October 15, 2011

Leaving Paradise

Winding Road in Provence

Be our refuge from the wrath
that drove us out of Paradise.

Be our shepherd, but never call us—
we can't bear to know what's ahead.

From The Book of Hours I, 44


  1. Is this a call to live in the moment? The regret of the past, and anxiety for the future are no place to live.

  2. I think you're right in one sense, Ruth - In his Eighth Elegy he says

    We, only, can see death; the free animal
    has its decline in back of it, forever,
    and God in front, and when it moves, its moves
    already in eternity, like a fountain.

    There's such ennui for that original state in this piece from the Book of Hours -- O that we could live in the eternity off the moment ... Also, I think he's looking at an evolving God, from the Old Testament Eden-evicting judgmental God (perhaps of his own Catholic youth) to a softer, more human New Testamental deity, protector and shepherd. And perhaps that God would allow the human a mediated sense of futurity, blessing us with less of that knowledge of death - prophecies of our end we don't need. - Brendan


"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!