December 7, 2011

The Life Being Lived

The Dance by Marc Chagall

And yet, though we strain
against the deadening grip
of daily necessity,
I sense there is this mystery:

All life is being lived.

Who is living it, then?
Is it the things themselves,
or something waiting inside them,
like an unplayed melody in a flute?

Is it the winds blowing over the waters?
Is it the branches that signal to each other?

Is it flowers
interweaving their fragrances,
or streets, as they wind through time?

Is it animals, warmly moving,
or the birds, that suddenly rise up?

Who lives it, then? God, are you the one
who is living life?

The Book of Hours II, 12


  1. In my view, which tends to be panentheistic, the Ultimate Reality pointed to by the symbol "God" permeates all life. The problem I see, however, is with those of us, probably most of us, who "strain against the deadening grip of daily necessity." To experience life fully while caught in the deadening grips of daily necessity—how are we to manage that? This, to me, is the ultimate existential question.

  2. I'm almost with George. I would just go a tad further and say that it IS life. Life in all its forms, some maybe as yet unknown to, not experienced by, us. A great pair they make, the painting and the poem: you chose them well.


"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!