Happy New Year. May the coming year bring you strength and joyous times wherever you are. The year gone felt like a bumper car ride with one hand tied on the back. Fun, scary, and a little painful. Rilke’s image of a growing storm conveys many of the thoughts and feelings I’ve had lately and seems an appropriate poetic entry point for 2012 (from the Book of Hours translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy).
You are not surprised at the force of the storm –
you have seen it growing.
The trees flee. Their flight
sets the boulevards streaming. And you know:
he whom they flee is the one
you move toward. All your senses
sing him, as you stand at the window.
The weeks stood still in summer.
The trees blood rose. Now you feel
it wants to sink back
into the source of everything. You thought
you could trust that power
when you plucked the fruit;
now it becomes a riddle again,
and you again a stranger.
Summer was like your house: you knew
where each thing stood.
Now you must go out into your heart
as onto a vast plain. Now
the immense loneliness begins.
The days go numb, the wind
sucks the world from your senses like withered leaves.
Through the empty branches the sky remains.
It is what you have.
Be earth now, and evensong.
Be the ground lying under that sky.
Be modest now, like a thing
ripened until it is real,
so that he who began it all
can feel you when he reaches for you.
All the best for 2012 and thanks for what we shared over the last year.