Ohne (Without)

This song was part of a collaboration between Nebula Ensemble and Wild Beautiful Orchestra in November 2020. After a joint brainstorming session that included discussion of the feeling of living “out of time,” or having been torn away from one’s own timeline as a result of the 2020 pandemic, I wrote the poem below which Russ adapted and set to music of his own composing. The music video features my childhood dollhouse and collection of antique dolls.

Poem:

There is no now in my now;
I wait for yesterday.  
The moment arrived
and was snatched away
just as I reached
for the life I’d built.
Now I wait for yesterday.
It is coming back around, slowly, like the turning of the earth.
But it will not be 
the yesterday I left behind.
When it comes, 
it will be the season I sought, 
but in a new hemisphere.
The words I meant to utter 
will at last leave my tongue, 
but in a new language. 
And still I’ll wait for yesterday, 
for a face loved and lost
changed to a stranger’s face
whose eyes will strain in that new land
to find my own.

Music by Russ Callison, text by Sarah Perske