August 18, 2011

Dread and Mystery

Lovers in Gray, by Marc Chagall

More than once I have mentioned to you how my life and work have been guided by the effort to overcome the old pressures that rob us of mystery, the mystery essential to our capacity to love from fullness. Humanity has been terrified and beset by dread; but is there anything noble and gracious that has not, from time to time, worn the mask of dread?

Letter to Countess Margot Sizzo-Noris-Crouy
April 12, 1923


  1. So, within all sorrows, there is something noble and gracious . . . ? If we can get beyond fear, expectation, comparison with what we wish over what is.

    I believe that this must be true.

  2. does this go even a little further than growth from sorrow and dread? i was a little confused at first when i read this because this was my expectation and perhaps my wish, that my ideas and rilkes might match up. and then i was confused, "is there anything noble and gracious that has not, from time to time, worn the mask of dread?" so is rilke then suggesting that it is the oscillation between states that causes the growth, not just between joy and pain, but between fear and acceptance as well? i think so, or perhaps again this is me hoping.

    and so, according to rilke, it is ok to fail and fail again, to be utterly human, to be filled with fear and dread, if only so that we might pass out of this state and can then note the distance between, when we arrive at acceptance?

    and what of mystery? are we addicted to mystery? i know i am but i'm not sure that it is a wise thing to be. and just what are we supposed to be? i ask myself this. am i to be an ideal of someone elses construction or only my authentic self? and is being my authentic self an excuse to be imperfect? (oh, how these questions spill from one another!)


  3. I was passing through different blogs and thought id just say hello. Richard from the Amish community of Lebanon,Pa.

  4. i have some trouble associating nobility and graciousness with the stain of dread. perhaps i hold these ideals to a higher plane than i ought.
    i see dread as bigger than fear, more despair and hopelessness
    but then King David, at times was noble but at times a rascal and certainly knew dread.
    not sure i have the formula just yet to make the math work.


"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!