Art Pieces 1: On Death. A Painting, A Poem & A Scrap from A Letter

Death and the Maiden

By Egon Schiele


Egon Schiele died in 1918 of the Spanish flu at the age of 28.

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Hiding 

By Sophia Meyers-Green

A poem written some 20 years after the death of a beloved husband.

I am hiding behind a chair.

No elaborate music,

Is playing.

There is that great stone over my heart not allowing me to feel

what is on the other side of the door.

I know it is love and I am hiding.

I loved and lost.

I am alive.

This is my birthday.

You smiled at me today.

Although I felt the warmth of that smile,

I turned away . . .  afraid you would touch me.

Tears would come to my eyes . . .

I would remember.

Then, I did hear the beginning of music,

sounds, soft, almost murmurs, like breathing,

like the running of water over blue stones.

Dare I dip my foot

ever so quickly just for one moment.

__________

Death Can Cause People to Stop Living (50-53)

By Henri Nouwen 

Written Six Months after the Death of his mother.

We have both seen how some of our friends could not accept unforeseen changes in their lives and were unable to deal with an unknown future. When things went differently than they had expected or took a drastic turn, they did not know how to adjust to the new situation. Sometimes they became bitter and sour. Often they clung to familiar patterns of living that were no longer adequate and kept repeating what once made sense but no longer could speak to the real circumstances of the moment.

Death has often affected people in this way, as we know too well. The death of husband, wife, child, or friend can cause people to stop living toward the unknown future and make them withdraw into the familiar past. They keep holding on to a few precious memories and customs and see their lives as having come to a standstill. They start to live as if they were thinking, “For me it is all over. There is nothing more to expect from life.”

As you can see, here the opposite of detachment is taking place; here is a re-attachment that makes life stale and takes all vitality out of existence.

__________

More on Death to follow.

Humming Bird

Death and the Maiden (Tod und Mädchen)  Painting by Egon Schiele

Death Can Cause People to Stop Living A Letter of Consolation by Henri Nouwen

Author: FaShi Lao Yue

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