Posts Tagged ‘Rainer Maria Rilke’

Terrifying Angels

March 29, 2010

In The Duino Elegies Rilke stated, “Every angel is terrifying.” I agree. When the vast realities of the other worlds break into our own, a multitude of responses arise in us. Terror is definitely one of them. Our little lives are watched over, and though we don’t always feel it we are in the hands of great powers. I know better, but recently I was feeling a bit forgotten, as if I had floated into a sidepool and the river was running over there at a distance without me. I told the gods that I need to feel them moving in my life. The next thing you know, I felt pushed off a cliff, falling through space, taken on a wild ride. I hit bottom without injury, but have been rattled to the core. Angels of grace show up when we call for them, but watch out. Every angel is terrifying.

Life is in the right

February 25, 2010

My daily readings from A Year with Rilke continue to speak to me as if composed for my special circumstances. The synchronicities can be eerie. Two days ago I was able to leave the mountain for the first time in 10 days. We had a little break in the weather that allowed me to go into town, gather some supplies and lead a dream group. After so many days of complete isolation, just looking into the eyes as I talked to a lady at the cash register allowed me to begin to feel normal again. The next day the roads iced over and 12 more inches of snow have fallen.It starts all over again.

I want to say that it is a very rare privilege to live on this mountain top and be able to experience these extremes of weather. I love it. I chose it. And I am grateful. On the other hand this hardest of winters in my life’s experience is testing my mettle in serious ways. Week after week of social isolation and worrying about not being able to get into town to do my work so that bills can be met put me on a psychological edge. So what does Rilke have to say to assist me today?

“What should I say about your tendency to doubt your struggle or to harmonize your inner and outer life? My wish is ever strong that you find enough patience within you and enough simplicity to have faith. May you gain more and more trust in what is challenging, and confidence in the solitude you bear. Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right in any case.” (from Letters to a Young Poet)

Across time so much beauty and intelligence links us all. What can I say about my tendency to doubt? I wish you could see the snowy mountains outside my window right now. Life is surely in the right.

More about singing and a dream

January 21, 2010

Yesterday I wrote about the song singing over the earth, using Rilke’s words. The feeling from that writing stayed with me all day. Today a lovely woman who regularly comes up to the mountain to do one day retreats with me was here for one of our days together. We talked and worked with her dreams through the morning and then during the afternoon, which she spends quietly journaling and reflecting, I took a nap and fell into a dream. A group of “carolers” (not Christmas carolers, just singers) had come to my house and were standing outside of the window to my office. They were singing not a two or three part harmony, but rather it seemed like a 16 part harmony, or many more that they had worked out – the singing so perfectly and intricately toned  that it was beyond anything I can describe. I tried to get up to go tell my guest that they were here and that we should run outside to see them and listen. I couldn’t get back into my body to move. Then she came into my room (still in the dream) to tell me that they were here and I tried hard to get back into my body, and finally made it. They had moved into a place nearby where they had numerous instruments being utilized along with their voices. It was one of the most exciting and intriguing things I had ever seen – and utterly surprising.

After my nap I told my friend of the dream. She sat quietly and then said she wondered if it was the spirits of this mountain singing over our work. I liked that. I am moved by this dream, so responsive to yesterday’s thoughts and feelings, and so affirming.

And just now I read today’s Rilke reading, in a poem called “God Speaks” from his Book of Hours. I’ll excerpt some lines:

I am, you anxious one.

Don’t you sense me, ready to break
into being at your touch?
My murmurings surround you like shadowy wings.

I am the dream you are dreaming.
When you want to awaken, I am waiting.