Beauty in decay

Death Experience

We know nothing of this going away, that
shares nothing with us. We have no reason,
whether astonishment and love or hate,
to display Death, whom a fantastic mask
of tragic lament astonishingly disfigures.
Now the world is still full of roles which we play
as long as we make sure, that, like it or not,
Death plays, too, although he does not please us.
But when you left, a strip of reality broke
upon the stage through the very opening
through which you vanished: Green, true green,
true sunshine, true forest.
We continue our play. Picking up gestures
now and then, and anxiously reciting
that which was difficult to learn; but your far away,
removed out of our performance existence,
sometimes overcomes us, as an awareness
descending upon us of this very reality,
so that for a while we play Life
rapturously, not thinking of any applause.

Rainer Maria Rilke  (1875-1926)

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36 thoughts on “Beauty in decay

  1. I think the montage is really attractive, It really draws attention to the symbolism in all the statues, as that “Death Experience” and “roles which we play” Rilke so vividly describes, as love perhaps existing in another realm, these images of yours, clearly convey.

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    • Thanks so much for your wonderful words which show that you came to grips with the poem/photos and everything I wanted to convey. I love these beautiful old graveyards, the wonderful old tombstones with so many symbols in it. Thanks again and have a wonderful day, regards Mitza

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      • Wirklich tolle Aufnahme Mitza. Jedes Bild strahlt Ruhe und Frieden aus. Du hast diese Atmosphäre von dem Friedhof wirklich gut eingefangen. Schöne Arbeit liebe Mitza!!! Alles liebe aus dem sonnigen Kärnten 😀

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      • Danke, liebe Stefanie. Ich liebe diesen Ort über alles, bin ich dort doch schon seit meinem 4. Lebensjahr zu Besuch am Grab meines geliebten Vaters und habe dort Meisen und Eichhörnchen gefüttert. Es lohnt sich, dort hinzugehen, man findet recht interessante, traurige, sogar lustige Sachen dort. Liebe Grüße Mitza

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      • Das tut mir wirklich leid, dass dein Papa so früh gestorben ist. Das ist sicher nicht einfach gewesen für dich!!
        Man merkt an deinen Bildern, dass die Verbindung zu diesem Ort eine Besondere ist!!
        Alles Liebe
        Stefanie

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      • Ja, das war wirklich sehr schlimm für mich, ich liebe ihn immer noch sehr. Ich habe eine Freundin, die geht da jeden Tag spazieren, weil es einfach ein schöner Ort ist, wie ein riesiger Park mit Grabsteinen eben. Alles Liebe Mitza

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  2. Great photos! I’ve always been amused about how humans utilize bird wings for their images of angels. (I don’t think my parrots envisage themselves with our appendages!) Had pterodactyls survived the mass extinction – instead of birds – we’d probably insert pterodactyl wings! 🙂

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    • That’s true, Thomas, but did you realize that one of the puttos had wings like a butterfly? That’s really extraordinary. I’m happy though that our angels don’t look like pterodactyls, then I wouldn’t like them anymore. Greetings to your parrots. Why not name a new one “angel”? Have a wonderful day, regards Mitza

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  3. A beautiful, poignant and very powerful post. The photos are stunning and who better to express your powerful message than Rilke; my favourite poet and someone who seemed always to write from deep within himself.
    Fabulous.

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    • Thank you so much, Karen. I’m really astonished that you know Rilke. I found a very deep liking for him in the last months. His beautiful German words are very hard to be translated and it takes quite an effort to find these poems in a good English translation. He had a very interesting and sad life, I just read in Wikipedia. I think without painful experiences you cannot be able to create something from deep within yourself like he did. I’m very content to find somebody like you that appreciates this kind of posts which are a bit deeper than usual. Have a wonderful day, regards Mitza

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  4. Love the words, almost a taboo subject in society but real good to ponder upon with the help of either words or imagery, both have worked very well in your blog entry.

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    • Agnes, I’m glad to hear from you and hope you are fine. The only truth in life is that we will die one day and that’s the only truth nobody wants to know. Thanks for your appreciation and warm regards from Hamburg, Mitza

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      • Thank you Mitza, you are right. I am reading the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, so at the moment I am faced with thinking a lot about dead, it is, like you say, a fact of life. Warm greetings too from West Cork here and me, Agnes

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      • 🙂 Likewise Mitza. What are you reading right now? I am fascinated by one of my current books, it is called “Colour, Travels through the Paintbox” by Victoria Finlay. It is brilliant, a journey through history, and where and how artists got their paints, and colours, and dyes. It is a book about botany, anthroposophy, art, minerals, and so much more, I am literally eating the book in large pieces, so good. 🙂

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      • This book sounds really interesting. I don’t know if I can get this here. It’s not so easy to get all English books here. I read a lot of autobiographies and most of all Russian world literature (but not in Russian). I have nearly 500 books only by Russian authors. If I would be left on a lonely island with my books I would never be bored. The depth of feelings be it good or bad is overwhelming me every time.

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      • Interesting! I take it you read in German? I read mainly in English but also in Flemish, and I used to read German, one book I totally read in German was “Nicht ohne meine Tochter”. Where would we be without our books, enjoy!

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      • Yes, that’s true, I mainly read in German, but English, too, if it’s not too difficult and sometimes even a little Greek. I didn’t know your German was so good that you could read this book “Nicht ohne meine Tochter”. I read it, too. I couldn’t live without books, they have inspired my phantasy a lot and I would really like to write one myself.

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      • I only write in a journal Mitza and then mostly when I am travelling, or in the past when I was going through a difficult time trying to make a decision about my then marriage. I enjoy my blog but don’t write much. Since the past two years I suffer from fibromyalgia and I get exhausted quickly when doing mental exertion.

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      • I’m sorry to learn that you suffer from fibromyalgia. I hope you don’t have too many pains right now. Just enjoy your life, springtime, your kids, grandchildren, friends and whatsoever. I wish you a wonderful week-end, Agnes, stay as happy as you can, regards Mitza

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      • With all that life has to offer, including all the wonderful people in my life, and that I meet and get to know via my blog, it is very easy to be very happy. Thank you Mitza, have a lovely weekend too 🙂

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  5. Beautifully done post. The photos themselves are gorgeous and you placed them in such a flattering arrangement plus how could you go wrong with the perfect poem by Rilke to accompany them. I, too, have a weakness for tombstones and mortuary statues. Warmest regards, Ellen

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    • Dear Ellen, again we have something in common. I wish I could take a walk with you over this wonderful graveyard. The poems from Rilke are truely moving and deep. A lot gets lost by the translation unfortunately, but it’s very hard to translate it. Thanks for your mail, I’m just sick with a cold, hope you are fine, warmest regards Mitza

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    • Thank you so much, Eva. Your comments are always like the icing on the cake. I’m just reading some poems from Rilke. The beginning of his life was very strange. His mother treated him like a girl for the first 6 years as she lost her daughter before. I’m pretty sure that there are guardian angels. I’m very thankful to mine and we have a good contact. Have a wonderful week-end, regards Mitza

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  6. Hello dear Mitza! 😀 When you told me that you visited a graveyard i had no doubt that you would come back with amazing photos…These are even better than what i had imagined! Together with the poem, it’s a very complete post…that makes one take a moment to think…

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    • Dear Alexandra, I thank you for your nice and appreciating words for photos and poem. We sometimes forget that life is not all guns and roses. A graveyard gives you an idea that everybody’s life is not endless. This graveyard is like a huge park, it’s extremely beautiful and calm and has a lot of interesting plants and birds. Regards Mitza

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