Monday, November 4, 2019

that pure unseparated element

Never, not for a single day, do we have
before us that pure space into which flowers
endlessly open. Always there is World
and never Nowhere without the No:h
that pure
unseparated element which one breathes
without desire and endlessly knows. A child
may wander t
here for hours, through the timeless
stillness, may get lost in it and be
shaken back. Or someone dies and is it.
For, nearing death, one doesn't see death; but stares
beyond, perhaps with an animal's vast gaze.
Lovers, if the beloved were not there
blocking the view, are close to it, and marvel...
As if by some mistake, it opens for them
behind each other... But neither can move past
the other, and it changes back to World.
Forever turned toward objects, we see in them
the mere reflection of the realm of freedom,
which we have dimmed. Or when some animal
mutely, serenely, looks us through and through.
That is what fate means: to be opposite, 
to be opposite and nothing else, forever.
~ Rainer Marie Rilke
from the  Duino Elegies
excerpt from the Eighth Elegy