Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Shutting Down

Does a body ‘decide’, like a government, when to shut down?  Is our own physical shutting down, slowing down, winding down, a decision or something that merely happens to us, like time?

If bodies, as my faith teaches, resurrect, do governments?

If we’re sitting on an ash heap, what phoenix-like new thing will emerge?

Metaphors only take us so far in our understandings, don’t they?

So mostly today, I am left wondering.  And maybe that’s not such a bad thing.  As poet Rainer Maria Rilke once pointed out to a young would-be poet (I’ve always wondered whether his promise every bloomed into something I may have read*) . . .

I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
 And because it is a wondering day, I am also wondering how someone with the pen of a Rilke could also reportedly have said that fascism is a source of healing and Mussolini its bringer.  And then I wonder what questions another might have when looking into my life at such a distance.  It is not forgiveness, exactly (for that is not mine to offer or deem necessary), but the question stays a question, at least for now.

*It seems history does know the young poet, but mostly only via this correspondence.  Wikipedia.  

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