Quiet conversations that will not be publicized

So what’s a new possibility you’re inspired by? I love your questions. You’re pushing in the really important way. Here’s what I think of: I see the disarray. I see the broken power structures. I see the damage and the pain. I also see people tending to that. At the heart of some of these national-level or community-level conflicts, there is space to move below the radar and start stitching together relationships and quiet conversations at a very human, granular level. We’re going to work on quiet conversations that will not be publicized. That feels to me like a power move in this world…

A lot of people worry about finding their calling. Do you have any advice for them? I’m very aware that in this culture, in the 20th-century world, we’ve diminished the idea of a calling to mean your job title. I think there are many callings in a life. I want people to liberate the idea of their calling from what they’re being paid to do for a living. Your calling may be something that you do that gives you joy but that you’re never going to get paid for. It may be certain relationships that you’re holding that are primary. Being a parent or being a child, being a friend, being a neighbor, the service you do in your community. It can be how you show up through your day, how you treat strangers. You can play an instrument. You can write. It’s the things that amplify your best humanity.I don’t think I have to define that, because we all intuitively know what it is. I talk so much on this show about Rilke —

I know where you’re going: “Living the questions.” Yes! The notion of living the questions in a world that is in love with answers. I’ve been reading Rilke since I was in Berlin almost 40 years ago, what I feel coming back to our world is this idea that to do justice to a question means that you cannot rush to an answer. What you’re called to do is hold the question itself, dwell with the question respectfully, and love the question. Live your way into the answer. If you hold a question, if you’re faithful, the question will be faithful back to you.

OK, what was the last thing that blew your mind? For me the last two years have been one seismic event after the other. That experience of the ground shaking beneath our feet and that happening to every person on the planet — that is what all of our spiritual traditions tell us is the reality at any given moment, and it’s what our culture gives us a million devices to deny. But there it was: We are fragile. Civilization rests on something as tender as bodies breathing in proximity to other bodies. We were reminded of that. And living in Minneapolis when George Floyd was killed. The West Coast caught fire. Our political fragmentation that we’ve been walking into for such a long time. We have a war in Europe. We pretended like capitalism triumphing would lead to a moral universe. It just goes on and on. It’s all before-and-after now.

— David Marchese, excerpts of a interview with Krista Tippett in “Krista Tippett Wants You to See All the Hidden Signs of Hope” (NY Times Magazine, July 7, 2022).  Tippett created and hosts the public radio program and podcast On Being.

 

part of the painting’s magic is that it brings together its time and yours, its place and yours

If you have ever stood in a room in front of a painting by Munch, or Van Gogh or Rembrandt for that matter, you will know that part of the painting’s magic is that it brings together its time and yours, its place and yours, and there is comfort in that, because even the distance that is inherent in loneliness is suspended in that moment.

– Karl Ove Knausgård, in a preface for a catalog for: Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed – an exhibition at the Met Breuer, New York City, November 15, 2017–February 4, 2018. (The New York Review of Books, Dec 7 2017)


Notes:

  1. Post Inspiration. Rainer Maria Rilke from The Poetry of RilkeNothing is too small: against a gold background / I paint it large and lovingly / and hold it high, and I will never know / whose soul it may release.
  2. Art: Edvard Munch, “The Sick Child” (1907) via San Francisco Chronicle
  3. Quote Source – ekphora.

I’m a falcon. A storm. Or an unfinished song?

MN10 peregrine in flight 112_7553

I live my life in growing orbits
which move out over the things of the world.
Perhaps I can never achieve the last,
but that will be my attempt.
I am circling around God,
around the ancient tower,
and I have been circling for a thousand years,
and still I don’t know
if I’m a falcon,
a storm,
or an unfinished song.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, The Book of Hours


Credits:


Heart. Hammers. Tongue. Teeth.

portrait,photography,woman,black and white

Our heart survives between hammers,

just as the tongue between the teeth

is still able to praise.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke


Image Source: akimuby via blackandwhite.  Quote Source: youreyesblazeout


To the rushing water speak

dive

And if the earthly has forgotten
you, say to the still earth: I flow.
To the rushing water speak: I am.

Rainer Maria Rilke


Credits: poem – lifeinpoetry.  Image: Hungarian Soul.  Rilke poem from “Sonnets to Orpheus

And suddenly you know: that was enough

black and white, photography,portrait, eyes closed

Remembering

And you wait. You wait for the one thing
that will change your life,
make it more than it is –
something wonderful, exceptional,
stones awakening, depths opening to you.

In the dusky bookstalls
old books glimmer gold and brown.
You think of lands you journeyed through,
of paintings and a dress once worn
by a woman you never found again.

And suddenly you know: that was enough.
You rise and there appears before you
in all its longings and hesitations
the shape of what you lived.

– Rainer Maria Rilke


Wiki Bio for Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926).  Credits: Image by Stephan Vanfleteren. Poem: Thank you Whiskey River.

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