Sturm und Drang

Sturm und DrangDo you know what Sturm und Drang means?  I only found out today, in the process of writing this blog. It originally comes from the title of a play by F. M. von Klinger(1752–1831), a German dramatist, and it means ‘storm and stress’.  The reason I was thinking about it is because I was looking for the right way and the right words to describe the current state of play.

As I’ve started waking up from the hibernation I’ve been in since Simba passed away, I’ve started catching up with friends and family.  In the last two months I have missed promotions and new jobs, trips away and birthdays, impending wedding celebrations and new babies.  There have also been some heart-breaking losses. New unfillable voids caused as a loved one has passed away. My heart aches with and for those gone and those left behind.  And I inevitably thought about my own recent loss and hibernation.

Hibernation is a cosy sounding word, to me anyway.  It conjures up images of cuddly furry bears burrowing away in a deep yet gentle slumber until the cold and the wind and the rain passes away.  They come out again into sunshine and spring.  The last two months have not felt cosy or gentle.

The first sentence of Wikipedia’s description of hibernation is probably more accurate – “a state of inactivity and metabolic depression.’  Which sounds much more familiar.  But that’s still not quite right.  There’s more to it.  Which is where the ‘Sturm und Drang’ comes into play.  Sturm und Drang – the stress and the storms that rage through your brain relentlessly, every minute of every waking hour of every exhausting day as you relearn the painful art of living with the void.

It’s funny isn’t it – all that activity, all that breaking down, falling apart and cracking up going on, mostly on the inside.  And on the outside, nothing.  Just hibernation and inertia. With the rest of the world continuing to move on and up and around you as if nothing has changed.

It’s odd when you’re the one coping and hibernating and standing still, because you can’t comprehend the movement going on around you.  You wonder how everything keeps flowing and shifting. It’s not that you want the world to stop.  It’s just that you can’t understand why it hasn’t already.

As I slowly rejoin the movers on, someone very dear to me is becoming a hibernator. It highlighted the heartrending quirkiness of life. We each move from one side to the other, from mover to hibernator to mover.  All the while everyone else is simultaneously doing their own side to side shuffle. Our combined planetary efforts probably look like some weird cosmic group dance.

I found this too…

This is where reality lives. In the epicenter of the paradox. Right at the meeting point of love and loss and life and leaving and beginnings and grief and joy. In the sweet sticky spill of that rough slice and in the invisible moments when heart is stitched together again. Anonymous.

I wish you a wonderful week of cosmic shuffling.

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