Darkness is rising

This is one of my old stories but very appropriate for Halloween 🎃😊

Someone had the decency to unlock the sun for an hour yesterday.
It is hard to imagine now when rain and hail are tumbling down. I was about to end my walk as the sun went down and dusk took over. I had some concerns because of the growing darkness.
Should I walk through the bog in the darkness or across the cemetery? Strange stories passed through me as I thought of the cemetery.

Once my brother took a short-cut across a cemetery late at night:

He entered our living room, pale with fear. His age in mind the experience must have been fierce. He was a teenager, and at that age it is inappropriate to be afraid. He was sure that he had stumbled upon a corpse on a small church path. My parents were sure that there was another explanation and they calmed him down so he was able to fall asleep.

Early the next morning my father went to the cemetery with my brother, and they did find a man. He wasn’t dead, but lacked a place to sleep. That finding brought my brother’s mind in a state of relief, but the cemetery was no longer an option for a short-cut.

An artist I once knew worked in a cemetery where he used an old gate house as a studio. He told me lots of stories one evening over a bottle of wine. I have never been able to forget this one in particular.
We sat by the fireplace and actually the weather outside was very similar to the weather in his story. He began the story describing how terrible tired and exhausted he was:

I’d been working late every night with the aim to get my last painting done for the opening. One night it became very late. Sometimes I get so tired that I have to pull myself together to go to bed, and I wasn’t even home yet.
So I turned off the lights and locked the door. When I went out in the storm and rain to find the car, I almost lost my breath, for it was bitterly cold.

A short stay in the wind combined with a break caused me to listen more attentively. Yes, there it was again! Help me, help !!!

It was difficult to determine the direction. The rain, the darkness and the wind created shadows where there usually were open spaces. After a while I decided to walk into the darker section of the cemetery until suddenly I saw a strange thing.
From one of the open graves prepared for the next day funeral I sensed a movement. Carefully approaching I could see two hands cling to the edge of an open grave.

At this point in his storytelling, he made a little stay and I could swear that there was a shiver running through him. He continued: I found myself in a state where my adrenaline whizz around in my body. I didn’t know whether I should turn and run, or just let myself be completely frozen with fear because I was nearly there already.

The rough terrifying voice tore me out of my trance by screaming in my ears: Heeeelp! Help me! I saw the man down in the grave. Two big scared eyes midst of all the mud, and a pair of hands which reached out like a child who wants to be lifted up.
I stood and gazed at him. It felt like hours. Then I recognised him. He was a slightly tipsy gentleman who often take his lunch on one of the benches, if not every day and in a liquid form.

Close to the grave hang a water hose. I tied the hose onto an iron pipe and handed the other end to the man in the grave.
The exhausted man was rescued from the cold grave, and after a drink and some dry clothes, he told his story about how he fell down in the grave by an accident.

But I was still considering which way to choose. I looked at the bog and the growing darkness and my thoughts went to Frodo, Sam, and Gollum when they went through the Dead Marshes on the way to Mordor.
I chose the cemetery 🤞😊

The Dark Forests

The trees stand menacing like tall dark figures in the gloomy forest.

Forest lakes that seem abysmal when I try to glimpse the bottom.

A daunting silence –

The smooth surface of the rivers, which are torn by rocks.

Wasn’t that a shadow on the rock?

Didn’t you hear the fiddle?

Gurre, a Legendary Place

‘If God in heaven will let me have Gurre, then I will let him have Heaven.’
Because of this blasphemy, King Valdemar is doomed to ride in Gurre every night

The romance and mystery associated with Gurre is created by many great poets.
The inspiration is easy to understand when you have wandered in Gurre and experienced the silence at dusk.

GURRESONGS:


The bluish twilight now damper
every sound of sea and land,
the fleeing clouds are encamped
to rest on the edge of heaven.


Compacted to soundless weight
is the forest airy stay
and the lake’s clear waves
have cradled themselves to rest.



In the west, the sun casts
from her radiant purple dress
and pulls over the waves
and dreams of the day’s splendour.

Not the smallest leaf is moving
and call upon my senses,
Not the slightest sound is heard
that seduced the senses to dance.

No, every power is lost
in the river of dreams
and pushes me gently and silent
back to myself…

Jacobsen, J. P., Samlede VĂŚrker III, 1924-29

I did a translation of the first verse, Gurresange, despite the risk of violate the treasure from Jens Peter Jacobsen’s pen.

Gurre Castle


NOTE

Gurre Songs is written by the Danish poet; Jens Peter Jacobsen
Rainer Maria Rilke learned Danish and translated Gurre Songs to German
Twelve Tone Music inventor, Arnold Schoenberg, composed music to Jens Peter Jacobsen’s Gurre Songs (Gurrelieder premiered in 1913 in Vienna)