June 20, 2011

With Each Thing

Bedroom at Arles

Who can say what is? Who is able to judge the true worth of things?

I can only measure the world in terms of longing. All things are so ready to accommodate our many and often mistaken thoughts and wishes. With each thing I would like to rest for a night, after a day of "doing" with other things. I would like to sleep once with each thing, nestled in its warmth; to dream in the rhythm of its breathing, its dear, naked neighborliness against my limbs, and grow strong in the fragrance of its sleep. Then, early in the morning, before it awakens, before any good-byes, to move on, to move on...

Early Journals


  1. i like the thought of meauring things by the longing. but after that it becomes pure fantasy.a wish before nooding off that can never be true. experoence tells me so.

  2. my father was so like that, immersed in the experiencing of something. lost in love with whatever had caught his attention, and then just as suddenly there would be a pile of finished and forgotten books, tools, a car, whatever it was ... forgotten. i think what threw him off initially about being a father and a husband was that those things stuck around!! steven

  3. To measure the world in terms of one's longings — that is a profound thought. Are we anything more that what we long for?

  4. I feel this longing for each things' thingness very, very keenly. I tend to be like Steven's father with things left half-forgotten. But I also find intense pleasure in rediscovering those things, and re-examining it more closely, in the next spiral of existence, the next and closer look, through eyes that have gained a little understanding, from many days of looking and many nights of sleep.

    And yes, how do we choose what we long to look at more closely? At times it seems so random, just whatever is fated to come our way. But certain things rise above the rest in relief, and we finger them and sing their song above other things. This is such a mystery to me. A beautiful one.

  5. i've been thinking of longing a great deal lately. it is perhaps only half of the equation though, for the rose is a rose. we are so full of ourselves to believe that is not when we do not want it. but it goes on being a rose independent of us. i think even rilke might admit that. this strikes me as a mood for him, not perhaps a universal truth. but it is still a mood that upon reading i initially believed to be brilliant.

    i wonder on violence though, on the ugly aspects of living. how would he reconcile longing with this? longing for domination perhaps?

    longing does drive us onward though. longing has fingers. it crawls forward.


  6. I love this quote. I have often tried to suppress my longings in busy-ness and now, to write a poem about it. xj

  7. " naked neighborliness" love it- and the painting
    of course, a long time favorite. Thanks!


"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!