Monday, November 29, 2010
I am too alone in the world, and not alone enough
to make every moment holy...
Rainer Maria Rilke
It should have been obvious because of the recent photographs. I’ve been getting down on my knees and nearly falling into young pine trees and leaning precariously close to poison oak bushes, attempting to catch the one leaf the sun has chosen, at just this moment, to illuminate. I inched along a meadow on my belly for an autumn colored moth. I get up so near to things, that if they could bite, they might. If they could kiss, would they?
Or the way, on walks, lately, I’ll take a few steps and stop, as if someone called my name from faraway and long ago, as if there was a small churning of leaves, the sound of a deer getting up. Perhaps there was. But I didn’t notice that stopping still for longer than a moment as being anything symptomatic of anything either.
Neither my choice of photographic subjects nor the pacing of my walks and my particular desire to go out alone indicated anything, not even Michael’s saying, “And you’re the girl who didn’t like to get mud on her hands? Now look at you.”
Rilke though, he did it, once again. The poet rescued me from my own oblivion. First autumn and grief at all the edges brought me to my knees, then Rilke brought me home to the depth of being which is so damn nuanced and weighted, at times, as to be annoying.
He’s the one who wrote, “I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.” Um, humm. Me too.
Donald Hall said, “Poetry is the unsayable said.” Poetry takes language and urges it to form into that which, previously, hadn’t language touched. That’s how poetry is. This could also be said, “Nature is the unsayable said.” What a leaf says, I could say no other way. What the wind whispers, could be sung by no one else. (Though I try.)
Nature and poetry speak my language. They know me best, not that either set out to know me at all. Both voice aspects of what it means to be alive that nothing else does, and without them I would be far more than bereft than I already am. More than that though, I’d be less wholly alive.
Do you know these lines?
“What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights with us is so great!”
“I love the dark hours of my being
in which my senses drop into the deep.”
The beauty and the grief of the world close up and the world at large yank at me. Sometimes, I find it hard to acknowledge the depth of my own being, find it difficult to regard my own nuance and complexity. How do I hold it all? Even though when I do, I have more to offer all I love, more abundance from which to give.
“My life is not this steeply sloping hour,
in which you see me hurrying.”
And most of all this:
”I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
And I want my grasp of things
to be true before you.”
Posted by Patrice Vecchione at 7:05 AM