Stephen Horenstein
Music, Arts and Society

Steady State

I disappear in the night.
I relish my privacy in a world I did not invent.
I cherish every moment, though time does not pass.
I wonder when I will arise, perhaps never.
Who will hear my cry? No one.
The silence of the night is twice over.
Qualities of silence enhance our lives, but we are deaf to them.
The shutters closed. We are six floors under.
This strange cruise knows no day, no night.
We lose sight of the solstice, Borealis, practicum.
Limbo is not a game.

I am frightened of what lies ahead.
I can no longer hide behind fame, hoards of things,
Or my wings, of which I have none.
Waiting in line my view is only of the shirt back ahead.
We are all in time. Marching in time.
The silence is deafening. The deeper the silence, the less
We understand.
This state of limbo, this excruciating silence,
This endless waiting, strips us clean.
Like babies we enter the New World
Through portals of ivory and gold
Floating in mid air.

Meanwhile what to do back on earth
With bones, muscles, blood, brain, heart,
All rotting, rolling, standing, running,
Back on earth, showing gratitude
For the taste of
Fresh basil, ginger, cinnamon,
Fresh scented jasmine, lavender,
Fresh touched her neck, thighs, lips
Fresh heard seas, winds
Surround us
All of us, now.
Makes sense, all of this, makes sense.

About the Author
Stephen Horenstein is a composer, researcher and educator. His repertoire of musical works has been performed and recorded worldwide. He has been a recipient of the Israel Prime Minister's Prize for Composers and the National Endowment of the Arts (USA). His teaching has included Bennington College, Brandeis University, Tel Aviv University, Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance; residencies at Stanford University, York University, California Institute of the Arts, and others. He is Founder and Director of the Jerusalem Institute of Contemporary Music, established in 1988 to bring the music of our time to a wider audience.
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