Listen to the opening bars of Carmina Burana
Click here to listen to the opening
bars of Carmina Burana
Tarot Card. Fortune, Empress of the World

This famous piece of classical music, Carmina Burana, music by Carl Orff to words written by wandering poets known as 'goliards' in 13th century. The Carmina Burana ("Lieder aus Beuern") is a collection of songs; an oratorio about life, love, springtime and drinking found in a medieval German manuscript called the Benediktbeuern manuscript. It is a mixture of medieval German and Latin. The opening song, Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi (Fortune, Empress of the World) sung in Latin, contains the following appropriate lines:

"Hateful life mistreats and oppresses us,
Then, as the sun, melts our woes.
Monstrous fate you turning wheel
Are cruel, spoiling my health at will.
I bare my back to your villainy.
Fate takes everything away from me
And leaves me its slave.
So now let's pluck the strings and weep
For fate crushes the brave."

Over the first few years following my diagnosis in 1973 I gained a little consolation from the words of that wise old medieval goliard. I had lost not only my health but a lucrative career in advertising, our home, and a life-long passion in sailing. But I soon discovered that I was not alone!

Altogether it took over ten painful years to come to terms with this damn awful condition. Finally, after 30 years I believe I have found the truth, or should I say Drs. Paolo Zamboni MD, R Galeotti, E Menegatti in Italy may have. After listening to many doctors and neurologists, Dr Zamboni's theory is the most logical argument I have heard so far and one day may lead to eliminating the worst symptoms for other MS patients.

During those intervening 30 years I have returned to sailing (after a fashion), and I have discovered - and re-discovered - real friendship. In the words of the oratorio "Hateful life mistreats and oppresses us, Then, as the sun, melts our woes". Not all my woes have entirely vanished however I get around using an electric wheelchair.

Pamela and myself love opera regularly visited The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden where my childhood friend William Morton played the flute in the orchestra before retiring. We also visited The Royal Albert Hall. Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi has exacted her toll but I bare my back to her villainy.

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Last edited Dec 2014. ©Terence Wilson MMIX