Thursday, July 11, 2013

An Act of Profound Remembrance

“The knowledge of impermanence that haunts our days is their very fragrance.”
Rilke is always my bible, the source of wisdom I live by.  I open his collected poems to find words of comfort or celebration for the big important life events.  To find clues to my feelings, auguries for going forward.

And so today, when I can’t find my own words to describe this letting go of the house that I grew up in, the permanent loss of which has not yet hit me, though the grief is lurking, trailing me just out of sight, I look for guidance in the writings that have so often steadied me.  No single passage said “this,” but it’s a complicated time, and there are many ways of looking at loss, change, growth.  So I toss out a handful, like various colored pebbles into a shallow stream, listening to the sound of their passage into the moving water.

“So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up in front of you, larger than any you have ever seen; if a restlessness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over everything you do.  You must realize that something is happening to you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall.”

“Losing too is still ours; and even forgetting
still has a shape in the kingdom of transformation.
When something's let go of, it circles; and though we are
rarely the center
of the circle, it draws around us its unbroken, marvelous

“Perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad.”

“Were it possible for us to see further than our knowledge reaches, and yet a little way beyond the outworks of our divinings, perhaps we would endure our sadnesses with greater confidence than our joys. For they are the moments when something new has entered into us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy perplexity, everything in us withdraws, a stillness comes, and the new, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it and is silent.”

“I live my life in growing orbits which move out over the things of the world.”

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.  Then in these swelling and ebbing currents, these deepening tides moving out, returning, I will sing you as no one ever has, streaming through widening channels into the open sea.”

Thank you, Rainer Maria Rilke, always, for your words to reckon by.

image:  She Who Is

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