Columns | Vienna Review | November 2010

A train journey to Vienna on a rainy and foggy Monday morning was, for once, my venue for my private ‘philosophical investigations.’ The scenery passing by, my eyes fell on the colored autumn leaves that seemed to have been painted in such bright colors by a talented artist, now slowly falling to the ground, ripped off with gentle inevitability by the cold October wind blowing through the branches.

On days like this, the thin line between life and death was once more inevitable, even reflected by nature. It reminded me of a concert I had played recently. It was a book presentation, a collection of poems, in tribute to a cancer victim, sorrowfully and neatly collected by her loving daughter.  It was an evening that required a certain amount of strength and a couple of handkerchiefs to get through, even for me, as an experienced musician on those kinds of events.

As the heavy wheels of the train turned beneath my feet, one of those poems came back to my mind. Spätherbstsonne, the late autumn sun, a poem that carried the notion of passing away, the advent of Winter as metaphor for the eve of life.

I ring out the chords of "unchained melody" from the movie Ghost that were dancing on the page in front of my eyes, trying not to let my emotions go. I decided to dedicate the music to all those who passed away too soon; perhaps they had left behind some unfinished business, things they had still wanted to do, and thus are now trying to learn, like Patrick Swayze in Ghost wanting to move the penny from the other side of the world, to act as a guidance for the beloved ones left behind.

Sarah Rabl

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