“Go to the limits of your longing” – L’abîme en face

Gott spricht zu jedem nur, eh er ihn macht,
dann geht er schweigend mit ihm aus der Nacht.
Aber die Worte, eh jeder beginnt,
diese wolkigen Worte sind:

Von deinen Sinnen hinausgesandt,
geh bis an deiner Sehnsucht Rand;
gib mir Gewand.

Hinter den Dingen wachse als Brand,
daß ihre Schatten ausgespann
timmer mich ganz bedecken.

Laß dir alles geschehn: Schönheit und Schrecken.
Man muß nur gehn: Kein Gefühl ist das fernste.
Laß dich von mir nicht trennen.
Nah ist das Land,
das sie das Leben nennen.

Du wirst es erkennen
an seinem Ernste.

Gib mir die Hand.

God speaks to each of us as s/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.

(Rilke’s Book of Hours, I, 59)

    Rainer Maria Rilke

  Das Stunden-Buch

translation by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy


Deeply connected

A Web of your own making

Terrorist attacks and Memory

At Johan Nygaardsvold’s square, there is a beautiful monument with the names of the victims of the 22 July 2011 attack written in glass. It shone beautifully on the bright September day when I visited a few days ago. The buildings around the square are boarded up and will soon be demolished, they would have been the most desolate sight if it was not for the glorious light, the leaves, the reflection.

Can reflecting bring peace and healing ?

22 July 2011 – Day of Attacks

14.36 The centre of Oslo is disrupted by a huge explosion, damaging the offices of the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, and the country’s largest newspaper VG.

16.57 Two hours after the explosion in Oslo an unknown man, dressed as a police officer, arrives on Utøya island outside Oslo and travels to a youth camp organised by the ruling Norwegian Labour Party. He opens fire on the group of teenagers, who have gathered after hearing noises on the shoreline.

18.00 Police arrive on the island and proceed to apprehend the lone gunman, who has yet to be identified. The man does not resist arrest. Late in the evening Mr Stoltenberg, the Norwegian Prime Minster, gives a press conference in which he labels the attack upon the youth camp “especially brutal – an attack of cowardice.”

23 July Mr Stoltenberg speaks of a “national tragedy” as the death toll continues to climb. 77 people are eventually reported as having lost their lives, 69 from the Utøya shootings. Anders Behring Breivik, 32, is identified by Norwegian media as the man arrested by police. Mr Stoltenberg indicated that Breivik was part of a larger organisation, and not acting alone.

In The Telegraph
By Rose Troup Buchanan
9:00AM BST 24 Aug 2012


Love and Fear – Michael Leunig

There are only two feelings.
Love and fear.
There are only two languages.
Love and fear.
There are only two activities.
Love and fear.
There are only two motives,
two procedures two frameworks,
two results.
Love and fear.
Love and fear.



C’est la chaude loi des hommes – Paul Éluard

Bonne justice

C’est la chaude loi des hommes
Du raisin ils font du vin
Du charbon ils font du feu
Des baisers ils font des hommes

C’est la dure loi des hommes
Se garder intact malgré
Les guerres et la misère
Malgré les dangers de mort

C’est la douce loi des hommes
De changer l’eau en lumière
Le rêve en réalité
Et les ennemis en frères

Une loi vieille et nouvelle
Qui va se perfectionnant
Du fond du cœur de l’enfant
Jusqu’à la raison suprême.

Paul Éluard

I Am Pleased to Tell You – Mary Oliver

Mr. Death, I am pleased to tell you, there
are rifts in your long black coat. Today
Rumi (obit. 1273) came visiting, and not for
the first time. True he didn’t speak with
his tongue but from memory, and whether
he was short or tall I still don’t know.
But he was as real at the tree I was
under. Just because something’s physical
doesn’t mean it’s the greatest. He
offered a poem or two, then sauntered on.
I sat awhile feeling content and feeling
contentment in the tree also. Isn’t
everything in the world shared? And one
of the poems contained a tree, so of
course the tree felt included. That’s
Rumi, who has no trouble slipping out of
your long coat, oh Mr. Death.

Mary Oliver