Pushing Through: Ranier Maria Rilke & Me

It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,
and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.

I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.

Rainer Maria Rilke
(Translated by Robert Bly)

I could not have described my state of mind and heart more clearly, (except for the use of the term master which does not resonate with me).   Grief stricken, sad, the world as I know it being dismembered. I witness travesty, injustice, and cruelty becoming the norm and the unraveling of so much that I take for granted as sane and safe and steady and present. I too feel like I’m pushing through solid rock, going no where, stuck, closed in, trapped, shuttered.  

Yet reading this poem surprisingly brings me hope and solace and comfort. Like maybe, if I just reached out to the omnipresent  – to the spaciousness -in to the Being of All Light – Goddess, Divine, Beauty- with all the despair and angst and heartbreak – maybe just maybe, my heart will merge with all that is greater than me and I will be embraced in the love and beauty that permeates everything. 

And I break free.

Roberta Teller