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Archive for the ‘Rilke’ Category

As ever, I am astonished by autumn. This year, seemingly most beautiful. Leaves still lingering here and there. Colors becoming softer. The morning and late afternoon light luminous, golden. The air, sharp, pure, crystalline. The sky vibrant. These moments, this season, this life, so precious. Gratitude abounds.

FROM RILKE’S BOOK OF HOURS, I, 17

She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them gratefully
into a single cloth–
it’s she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
and clears it for a different celebration

where the one guest is you.
In the softness of evening
it’s you she receives.

You are the partner of her loneliness,
the unspeaking center of her monologues.
With each disclosure you encompass more
and she stretches beyond what limits her,
to hold you.

– trans. Anita Barrows & Joanna Macy –

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Only in our doing can we grasp you.
Only with our hands can we illumine you.
The mind is but a visitor;
it thinks us out of our world.

Each mind fabricates itself.
We sense it limits, for we have made them.
And just when we would flee them, you come
and make of yourself an offering.

I don’t want to think a place for you.
Speak to me from everywhere.
Your Gospel can be comprehended
without looking for its source.

When I go toward you
it is with my whole life.

I, 51

Rilke’s Book of Hours
Translated by Anita Barrows & Joanna Macy

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Through the empty branches the sky remains.
It is what you have.
Be earth now, and evensong.
Be the ground lying under that sky.
Be modest now, like a thing
ripened until it it is real,
so that he who began it all
can feel you when he reaches for you.

II,I

Rilke
Rilke’s Book of Hours
trans. Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

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The hour is striking so close above me,
so clear and sharp,
that all my senses ring with it.
I feel it now: there’s a power in me
to grasp and give shape to my world.

I know that nothing has ever been real
without my beholding it.
All becoming has needed me.
My looking ripens things
and they come toward me, to meet and be met.

I,I
Rilke’s Book of Hours
trans. Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

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Early this morning…a walk with my dear friend Sunny and our canine companion Elvis. Black Rock Forest, our personal sanctuary, vibrant with autumn. Sharp air, tasting, smelling sweet, tangy, moist. We stood in silence and watched the trees breathing. Watched a single leaf clinging, spinning, not yet willing to acknowledge gravity’s law, aging or impermanence. Our pact: Stay vibrant until we aren’t and then let go with grace.

How surely gravity’s law
strong as an ocean current
takes hold of even the smallest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world.

Each thing—
each stone, blossom, child—
is held in place
Only we, in our arrogance
push out beyond what we each belong to
for some empty freedom.

If we surrender
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.

Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.

So, like children, we begin again
to learn from the things
because they are in God’s heart
they have never left him.

This is what the things can teach us
to fall
patiently to trust our heaviness
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.

– RILKE –

(Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God,
translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

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THE BOOK OF PILGRIMAGE, II, 22

You are the future,
the red sky before sunrise
over the fields of time.

You are the cock’s crow when night is done,
You are the dew and the bells of matins,
maiden, stranger, mother, death.

You create yourself in ever-changing shapes
that rise from the stuff of our days —
unsung, unmourned, undescribed,
like a forest we never knew.

You are the deep innerness of all things,
the last word that can never be spoken.
To each of us you reveal yourself differently:
to the ship as coastline, to the shore as a ship.

– RAINER MARIA RILKE –

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THE SONNETS TO ORPHEUS, PART TWO, XII

Want the change. Be inspired by the flame
where everything shines as it disappears.
The artist, when sketching, loves nothing so much
as the curve of the body as it turns away.

What locks itself in sameness has congealed.
Is it safer to be gray and numb?
What turns hard becomes rigid
and is easily shattered.

Pour yourself out like a fountain.
Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking
finishes often at the start, and, with ending, begins.

Every happiness is the child of a separation
it did not think it could survive. And Daphne, becoming a laurel,
dares you to become the wind.

– RANIER MARIA RILKE –

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