Why Fledgling Things?

I read it in your word, learn it from the story
of those gestures with which your hands
cupped themselves around each fledgling thing -
warm, encompassing, wise.
You pronounced live strongly and die softly
and ceaselessly repeated: Be.
But before the first death murder came.
With that a rent tore through your perfect circles
and a scream broke in
and scattered all those voices
that had just then come together
to sing you,
to carry you about,
their bridge over all abysses -

And what they have been stammering since
are fragments
of your ancient name.

-Rainer Maria Rilke, from The Book of Hours (1905), translated by Edward Snow

This is my favorite poem, the inspiration behind much of what I write, and therefore the inspiration for this blog's title.  I believe that in every arena of culture and in every corner of the human heart we hear the echoes of our innate longing for the "perfect circle" of home.  We find glimmers of balanced relationships, deathless existence, untainted beauty, and the joy of creating -- scattered pieces of life as it was intended to be.
This blog is my effort to seek and stammer out the stories of those fragments as I see them in the world around me, whether in relationships, places, the creative arts, or even in ordinary acts like experimenting in my kitchen.  I want to acknowledge the tears in the perfect circles, but also hold out the hope that when all the pieces are brought back together these fledgling things will have a perfect end.  


Popular Posts