seclusion retreat … 10th day
of my ramshackle
where no one but the wind
comes to call (Saigyō Trans: B Watson, Poems of a Mountain Home)
“One can live without coffee and without cigarettes, Liesl said rebelliously, but not without nature, that’s impossible, no one should be allowed to deprive you of that. I said, ‘Think of it as if we’d got to spend a prison sentence here, for a few years perhaps, and learn to look at the couple of trees over there across the road as if they were a forest. …” (Etty Hillesum, Trans: A Pomerans, An Interrupted Life The Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941-1943. pg. 127)
“… Were it possible for us to see further than our own knowledges reaches, and yet a little way beyond the outworks of our divining, perhaps we would endure our sadnesses with greater confidences than our joys. For they are the moments when something new has entered into us, something unknown, our feelings grow more mute in shy perplexity, everything in us withdrawn, a stillness comes, and the new, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it and is silent. …” (Rainer Maria Rilke Trans: M D Herter Norton, Letters to a Young Poet. pg.40
3 replies to “variations on a theme”
Every single image is beautiful. And I’ve always meant to compliment you on your wide range of reading.
Thank you, Michael. It is my hope that the images and/or words I share invite a greater mindfulness and connection during this time of uncertainty.
Your hope is fulfilled, with me at least.
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