to begin anew...
Whoever you are, go out into the evening,
leaving your room, of which you know each bit;
your house the last before the infinite,
whoever you are.
Then with your eyes that wearily
scarce lift themselves from the worn-out doorstone
slowly you raise a shadowy black tree
and fix it on the sky: slender, alone.
And you have made the world (and it shall grow
and ripen as a word, unspoken, still).
when you have grasped its meaning with your will,
then tenderly your eyes will let it go...
for some unknown reason i never realized that my single favorite work of art and my single favorite poem fit so nicely together. strange that someone who tends to so easily find connections between things that seldom make sense together, has taken so long to connect these two very connected trees that i mentally walk past every day.
the drawing is a pastel by odilon redon from 1906-07 called "la budha", the text is a poem by rilke called "eingang", here the translation by c.f. macintyre, and curiously rilke's poem is from nearly the same period as redon's drawing - the poem from a group written between 1900 and 1908. on rilke's poem macintyre says "it is with the eyes of the mind that the more real world of the seer is observed." a line that could easily serve both the poem and the drawing...
on this new years day, i would suggest everyone follow rilke and redon's cues, and go outside and ponder the form of a tree or two and begin to build a world inside yourself, "(and it shall grow and ripen as a word, unspoken, still)." begin the year with open eyes, open ears, and gentle hands... to accept all that 2009 will offer you.