“Someday, emerging at last from the violent insight,

let me sing out jubilation and praise to assenting angels.

Let not even one of the clearly-struck hammers of my heart

fail to sound because of a slack, a doubtful,

or a broken string. Let my joyfully streaming face

make me more radiant; let my hidden weeping arise

and blossom. How dear you will be to me then, you nights

of anguish. Why didn’t I kneel more deeply to accept you,

inconsolable sisters, and, surrendering, lose myself

in your loosened hair. How we squander our hours of pain.

How we gaze beyond them into the bitter duration

to see if they have an end. Though they are really

our winter-enduring foliage, our dark evergreen,

one season in our inner year–, not only a season

in time–, but are place and settlement, foundation and soil and home.”

-Rainer Maria Rilke, Tenth Elegy, Duino Elegies translated by Stephen Mitchell.


note: Duino Elegies translated by Stephen Mitchell is my favorite translation.


Arrangement of trees makes its own stories
protecting birds and refugees
a bench, a mug and thank you cards are not obsolete
they remain relevant to civility
Maybe balance is exactitude mathematically
but love can drink in a glass of gold
and remain in orbit
not oblivious of other galaxies.

note: Currently I’m reading Artful by Ali Smith and Hillbilly Elegy by J.D.Vance.

Ali Smith is becoming one of my favorite contemporary writers.


“One must work with the creative powers-for not to work is to work against; in art as in spiritual life there is no neutral place. Especially at the beginning, there is a need of discipline as well as solitude and concentration.”
-Mary Oliver

note: from Of Power and Time, a chapter in Upstream, Selected Essays by Mary Oliver

The Great Antiphons – Seven Last Days of Advent

Spend time with the Lord. Begin with these seven last days of advent.

The Hill

Christmas is approaching!  Anyone foolhardy enough to attempt to steam their way through Chermside or Stafford City in the last week or so would know this.   In the hurry and panic of purchasing gifts, in the anxiety and apprehension that can be attached to preparing Christmas celebrations for relatives and friends, in the mere longing for the festivities to come to rest, for the tinsel to be packed away in the shed and for the decorations and tree to be stacked away somewhere you will (hopefully) remember for next year.     At Bondi Junction yesterday, I was in Westfield (what was I thinking?!!) and walked past Santa’s dais – it was vacant as Santa was off on his union-sanctioned lunch break – a neat, little sign was placed on his chair and in nice, snowcapped, letters it read “Please don’t climb up on the throne.”   This reminded me of the Great…

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