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Dear darkening ground

Dear darkening ground,
you’ve endured so patiently the walls we’ve built,
perhaps you’ll give the cities one more hour

and grant the churches and cloisters two,
And those that labor—maybe you’ll let their work
grip them another five hours, or seven

before you become forest again, and
widening wilderness
in that hour of inconceivable terror
when you take back your name
from all things.

Just give me a little more time!
I want to love the things
as no one has thought to love them,
until they’re real and ripe and worthy of you.

I want only seven days, seven
on which no one has ever written himself –
seven pages of solitude.

There will be a book that includes these pages,
and she who takes it in her hands
will sit staring at it a long time,

until she feels that she is being held
and you are writing.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

I am pretty tired out from my teaching week and so blogging will be light this week as I re-coup my energy.  Today I treated myself to a visit to the Olympus Spa in Lynnwood, a magical place for women where you pay one entry fee and can move from warm pools to hot ones to steam rooms to saunas to infrared saunas with salt covered floors (my favorite room) and let my body simply be and unwind.

Rilke is speaking to me deeply today, especially:

“I want to love the things / as no one has thought to love them, / until they’re real and ripe and worthy of you.”

“I want only seven days, seven / on which no one has ever written himself – / seven pages of solitude.”

The days ahead are calling me with their invitation to stillness and solitude, to reflect on what makes me truly grateful.

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

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4 Responses

  1. Beautiful poem from Rilke, a favorite of mine. Your spa indulgence was obviously well deserved. Good for you. The spirit, if it is to keep the soul nourished, needs it times of quiet inactivity, and calm. Be well. And good wishes for the work ahead.

  2. i felt my own body relax by simply reading your words about the spa. i hope you continue to have restful days..seven pages of solitude…as you desire.

  3. Christine,
    The Spa sounds like heaven…and it is well deserved! Hope you can continue to take it very easy.

    Still basking in the wonderful time…and taking long, long naps!