I want to feel you pressing in on me

I slept today all day in a bit of a sick delirium, and as I awakened over and over I was groping for words from a poem in Rilke’s Book of Hours. I am not at home now so I can’t go to my library to find them, as I would have done. The image is of being pressed between rocks in a crevice, and Rilke’s longing-filled prayer that he wants to feel God in that way, pressing in on him. That is what my feeling was all day. When my sister came to check on me I asked her to press down hard with the palms of her hands on my back. That was the closest I could come to satisfying this longing. “God, I want to feel you pressing in on me…” A baby needs swaddling clothes to feel the pressure of love and being cared for. We all need it, to feel God pressing in on us.

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