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Part Two X: The Machine Endangers All We Have Made

Rilke suggested we live the questions now and someday we might live our way into the answers. This poem raises the question about what he meant by the Machine. He capitalized it suggesting it has been given a privileged place in the world.

Does the Machine eat away at our humanness and humanity? Mindfulness allows us to be present, living in the moment, and possibly living our way to answers. Perhaps, this gives us our humanness and humanity even when we do not have the words to express the mystery involved.

The Machine endangers all we have made.

We allow it to rule instead of obey.

To build a house, cut the stone sharp and fast:
the carver’s hand takes too long to feel its way.

The Machine never hesitates, or we might escape
and its factories subside into silence.
It thinks it’s alive and does everything better.
With equal resolve it creates and destroys.

But life holds mystery for us yet. In a hundred places
we can still sense the source: a play of pure powers
that — when you feel it — brings you to your knees.

There are yet words that come near the unsayable,
and, from crumbling stones, a new music
to make a sacred dwelling in a place we cannot own.

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and spent the last 14 years teaching in an incrediable hybrid school setting. My dissertation topic and research were how teachers experience becoming who teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

14 responses »

  1. My best moments have been simple. Just a clear mind and going with the moment.

    Reply
  2. Yet the machine is simply a tool, a different tool from the one we’ve been accustomed to using, and it still takes skill to wield it successfully. Humanness cannot be robbed, it can, however, be relinquished; and it IS relinquished when we buy into believing that it is the Machine doing the work and not the Human using and guiding the Machine that is master.

    Interesting…xoxoM

    Reply
  3. Machine could also be a metaphor for the “system” or “politics” or “government” or any institutions that we allow to rule instead of obey the people.

    Reply
  4. So well written so deep

    Reply
  5. Very metaphorical. Sometimes even the mind can be the most destructive machine.

    Reply

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