Tiger“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Reblogged from Flowers, Trees and Other Such Gifts of Nature

A Walk

handmade cards, collage art∞ ∞ ∞

My eyes already touch the sunny hill,

going far ahead of the road I have begun.

So we are grasped my what we cannot grasp;

it has its inner light, even from a distance—


and changes us, even if we do not reach it,

into something else, which, hardly sensing it, we already are;

but what we feel is the wind in our faces.

—Rainer Maria Rilke

The Rest Between Two Notes

hand-made cards, collage art

° ° °

I am the rest between two notes,

which are somehow always in discord

because Death’s note wants to climb over—

but in the dark interval, reconciled,

they stay there trembling.

And the song goes on, beautiful.

—Rainer Maria Rilke

The Next Orbit

ο ο ο

I live my life in growing orbits

which move out over the things of the world.

Perhaps I can never achieve the last,

but that will be my attempt.

I am circling around God, around the ancient tower,

and I have been circling for a thousand years,

and I still don’t know if I am a falcon, or a storm,

or a great song.

—Rainer Maria Rilke

ο ο ο

I feel like I’ve expanded into the next of Rilke’s orbits.  I knew finishing Callinda would be a momentous occasion, but I wasn’t prepared for the way it rocked my world.

I have carried this thing around with me, every day, for over a year.  Not just in my head, but in a special carry bag that I toted to and from the designated coffee shop of the day.  Over time, the process became ritual—read the previous day’s work and edit, write 3-5 pages of new material, make the revision changes on the computer, print out the new material for tomorrow’s review.  Suds, rinse, repeat.

This is the way I spent my mornings—every morning.  Here at the end, I was writing all day long, the story spewing out like ejecta from a storytelling volcano.  And now.  Boom.  It’s done.

There’s a part of me that mourns the hole that Callinda filled.  I’ll miss hanging out with the characters and dreaming up new ways to torture them.  But, another part of me is ready to move to the next orbit.  There are several planets in my trajectory, and I’m not sure which one to aim at just yet.

But, I’m circling.  And I think I am a falcon and a storm and a great song.



Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors

which it passes to a row of ancient trees.

You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you,

one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth,


leaving you, not really belonging to either,

not so hopelessly dark as that house that is silent,

not so unswervingly given to the eternal as that thing

that turns to a star each night and climbs—


leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads)

your own life, timid and standing high and growing,

so that, sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching out,

one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.

—Rainer Maria Rilke

Cosmic Crap Shoot

Today is just the type of day I train for.  Who knows where the physical funk and mental fog come from?  It’s such a mystery to me, such a puzzle.  I’m not completely sold on the theory of brain chemistry, at least not in the way it’s been explained so far (and no matter what shrinks say, there’s still no definitive research results on the serotonin/dopamine theory of bipolar disorder).  Weather and barometric pressure play a part in my mood swings—sometimes.  What I eat and drink can make my body feel more or less happy and my brain more or less sharp.  The quality and amount of sleep certainly makes a difference.  Circumstances and personal interaction effect what I think of as the outer layers of my mood.  They irritate and agitate, but aren’t the cause of the deep tectonic shifts.  Am I, like some indigenous peoples think, a tuning fork for different frequencies of energy?  If I went into a trance, would I walk between the dimensions?

Whatever the cause, it’s the effect that demands attention. This morning I woke up with too much body pain and not enough dendrites firing.  The only thing to do in that situation is not take any of it personally or seriously.  Fog and Funk are not suicidal depression.  They aren’t bank-emptying mania.  They’re just Snake Eyes thrown out of the Cosmic Crap Shoot.

I could just shlump around all day, but “there be dragons” on that path.  I’ve discovered that shlumping can start a downward spiral, so it’s best to let the Bipolar Bad Ass training kick in.  This includes exercise, healthy distraction, nutritious food (oh, I did eat those Cheetos…) and holding myself gently.  A big part of training for days like these is learning to wait—wait for the fog to lift before trying to rewrite that next chapter, wait for the Advil to take effect before going for a walk, wait out the day with as much grace and patience as I can.  The funk and fog will lift.  Maybe tomorrow.  It just depends on how the dice roll.

Do we know what silence is, my friends, or not?

This life that faces both ways

has marked the human face from within.

—Rainer Maria Rilke

I Can Hardly Believe


I can hardly believe that this tiny death,

over whose head we look every day we wake,

is still such a threat to us and so much trouble.

I really can’t take his growls seriously.

I am still in my body, I have time to build,

my blood will be red long after the rose is gone.

My grasp of things is deeper than the clever games

he finds it fun to play with our fears.

I am the solid world

from which he slipped and fell.

He is like

those monks in cloisters that walk around and around;

one feels a fear when they approach:

one doesn’t know—is it the same one every time,

are there two, are there ten, a thousand monks, more?

All one knows is the strange yellow hand,

which is reaching out so naked and so close. . .

there it is,

as if it came out of your own clothes.

—Rainer Maria Rilke

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