Little bits of people are tokens of what was, could have been, and all the possibilities that still beckon.
While it was not by design, this image of a collection of objects on my desk could tell many stories, that is, if images could speak. For what are images if not pieces of us, arranged, rearranged, captioned and highlighted to remind us of whatever held our attention at a given point in time? Do they not help us make sense of who we are and what we have become as we browse through them over the years? Is not this image muse enough to inspire imagination and creativity in a wandering soul?
I am reminded of one of my favorite Rilke elegies,
Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels’
Hierarchies? and even if one of them pressed me
suddenly against his breast: I would be consumed
in that overwhelming existence. For beauty is nothing
but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure,
and we are so awed because it serenely disdains
to annihilate us. Every angel is terrifying.
And so I hold myself back and swallow the call-note
of my dark sobbing. Ah, whom can we ever turn to
in our need? Not angels, not humans,
and already the knowing animals are aware
that we are not really at home in
our interpreted world. Perhaps there remains for us
some tree on a hillside, which every day we can take
into our vision; there remains for us yesterday’s street
and the loyalty of a habit so much at ease
when it stayed with us that it moved in and never left.
Oh and night: there is night, when a wind full of infinite space
gnaws at our faces. Whom would it not remain for—that longed-after,
mildly disillusioning presence, which the solitary heart
so painfully meets. Is it any less difficult for lovers?
But they keep on using each other to hide their own fate.
Don’t you know yet? Fling the emptiness out of your arms
into the spaces we breathe; perhaps the birds
will feel the expanded air with more passionate flying.
The difference between a uniform, balanced, and symmetrical clay pot and one that looks like a child’s work but doesn’t pretend to be anything else.
The difference between an accurate, critical, and pre-emptive self-reflection and a spontaneous laugh that throws worry to the wind.
The difference between an expansive and loving heart and one that nibbles on jealousy and secrets in the hope to conquer the One who is elusive.
The difference between a moment that lasts a lifetime and a life filled with millions of mediocre moments.
It is a terrifying act to begin anything. I am not able to begin. I stare into the face of possibility, and then, slowly, start to dance, in my head.
The differences swirl together into a kaleidoscope of color, and I end up writing this page.