Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent Earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.
From Rainer Maria Rilke’s Quiet Friend Who Has Come So Far, Sonnett Two, XXIX, as translated by Joanna Macy in Rilke’s Book of Hours.
If you’re in the mood for audio-nourishment, Krista Tippett spoke with Joanna Macy about Rilke and other topics related to this Great Turning we’re living in (and contributing to). Find that On Being interview here.