Suite for Blues Band and Truth-Teller* No. 1 “Questions”
first piece of the Cycle Ich bin nicht da / Ich bin da
[I am not there / I am there]
— full english text —
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1. Exposition—The Letter
Can I think about it, that I feel better? Can I somehow pilote a change for the better? (Completely out of range!) If yes (completely out of range!): Why don’t I do it?
I am not allowed to even think it all.
This stress that I feel and that drives me into the bustle and is probably also responsible for my stomach problem—this stress, may I get rid of it? [Can I somehow be motivated to get rid of it?] (What makes you think that you’re allowed to be so presumptuous?!…)
When I think about that my stomach may have a tumor and that this tumor maybe means my imminent death, may I then, given this perspective, ask the questions, if I should not get away from this hectic behavior? (How can you dare?!)
To get away from it, would mean to change my behavior (You have a lot of nerve!): I would then simply be not as hectic and I would no longer all that I undertake for myself, only steal. Can I take this behavior for myself into consideration?
Do I actually have to accept everything? Do I have to go to the shambles? If so, why exactly?
It seems to me as if I don’t have the right to ask myself these questions. Maybe later… But it seems to me that it would be too early to ask me these questions. When should I ask myself these questions, then?
Have I actually got to the point where I may, must, should ask these questions? Why not? Why should I not ask them?
Is it worth it for me to find that good? If not: Is it better to have stomach pain and possibly soon die from stomach cancer? (How bigheaded and arrogant you are! How can you ask such questions?!) If not: is it worth to you to find it good? Must I endure and suffer this fate?
2. Consideration I
Everything I forbid myself. There is something detaining me. That’s so bad! And I have considered this normal! No, it’s not like that I have considered it normal, but that I have never doubted it and never ever questioned it why it was forbidden that I only question this: why, firstly, I’m making myself this stress, secondly, if I …—I may not even think about it! I cannot talk about it! I am glad if I only allow me to talk about it. I have to…—you have no idea of my state!
I have to say it like this: It’s very hard to imagine. And there is this little voice that also says it: it is actually absurd. But it’s the reality, it is so! It would be completely … It’s … ha! I cannot pass it! I must accept and I will accept it. First I have to allow myself to consider that I may not agree!
3. Corroboration I
But I have to ask myself! I do know that… that I’m at that point! I do! I know it! I know it! Every day I see myself „live“ like this—I see it, I know it! And I have to ask myself: Do you want to live like that?!
It is logical, it is clearly demonstrated that I must ask myself the question! I must now set the switch points!
4. Approach I
So, I don’t even ask myself these questions —(Do I want to live at all…?)—Can you imagine?—(… Or do I want to not live?)—I didn’t even ask it myself until now. I must really force myself to ask me these questions! That’s even worse, you know? That’s … that’s already sad enough, but I have not even the right to ask myself! I have to force myself! I must, I must then … Because if I did not do that, then everything would really … That is …—Then my fate would be sealed.
5. Desperation I
(Crying) That I have to ask these questions! Yes, but unfortunately it is like that. And now I force myself, and now I ask myself those very simple questions …—(Crying)—… Ah … It’s bad enough that I haven’t even the right to ask myself the question! That makes things even worse. (Am I willing to live at all? Or am I just willing to endure and suffer this mock life?)
6. Approach II
I know that I have this choice—I know! I just have to confront this choice, I have to decide! I can go on like this, yes! (and thus renounce everything)—(crying)—…—(I have to give up everything …) … (… everything that actually constitutes me) …
7. Consideration II
Yes, why? (Do I have to sacrifice myself?) Why must I accept everything? (For whom?)
8. Corroboration II
I experience it all! I experience the boredom, I experience the desert—I experience everything! And every time when I am so far, comes this rush and nervousness and all the shit! Because I have only the right to steel for me!
9. Approach III
Son of a bitch! It’s fucking shit! That ought to be quite normal! I should only have fun! What a crock! That’s shit! Just imagine: You’re on your way to die alive, and nothing …—objectively there is nothing around you, which would justify that! There is nothing there, it’s all beautiful! Everything is calm, relaxed around you—and yet thou goest the way into death.
I must hear this other voice in me, the one that is apparently reasonable and tells me: No, life is not meant to have stress, life is there to experience something beautiful.—And that’s your goal, that is what you should take your time for! And that is what you should achieve, and not the other!
(How arrogant and conceited you are!) And I’m feeling so insecure … (Why do you ask such questions?) … I’m feeling so doubtful! Yes, that’s it, exactly: That although I know what’s happening, in the end I’m not sure that it is so. (I have no right to ask myself these normal questions!)
I’m not sure, although this is just as idiotic because: I feel the pressure in the stomach, I feel it for example—I do feel it actually! So I should be sure of wanting to get rid of it for example. (The voice is always there …!) But no, then comes a voice that says: Nah … (… that tells me: No!) … You do not even know what you want, you’re … You understand? Or … (you are not allowed to ask!) … Yesterday I was so doubtful, I felt so insecure … when I said that I …
10. Desperation II
(Crying) That was the moment when I said … I feel it coming back now, I’m getting sad … I don’t know what it is, but I’m getting sad … Oh, I’m feeling always so uncertain, so doubtful …—But this cannot be true! Yet, my feeling is real! Perhaps, what I say is wrong, but my feeling is real! This little bit, I have to steal it… –
(Crying)—It’s actually sad enough already, right? It’s quite sad enough that I have to steal everything for myself…—It’s so bad that … that apparently I don’t exist, or something, or that if there is me, I don’t want to be doing fine. This is terrible … if you don’t know on whose behalf you are doing anything or shall do or want to do or need to do … Ah …
But isn’t it terrible, say!: That I have to force myself to listen to myself? It’s really bad! I don’t have even the right to find this awful! I am not allowed to find it terrible myself! I have to find it…—yes, I always have to consider it totally normal! I know it only like that, I’ve always lived like this and still live today like this and…—ah …
I have to be thankful and happy that I have written it down at all, that I can put it that way at least. In all this hassle that I always cause myself, I won’t come to myself or something … Ah … And if I tell this to myself—in this moment I’m only coming into play.—And that makes me very sad again, because suddenly I’m there then. And something … But I’m sad! But first I’m there at all.
I need time and tranquility and … I just have to take the time and sort of allow myself to think about anything in peace. I don’t have to always steal it! I must take my time and be calm! Myself! Peter! No, you take your time now! And tranquility! And no one is forcing you, no one has the right to force you! You take your time and your tranquility now.
I only have to take the tranquility again and the time! I have to… Ah …
(Hour of Truth on January 6, 2011)
* Truth-Teller: in German, „Wahrsager“—true-speaker—normally means fortune-teller, diviner, mentalist or soothsayer. Thus, „Wahrsager“ is an absolutely spiritualist and metaphysical term while the protagonist of the Suite—the teller of truth—is exactly the opposite of someone occult; he speaks his truth in its most clear and direct way. The author of the Suite—representing radical Enlightenment—transforms by an untranslatable play on words a metaphysical concept into a physical concept.