She is an
Eternal plane of possibilities
Of stillness, plateaus and peaks
Flowing as water falls on rock and soil
Leaving pearls of wisdom
On the brow of animals
She holds my head
When the day is done
Warming our cold fields of endless mornings
Hides in mists and mimics nature
Or is it nature mimicking her?
Now she’s just her sex,
She is everything’s mother.
Even words were born by her pretending
To understand her baby
Her wisdom is weightless and immortal
She forgets it in a culture
Of men who count
Even her – in a bid to outsmart life
As I close more and more books and raise my eyes instead I see
That she is in all places where she does not meet resistance …
“Hurry, hurry!” echoing in my life: “I have to move on and on.”
Guided by nymphs
Who don’t judge
Who speak a language I do not understand
The more I doubt everything
The more a meaningfulness glows
As if in my cupped hands.
My sight flaming its light
When I seek firmness she answers with chaos
When I seek Chaos she answers with firmness
When I am hard she answers with softness
When I am soft she answers with softness –
until that is, she stops answering…
And that is the only thing that I know.
And here I am.
I will not disarm but
I surrender everything else. “
The picture for this essay was painted by Klimt in 1918.. I once heard an expert on the arts calling Klimt an expert on women and I think I agree.
Nietzsche must have been thinking along the same lines about women when he half humorously pondered if the biggest philosophical problem is whether women are right.
What Nietzsche probably refers to here is for instance the fact that women’s basic wisdom and advice such as drink tea with lemon when you have the flu actually works and that a man’s advanced philosophical systems may rather confuse than shed light on the essence of things.
Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), who was such a sharp a thinker that Nietzsche never walked around without a Montaigne’s essays in his pocket (true story!), wrote in the fifteenth century that women were leaders in our home and in our schools, so he had the men who began teaching women in mathematics, rhetoric and for example astronomy suspected of doing so, just in order to be able to control them.