Sunday, May 26, 2013

Migration and Refuge (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Migration and Refuge

Charged with the Transfiguration of All Things

The Peasants' Churchyard

How all things are in migration! How they seek refuge in us. How each of them desires to be relieved of externality and to live again in the Beyond which we enclose and deepen within ourselves. We are convents of lived things, dreamed things, impossible things; all that is in awe of this century saves itself within us and there, on its knees, pays its debt to eternity.

Little cemeteries that we are, adorned with the flowers of our futile gestures, containing so many corpses that demand that we testify to their souls. All prickly with crosses, all covered with inscriptions, all spaded up and shaken by countless daily burials, we are charged with the transmutation, the resurrection, the transfiguration of all things. For how can we save what is visible if not by using the language of absence, of the invisible?

And how to speak this language that remains mute unless we sing it with abandon and without any insistence on being understood.

Letter to Sophy Giauque
November 26, 1925

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