a single thing

it's not a surprise that in my love of books, i also love to introduce others to those books that i have loved and want to share. but sometimes, in my exuberance, i will lend one out that i haven't even yet finished, in an attempt to prolong the enjoyment of the book. unfortunately, every once in a while, it does bite me in the butt, and i don't get that book back.

one book that is living this sad tale is rilke's book of hours. it is a book of love poems/prayers to God, and i have quoted it many times before here, and i am sure to quote it again and again, even if i don't currently have a copy right now.

this morning in my devotions, i was writing about the dichotomy i too often have between those things that i proclaim to believe, and how my actions tell a different story as to what i REALLY believe. when the time came to pray, i was reminded by this line from one of rilke's poems in the book of hours,
i yearn... to be contained in an all-embracing mind that sees me as a single thing...
this is my prayer today. i want to be seen from God's view as a single thing.

and for your own enjoyment, i will share with you the rest of ranier maria rilke's brillian poem, which i had written out in my journal. enjoy!

i am praying again, awesome one.

you hear me again, as words
from the depths of me
rush toward you in the wind.

i've been scattered in pieces
torn by conflict,
mocked by laughter,
washed down in drink.

in alleyways i sweep myself up
out of garbage and broken glass.
with my half-mouth i stammer you,
who are eternal in your symmetry.
i lift to you my half-hands
in wordless beseeching, that i may find again
the eyes with which i once beheld you.

i am a house gutted by fire
where only the guilty sometimes sleep
before the punishment that devours them
hounds them out into the open.

i am a city by the sea
sinking into a toxic tide.
i am strange to myself as though some unknown
had poisoned my mother as she carried me.

it is here in all the pieces of my shame
that i now find myself again.
i yearn to belong to something, to be contained
in an all-embracing mind that sees me
as a single thing.
i yearn to be held
in the great hands of your heart—
oh let them take me now.

into them i place these fragments, my life,
and you, God— spend them however you want.


Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful and powerful poem. Thanks for sharing it, Suz.

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