Rainer Maria Rilke distilled his feelings and his revelations into words with a painful, half-embarrassed sincerity, and ever-probing honesty. He wrote of his compulsion,
"Search for the cause, find the impetus that bids you write. Put it to this test: Does it stretch out its roots in the deepest place of your heart? Can you avow that you would die if you were forbidden to write?"
And now the hour bows down, it touches me, throbs
metallic, lucid and bold:
my senses are trembling. I feel my own power--
on this pliable day I lay hold.
Until I perceived it, no thing was complete,
but waited, hushed, unfulfilled.
My vision is ripe, to each glance like a bride
comes softly the thing that was willed.
There is nothing too small, but my tenderness paints
it large on a background of gold,
and I prize it, not knowing whose soul at the sight,
released, may unfold"
-- Rainer Maria Rilke was born this day in 1875
"I love all beginnings, despite their anxiousness, their uncertainty, which belong to every commencement. If I have earned a pleasure or a reward, or if I wish that something had not happened; if I doubt the worth of an experience and remain in my past--then I choose to begin at this very second.
"Begin what? I begin. I have already thus begun a thousand lives."
-- tr. Joanna Macy & Anita Barrows
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
that are in God's heart,
that have never left him.
This is what the things can teach us:
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.