Yesterday I caught a bit of a Rilke poem someone had posted on Facebook. It wasn’t the entire poem, but the line about unfolding was enough for me. I think this is about daring to be human–and to know yourself in all your humanness and to embrace it and keep with it even when it’s difficult.
My challenge now in daring to be human is to not stay folded. This is easier said than done. Case in point–recently, I have been confronted multiple times to comments by others that were rude, condescending, and/or terribly misguided. I tend to stay that tiny, quiet person who doesn’t cause conflict over such things–my Catholic school girl roots seem to have overtaken the fine, growing midlife me that used to speak up about such things. I think this may be what it means to stay folded. Isn’t my silence agreement? Couldn’t I at least offer some kind of alternate perspective? I don’t have to be rude or condescending about it, right?
My next step–to get a stronger grip about what I believe in matters of the world, and to be strong in my convictions. This way, Perhaps I will feel more comfortable when it is time to speak up. Writing every day about the five questions will hopefully keep me on that path.
Enjoy the poem. May your weekend unfold beautifully.
I Am Too Alone In The World, And Not Alone Enough
By Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Robert Bly
I am too alone in the world, and not alone enough
to make every minute holy.
I am too tiny in this world, and not tiny enough
just to lie before you like a thing,
shrewd and secretive.
I want my own will, and I want simply to be with my will,
as it goes toward action,
and in the silent, sometimes hardly moving times
when something is coming near,
I want to be with those who know secret things
or else alone.
I want to be a mirror for your whole body,
and I never want to be blind, or to be too old
to hold up your heavy and swaying picture.
I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
And I want my grasp of things
true before you. I want to describe myself
like a painting that I looked at
closely for a long time,
like a saying that I finally understood,
like the pitcher I use every day,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship
that took me safely
through the wildest storm of all.