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Tag Archives: Rainier Marie Rilke

Part 2, Sonnet X

Rilke wrote romantic and philosophic poetry was ahead its time. In a time, when our tools are often taken-for-granted appendages, it is essential to take time and recall the mysteries of life. I think he reminds us that the systems we create act as a machine, too.

When we take time and meditate over living, we find those extraordinary moments lifted from the ordinary. To live in proper relationship with our world and each other, is to (re)member there are always things we cannot understand.

Remember comes from the Latin, meaning call to mind and mindful. John Dewey proposed the word mind was a verb. It is a way of caring and tending to the world much like a gardener takes time to care for their garden.

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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Turning Point

We tend to live isolated worlds and the boundaries are often rigid rather than permeable. We come in contact with many and absorb something from each. Life is a relational experience whether the relationship is with our self, another person, another being, the Cosmos. It begins inside and emerges. It is blending of all into one that makes us human and allows us to be a part of the macrocosm. We only need to turn to those relationships. Rainer Maria Rilke wrote this beautiful poem about turning points and the need to look inward.

For there is a boundary to looking.

And the world that is looked at so deeply

wants to flourish in love.

Work of the eyes is done, now

go and do the heart-work

on all the images imprisoned in you; for you

overpowered them: but even now you don’t know them.

Learn inner man, to look on your inner woman,

the one attained from a thousand

natures, the merely attained but

not yet beloved form.

Live Your Way into the Answers

Here are words to live by offered to us by the German poet Rainer Marie Rilke. Enjoy.

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