lately, so snow will come before long.  Some areas near me have already had snow on the ground. 
I saw a late bluebird this morning, sitting on the swingset in the back yard.  I hope he heads south very soon!  I've put off buying birdseed and filling the birdfeeders, because feeding the migratory birds will sometimes encourage them to stay North for far too long.
Last year at Christmas, when I asked Robby what he wanted Santa to bring, he said, "Lots of food for the birds!"
He loves to help keep the feeders filled, and to watch all the birds through the living-room window.

I have three projects on the needles that are within one day of completion.
Next up, socks for Layla, Ethan and Robby, then probably something for Andrea.  I need to see if they are in need of hats and mittens for this winter.

We attended a good friend's seventieth birthday last evening.  He is a great guy, one of the 'good ones', and we've enjoyed his friendship for nearly thirty years.
I am so blessed in my friends!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Random Things
I had a lovely day with Robby on Saturday. He spent the night on Friday, and after breakfast and showers, we went shopping, had lunch, stopped for ice cream at my favorite place, bought pumpkins for him and his sisters and brother, and just generally had a wonderful time.  He is always good for what ails me!
This is a pair of socks that I'm knitting to test another designer's pattern.  The design is called "Wild and Wooly" by Kathy Nehrenz.  The yarn was hand-dyed by Destination Yarns in Cleveland, Ohio, in the "Wooly Bear" colorway. A terrific design by Kathy and a lovely color in a very nice yarn.
Wooly bear caterpillars are used by folklorists to predict the severity of the coming winter.  The darker the caterpillar's fur, the harder and longer will be the winter.
I have only seen nearly-black ones this fall!

My chrysanthemums are glorious this year, especially considering that this is only their first year in the ground. You can see some of them there behind the socks.

The weather is gray, damp, and chilly, and is predicted to stay that way for a few days. 
Time to break out the sweaters and wool socks.
Soon we will have snow.

Some things in life are difficult to bear, and we don't know how we will get through them.  This has been a tough year, with the loss of my sister, my son's family troubles,  and the deaths of two of my dearest friends.
 It is good to have friends on whom we can lean.  I have leaned very, very hard on some of you this year, whether you have realized it or not, and I want you to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I value you all, each and every one of you.

You have preserved me.
Thank you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stormy Skies
Some pictures from a passing storm a week ago.  It was quite impressive-looking and rolled in very fast.  These three images were snapped just moments apart.

The storm brought some thunder and lightning, but blew through almost as quickly as it came, leaving only a little rain behind.
By this time last year, we'd had our first snow.

The following was posted on Facebook:

I couldn't have said it better myself.

And now for something completely different:
It has been an extremely wet summer here,
resulting in odd and unusual fungi growth all over the yard,
the likes of which I have never before seen.

This Very Happy Fellow,
who was about ten inches tall, I kid you not, 
appeared just outside the back door:
I mowed him off...sorry, guys.
His friends came to avenge him and there is a small forest of these things out there now.
I'm a little bit afraid to go outside...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Was Keiner Wagt
I ran across this song in a Ravelry group, and was instantly entranced by it. I don't speak German, but the singer has a sweet, yet world-weary voice, and the tune is so lovely I had to listen several times. With the help of Bing Translator I was able to get a rough translation which I then attempted to convert to understandable English.
This song illustrates beautifully that which I tried to convey in a recent post: Go forth, and make the world better.

This song is performed by Reinhard Mey, appears on the album Mairegen (2010) and features Konstantin Wecker.

