Saturday, April 18, 2009

Full Circle

Today I had a full circle moment.

I love Rainer Maria Rilke, whom I discovered as a result of reading The Gold Puppy. The Rilke poem that started it all for me just happened to turn up in a book about religion that I'm reading at the moment. It still made me cry. The poem is this:

Gott spricht zu jedem nur, eh er ihn macht

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
Then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
Go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like flame
And make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

--Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy.