December 5, 2011

Both a Breath and a Shout

orange leaf, by George McHenry of Transit Notes

I want to praise him.
Loud as a trumpet
in the vanguard of an army,
I will run ahead and proclaim.

My words will be sweet to hear.
My people will drink them in like wine
and not get drunk.

And on moonless nights, when few remain
around my tent, I will make music as soft
as a last warm wind that hovers
late and tender before the winter's chill.

So my voice becomes both a breath and a shout.
One prepares the way, the other
surrounds my loneliness with angels.

The Book of Hours III, 11


  1. I'm honored, Ruth and Lorenzo, to have one of my photos paired with a wonderful quote from Rilke. To make soft music, especially on moonless nights when few remain around the tent, to allow one's voice to be both a breath and a shout—this seems to be a perfect credo for the artist.

  2. There is bittersweetness in this music, sometimes softly treading on eggshells, a comforting balm, and at times bold and brassy, shutting out loneliness. George's gorgeous image of backlit leaves represents that softness and brightness that is a comfort to both the listener-observer, and to the musician-artist.

  3. I certainly agree that putting George's photo, so simple and stunning at the same time, with this passage from Rilke is an inspired and inspiring pairing.

  4. Beautiful image, George. And yes, Lorenzo, it's beautifully paired with Rilke's words!


"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!