Was keiner wagt, das sollt ihr wagen
Was keiner sagt, das sagt heraus
Was keiner denkt, das wagt zu denken
Was keiner anfängt, das führt aus

 Wenn keiner ja sagt, sollt ihr's sagen
Wenn keiner nein sagt, sagt doch nein
Wenn alle zweifeln, wagt zu glauben
Wenn alle mittun, steht allein

Wo alle loben, habt Bedenken
Wo alle spotten, spottet nicht
Wo alle geizen, wagt zu schenken
Wo alles dunkel ist, macht Licht

Wo alle loben, habt Bedenken
Wo alle spotten, spottet nicht
Wo alle geizen (Alle geizen)
Wagt zu schenken (Wagt zu schenken)
Wo alles dunkel ist –Macht Licht

My translation, and all mistakes are my own:
What no one dares, then you shall dare it
What no one says, then you speak out
What no one thinks, then dare to think it
What no one starts, then you must do

If no one says Yes, you should say it
If no one says no, then you should say
When all doubt, dare to believe
When all join, stand alone

Where all praise, you have concerns
Where all mock, do not mock
Where all skimp, be generous
Where all is dark, make light

Where all praise, you have concerns
Where all mock, do not mock
Where all skimp (All skimp), Be generous (Be generous)
Where all is dark, make light

Recordings by Reinhard Mey are available here: Amazon

Friday, October 07, 2011



 I went for a walk in the marsh last evening to see how the colors are coming.  As I entered a clearing just behind the barn, I found this young whitetail deer, grazing across the stream about twenty feet or so away from me.  It was old enough to have lost its fawn spots, but not fully grown.  We watched one another for several minutes while I snapped pictures as quietly and calmly as I could.  I was able to take several small, slow steps toward it, but finally got too close for its comfort, and it turned to run away.  It slipped in the damp grass and fell, hard, but soon gathered itself and disappeared into the woods.


Some early fall color in the marsh:

Wild grapes

Rose hips

Frankly, scarlet

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Birthdays: Andrea turned seven, Robby turned five

There is a new puppy in their family. His name is 'Thor', which was Robby's in-utero name before we knew he was a boy... "Thor-ina" : )
The puppy is adorable and doing well in a home where his greatest danger is being loved to death!
September is also the month where the sky looks like this:
...and we begin to think of winter.  We had our first frost of the year on the first day of October.  The leaves are beginning to change, and if it does not become too windy and wet, I suspect that it will be a marvellous year for fall color.

It is also a time when I begin to think of 'time too short, and running fast'.
I told a friend recently that when I look in the mirror I can see every minute of these past few very difficult years on my face, and especially the marks of these most recent thirteen or fourteen months.  I think that I am beginning to try to come to terms with my own mortality, and I am not liking it much, I fear.
I guess we all reach a point where we must face our life's accomplishments, or the lack thereof.  I had thought, by this time, that I would have 'made a difference' in this world, but I don't know that I have, or, if I have, that it is a positive difference.
There is much that bothers me, and I have many regrets.  I have always believed that every person is obligated to do something to justify their presence on the planet, and am unsure that I have done my part.  Perhaps we don't know what our impact has been, and only those we leave behind us will see it.
So often, I meet someone who knew my mother and it warms my heart to hear their comments about her.  She was a dear soul, always ready to give more than her share, always there to help a friend.  She was deeply loved by so many!  I hope that those who loved her told her so, often, and while she was still alive, but fear that that was not the case, as we do not do these things nearly enough. 

On a different but somewhat connected note, I had something happen the other day that made me smile...I was at work in my store, and a man and woman walked up to the counter.  The woman looked closely into my face and asked where I was from, as she was certain that she knew me.  We conversed for several minutes, sharing life information and details.  Her face was familiar, but I could not dredge up from my memory the details of our connection, and nor could she.
Then she asked, "Did you ever work at Concord Mall?" and I knew then how she knew me.  We worked together thirty-two years ago in a Montgomery Wards store, she in Appliances, and I in Paint and Hardware.  We had only seen one another once or twice in the intervening time, and the last encounter was decades ago.
She recognized my voice, before she even saw my face.
This has happened twice now, in less than two years.  I never thought that my voice was particularly distinctive, but apparently it is so.

We cannot know the impact we have made in our lives.  Let us try to remember, and measure our words and actions against those who witness them.