painting by Birgit Huttemann- Holz
Extinguish Thou My Eyes -R.M.Rilke
encaustic, oil on panel, 2014
Extinguish Thou My Eyes
Extinguish Thou my eyes: I still can see Thee,
deprive my ears of sound: I still can hear Thee,
and without feet I still can come to Thee,
and without voice I still can call to Thee.
Sever my arms from me, I still will hold Thee
with all my heart as with a single hand,
arrest my heart, my brain will keep on beating,
and Should Thy fire at last my brain consume,
the flowing of my blood will carry Thee.
Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming
trixie looking at me.
a recent medication trial has left me sicker & as part of that i’m really light sensitive, making computer work harder than it already was for me. it’s also impacted my ability to look outside. & that has been hard. i keep hoping things will calm down. i’m in rest & blindfolded the majority of the time hoping that this will help ease the severity of the recent symptoms. & i’m struggling with the inevitable emotional aspects that come when i find myself sinking deeper.
it made me think of one of my favorite poems by ellen bass:
“The Thing Is”
from Mules of Love
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.
“like this morning, when the wild geese came squawking,
flapping their rusty hinges, and something about their trek
across the sky made me think about my life, the places
of brokenness, the places of sorrow, the places where grief
has strung me out to dry. And then the geese come calling,
the leader falling back when tired, another taking her place.
Hope is borne on wings. Look at the trees. They turn to gold
for a brief while, then lose it all each November.
Through the cold months, they stand, take the worst
weather has to offer. And still, they put out shy green leaves
come April, come May. The geese glide over the cornfields,
land on the pond with its sedges and reeds.
You do not have to be wise. Even a goose knows how to find
shelter, where the corn still lies in the stubble and dried stalks.
All we do is pass through here, the best way we can.
They stitch up the sky, and it is whole again.”
“Peace is already here, it is within you, in front of you, you only need to be in touch with it. You do not need to chase it. The act of chasing is only wasting your energy and confusing you, and taking you away from peace.”~Thich Nhat Hanh
“Once upon a time,
When women were birds,
There was the simple understanding
That to sing at dawn
And to sing at dusk
Was to heal the world through joy.
The birds still remember what we have forgotten,
That the world is meant to be celebrated.”
-Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds
Art by Jennifer Lommers