Monday, August 22, 2011

Bedtime Poetry: Give Me Your Paw

I love poetry.  My Mom does, too--I think she got that from me. Every night before I sleep, my  Mom reads a poem to me, and then we are silent together for a while as we feel the meaning of the poem in our hearts.  Some poems touch my heart and my spirit like nothing else can.  I have even memorized a few of my favorites, and I like to recite them in my head when I feel the need. 

One of my favorites is this one here, by Rilke. I love the idea that God gives us these instructions as we are being made.  And that a big part of our job is sometimes to "flare up like flame", and at other times to “just keep going”.  And that “no feeling is final.”  And that we are not alone in the journey of life’s experiences, if we let ourselves feel connected to a larger and universal spirit of Love, which some people call God.  The only thing I would change about this poem is that the last line should read “Give me your paw.”   

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
 then walks with us silently out of the night.

 These are words we dimly hear:

 You, sent out beyond your recall,
 go to the limits of your longing.
 Embody me.

 Flare up like flame
 and make big shadows I can move in.

 Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
 Just keep going.  No feeling is final.
 Don't let yourself lose me.

 Nearby is the country they call life.
 You will know it by its seriousness.

 Give me your hand.  

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~