Saturday, October 16, 2010

Life begins at 40

I've heard it said that life begins at 40. In some ways, that's entirely inaccurate...the fullness of the past 40 years is impossible to ignore, nor would I want to. On the other hand, a rekindled passion for life and its potentialities seems to be astir in this watershed year. I can find no better way to express what's brewing than this poem, recently e-mailed from a friend:

"Go to the Limits of Your Longing"

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 a 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; translation by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows

Book of Hours, I 59

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