October 14, 2011

The Open

Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from Gardanne

With their whole gaze
animals behold the Open.
Only our eyes
are as though reversed
and set like traps around us,
keeping us inside.
That there is something out there
we know only from the creatures' countenance.

We turn even the young child around,
making her look backward
at the forms we create,
not outward into the Open.

From the Eighth Duino Elegy


  1. Oh travesty, the way we teach our children to unlearn this freedom.

  2. i teach. i value the beauty of individuals and especially their perceptions. i am rarely saddened by much of anything but public education as a model for unleashing and enhancing the innate understanding and celebration of the "open" is an epic failure. but there's more to it than that isn't there!!! steven

  3. Agreed on all counts, Steven.

    As parents, as educators, as members at any place in society, we teach our children to be constrained by something, much of it unnecessary. Some constraint is necessary, as in good laws like speed limits and respecting property of others.

    I'm grateful there are teachers like you, who value the beauty of individuals and especially their perceptions. I imagine that you are one of the teachers who appreciates and learns from your students. You are open to them!

  4. One consolation I received as a teacher (in a former season of life) was hearing, "students learn in spite of their teachers." My teaching goal was to argue that "things are not as they seem."

    Yes, sadly, our eyes are "set like traps around us." I'm thankful for this reminder to "behold the Open."

  5. still blooming my derivations/variations... at http://parolavivace.blogspot.com . My steadfast beta readers commenting on the blog seem to like these, and thank you again for this project affecting many of us--xxxxj

  6. holy heck!

    our eyes
    are as though reversed
    and set like traps around us,
    keeping us inside.

    how many times have i felt bound by this human form, this selfsame form that allows me to touch this world? we are held in a holy contradiction of being. without it we would know nothing. not us, not the i. but without it we would be a part of the whole, whizzing, zipping, clicking! oh wait, we are a part of the whole! it is the trap of the reverse eye that causes us to forget or feel differently!

    holy hell, this is wonderful to consider, all of this. i am so grateful for rilke, for you, ruth, and you, lorenzo, for bringing us to this, this to us.

    OH! lorenzo, i laugh. i had a dream of you last night! you showed a handwritten list of three roads you have been on. two of them were in other countries but one road was not far from here, ten minutes away. can you imagine! what might this mean?

    have a beautiful weekend.


  7. Send the name of the road, Erin. Or has it gone off back to the land of dreams, to olividium? Either way, those are the roads that most beckon us to travel.


"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!