An Extraordinary Day

I had the privilege over the week-end to spend a day of retreat out at Spirit Rock Meditation Center with Joanna Macy, Jennifer Berezan and a few hundred other people. A much longer post is coming about this most amazing day, but for now, I simply must post a few poems that Joanna read, has translated and recites with deep awe and gratitude, a state I found myself in for most of the day, which has stayed with me and is resonating in a very deep place in me. And, I just found out that they’ll both be at Esalen during my time there! Yippee!!

I live my life in widening circles

that reach out across the world.

I may not complete this last one

but I give myself to it.

I circle around God, around the primordial tower.

I’ve been circling for thousands of years

and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,

a storm, or a great song?

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~

(Rilke’s Book of Hours:Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

Quiet friend who has come so far

Part Two, Sonnet XXIX

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent Earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

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

These are 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 seriousnes.

Give me your hand.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~
(Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

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This entry was posted in Back in the Bay Area, Poetry / Inspiration. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to An Extraordinary Day

  1. James says:

    Thank you for sharing these amazing poems, just what I needed to read today! Much love to you, dear Christina.

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