I am lost to the World (Dennis Aubrey)

There is a blogger whose work I like very much – that of Pastor Gordon Stewart of Kiska, Minnesota. Gordon, whom I have never met, is a sensitive and intelligent man of the cloth who wrestles long hours of the night with the realities of a world that he finds increasingly disturbing. I know that the excesses of the recent election have distressed him and he is going to take a respite from his blog, Views from the Edge.

This post is for Gordon in his time of trouble, and comes from my brother John Paul who made a glorious musical recommendation today. The piece is Gustav Mahler’s “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen” – “I am lost to the World”.

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Sens, Sens (Yonne) Photo by Dennis Aubrey

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.

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Coutances, Coutances (Manche) Photo by Dennis Aubrey

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!

Basilique Sainte Madeleine, Vézelay (Yonne) Photo by Dennis Aubrey

So Gordon, listen to this beautiful song, rest far from the world’s tumult for awhile, enjoy the serenity of the deep currents of faith and wisdom, and recharge your soul.

Notre Dame d’Estours, Eglise Saint Pierre, Monistrol d’Allier (Haute-Loire) Photo by Dennis Aubrey

18 thoughts on “I am lost to the World (Dennis Aubrey)

    1. Gordon, my brother sent me the link to the Mahler piece as I was thinking of you today. It seemed too fortuitous to ignore! And I think how lucky I am to have PJ to share my life and how we have our own heaven, love and song.

  1. The Mahler piece will be at the heart of the sermon for the coming Sunday along with “Be still…..and know that I am God.” Thank you, John Paul, for sharing this gem with Dennis, PJ, and the rest of us.

  2. My brother John Paul made the recommendation for this piece of music; enjoy his comment on the work:

    “The Rückert-Lieder and Kindtertotenlieder are among my all-time favorite music. The term ‘depth of feeling’ is an insulting understatement. But there is no question – in my mind – that Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen is the most powerful.

    Mahler’s use of the rising whole step interval is nothing short of miraculous. Music of this kind usually sees intervals used in a falling pattern – like a sigh. But the rising interval creates both tension and release – remarkable.

    By the way, Mahler used this device in many works, especially the later ones, when his music became more mercurial.

    And then there’s the counterpoint between the voice and the horn…”

  3. Dennis, thank you for sharing your brother’s reflection. I understand, I think, what John Paul means that “the term ‘depth of feeling’ is an insulting understatement. ” Music unlocks the deepest depths of the soul. I have found myself sobbing through the Faure Requiem, as I may have told you before. Although I don’t believe in hell, the “Libera Me” movement of the mass brings my body to a near convulsing cry for help. I am there in that music, as I am in the lovely voice of Mary singing “Pia Jesu.” You and John Paul are blessed by a common heritage and talent – ears, eyes, lips that express the depths and heights through the lovely tones of a French horn and through the lens of camera. Thanks you both, and PJ, for making us all richer in spirit.

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