Words that Reconnect: Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower

Image by Carlos Arthur M.R/Unsplash

Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower

Written by Rainer Maria Rilke

Translated and read by Joanna Macy (listen to the audio here)

Quiet friend who has come so far,

feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29

This audio is reproduced from a resource on the website “On Being Project”… “We explore the big questions of meaning at the intersection of spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, and the arts:

What does it mean to be human?
How do we want to live?
Who will we be to each other?

I invite you to read more poetry and listen to their podcasts.

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