February 15, 2011

To Darkness

The Church at Auvers, by Vincent van Gogh

You, darkness, of whom I am born—

I love you more than the flame
that limits the world
to the circle it illumines
and excludes all the rest.

But the dark embraces everything:
shapes and shadows, creatures and me,
people, nations—just as they are.

From the Book of Hours I, 11


  1. it's telling that i would chose to throw more fuel on the fire to cast a wider light. to see larger shadows. steven

  2. I'm thinking of children being born. My firstborn came out with her eyes wide open, no tears, looking as if she took everything in the room in. My second came out shrieking, eyes soon swollen shut from crying so hard, angry, very angry that he had been forced to leave the warm, dark shelter of the womb. I think what Rilke refers to as "darkness" is the "inside."

  3. i'm wondering how far away lightness is from darkness. i'm thinking they are one and the same. not sure if they are for Rilke, but they would have to be, wouldn't they, considering the all, considering the necessity of polarity?

    i was wondering this for myself just yesterday, trying to determine how/where light and dark existed. i came up with the place beyond language.

    i just read what you wrote Ruth, and again i can't help but feel that one falls through the other over and over again, a river, an eternal loop. (i love to consider what you wrote of your child being born and then upon the precipice of breath - crying.)


  4. born to the darkness...exploring the shadows


"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!