Notes from the Waxhaws

Just keep going

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Sometimes, it’s very easy to fall prey to the darkness of this season…and seemingly lose our way but once again. But if we listen carefully, inspiration can be found in unlikely places. I remember reading some poems of Rilke when I was very young. But…at that time…they didn’t have much effect on me. I guess that I just wasn’t ready. I heard this poem of Rilke’s last night, read by Joanna Macy…and it brought me out of the gloom. I’m reminded that everything that happens to us…good and bad…colors us…makes us who we are…or who we are becoming. And we need the courage to just keep going.

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

(translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

Written by Jim

December 19, 2012 at 6:39 pm

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