and ourselves in everything
healed and whole
The deepening capacity to gaze and savor alters the experience of what it is to move through the world, reordering the usual position of subject and object so that all is encountered as alive, all is taken in as part of a single conversation. Seeing the world in this way reveals a sensitivity to things, an awareness of their beauty and significance that is for Rilke close to the very heart of what it is to be spiritually alive. In this condition of radical receptivity and transparency, self and world unite. Describing his own emerging sense of this reality, Rilke says, ‘There is something like selflessness in this way of taking part in nature. I am gradually beginning to comprehend this life that passes through large eyes into eternally waiting souls. This daily attentiveness, alertness, and eagerness of the senses turned outward, this thousandfold seeing and seeing always away from oneself….this being only eye….this purity of life, this always being joyful because something is always happening.’ The sense of vitality and joy in this account testifies to the effect of such deepening awareness on the one who has such an experience: it changes everything. This is how Rilke would express it years later in one of his Sonnets to Orpheus. This intuition regarding what it is to know oneself as part of an encompassing whole has the feeling of a deeply personal witness to the truth of an experience that may well have no other source of verification than the witness itself. In these gardens, in this rich imaginative space, the world comes alive in the soul…..Douglas Christie
the eyes through the mask give us distance to recommit to perception…to move away from habit and dig in the rich, loamy earth for new roots….test your aliveness with new eyes….we witness our lives simply by noticing….
Sing the gardens, my heart, those
you never knew; gardens
as if poured into glass: bright, unattainable.
Show my heart, that you aren’t without them.
That when their figs ripen, they have you in mind.
That when their winds grow almost visible
amid the flowering branches, it’s you they embrace.
Silk thread, you were drawn into the fabric.
Whatever single image you made yourself part of
feel how the whole carpet is meant,
its glorious weave.