March 13, 2011

I Opened Myself

Terrace of a Cafe on Montmartre (La Guingette)

I opened myself too wide. I forgot
there's more outside than things and animals
at ease with themselves, whose eyes reflect
the wholeness of their lives.
I forgot my habit of grasping every look
that fell on me: looks, opinions, scrutiny.

Uncollected Poems


  1. A wonderful opening and a fine forgetting in my opinion.

  2. i think the world needs a bunch of these sorts, willing, lawless and reckless enough to forget.


  3. I read this as Rilke's vulnerability to openness: it allows him to see nature in fullness, which is good with animals and flowers, but more troublesome in reading that capricious human animal. - Brendan

  4. That's how I read it too, Brendan.

    The same human who opens too wide is the one who can reflect on it all and be a bee of the invisible. There is that constant taut stretch between that, and this, to find balance.

  5. we should all have such forgetfulness. and be our authentic selves. ahhh, for the bravery of that.

  6. Ruth, I think all Rilke learned to do was to grow a massive carapace against the human intimate, because the thing was infinitely too much for his open senses. Bees of the Invisible end up getting Black Flagged by beloveds impatient for their due. So he increasingly hoarded his eternal internal.- Brendan

  7. I think in the 'opening too wide' there is that place where we feel vulnerable, too exposed to those looks that fall on us because we judge them as opinions, scrutiny of who we are...


"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Go ahead, bloom recklessly!