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Visual Meditation: Winged Delight

As Once the Winged Energy of Delight

As once the winged energy of delight
carried you over childhood’s dark abysses,
now beyond your own life build the great
arch of unimagined bridges.

Wonders happen if we can succeed
in passing through the harshest danger;
but only in a bright and purely granted
achievement can we realize the wonder.

To work with Things in the indescribable
relationship is not too hard for us;
the pattern grows more intricate and subtle,
and being swept along is not enough.

Take your practiced powers and stretch them out
until they span the chasm between two
contradictions…For the god
wants to know himself in you.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

(Photos are of an angel I discovered at St. Bartholomew’s Church in midtown Manhattan and promptly –for reasons I am not entirely sure of — fell in love with her. And then I discovered the poem to accompany the images and fell even more deeply in love.)

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

** One more day to submit your poem to the Poetry Party and enter a drawing to win a copy of What is Blossoming Within You? **

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9 Responses

  1. Beautiful sculpture, she looks as though she is carved from smooth butter or an expensive soap.

    I’ve been in St. Bart’s many times. Was actually living in NYC in Chelsea, working midtown, when Bill Tulley became the rector there. I attended a few lunch-time workshop/lecture type events. I once heard him speak about “caring for the rich” …….as an oft-forgotten group who attempts, at times, to make it on their own, because they “should be able to – I mean all of those resources…..”

  2. I have recently met an angel of God who happens to be a man–I spent five magical hours with him yesterday and today, the gift of this poem…more confirmation.

  3. I love this club of swooners forming here. :-) Maybe we’ll have to plan a meet-up there someday!

    Christine, your poem is ethereal, magical.

    kigen, you are quite right, the angel could indeed be male or female. For me it feels important to relate to her feminine qualities, but of course men have the anima as well.

  4. Swooner #4

    This is so liberating, Christine! Thank you. And it
    would be equally true to call this angel she or he.

    “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are
    given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”
    (Mt 22:30)

  5. Sweet Angel of my delight and longing,
    I dare not look full in your face,
    the curve of your cheek is enough
    to ground me and send me soaring all at once.
    With the barest whisper, a moment’s glance
    you break open my heart
    transporting me to your time,
    our time.

    The Light is ever present with you
    even as you pass by and I see
    your back departing too soon,
    strengthened by your wings with
    wonder at the grace of your gifts.


  6. Swooner number three, here. I will visit her when/if I am in NYC. I do like angels but only very special ones. She is at the top of my list. Bold and beautiful and lovely light and shadow. Stunning protography, Christine.

  7. There is something quite intoxicating about her, isn’t there? I have never been much into angels before, but she was so bold and beautiful in a side chapel, sitting on the ground and so accessible, filling the chapel with her presence. And she made me swoon. . . I actually imagine myself going back to NYC just to visit her again.