Goethe and his lover

“Nature is beneficent. I praise her and all her works. She is silent and wise. She is cunning, but for good ends. She had brought me here and will also lead me away. She may scold me, but she will not hate her work. I trust her.”

 

Johan Wolfang von Goethe 

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Countless of different sources affirm that the German writer and poet, Johan Wolfgang von Goethe possessed a great deal of female hearts throughout his lifespan. According to Theatrehistory.com he experienced his first love about the age of fifteen; a girl named Gretchen. Later, his letters have told us about a passionate relationship to Charitas Meixner, a friend of his sister. Despite the fact that both women left him because of his childish, innocent passion for life and love – he never gave up the hunt for beauty. In fact, his poetry has convinced me to think that his real lover; the one that always was true to him and never left – was the nature. 

“Nature! We are surrounded by her and locked in her clasp: powerless to leave her, and powerless to come closer to her. Unasked and unwarned she takes us up into the whirl of her dance, and hurries on with us till we are weary and fall from her arms.

She creates new forms without end: what exists now, never was before; what was, comes not again; all is new and yet always the old.

We live in the midst of her and are strangers. She speaks to us unceasingly and betrays not her secret. We are always influencing her and yet can do her no violence.”

Johan Wolfang von Goethe 

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Love. If you ever doubt the feelings you have for a person; If you can’t seem to know what it is, how to define it – read some Goethe and you’ll know.

The bewildered poet loved everything that was beautiful, wether it was a person or a substance. However, his deep regards for the forest, the trees, the birds in the sky – was something that was (in my opinion) beyond love. At times it even seems like Mother Earth was his religion.

Every now and then, when I try to imagine what Goethe would be like – I see a boyish man, dancing among birch trees, singing, whistling along with his most faithful friends; the birds.

“If only this man existed today!” my sister said longefully, with sparkles in her eyes, while I was reading some of his aphorisms on nature out loud. The moment she said that, we were actually sitting out, having a picnic in the nature! Suddenly, Goethe had influenced our view on Mother Earth. We were now able to make poetry out of pure grass, earth and sky.

“Goethe is only acceptable for a wild mind. Why? Because he’s too direct for the modern man; the one who suppresses all his feelings. He is also married to the only thing he should be married to; Nature. Why? Because you cannot cheat on nature, nor can you stop loving her. Wherever you go in life, nature faces you with it’s erotic  essence and horrifying truths. And beauty beyond compare.”

Myndin Spildo Nerdrum

I guess I have not only found Goethe’s lover. I have also found my own. And I know that I will be eternally faithful. Because if you think about it – can nature ever really deceive you? Can she ever be ugly? 

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Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

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