Monday, March 17, 2008
If this sure animal approaching us
from a different direction had our kind
of consciousness, he’d drag us around
in his wake. But to the animal, his being
is infinite, incomprehensible, and blind
to his condition, pure, like his outward gaze.
And where we see the future, he sees
all, himself in all, and whole forever. And yet the weight and care of one great sadness
lies on this warm and watching creature.
Because what often overwhelms us
Also clings to him — the memory
that what we so strive for now may have been
nearer, truer, and its attachment to us
infinitely tender, once. Here all is distance,
there it was breath. After that first home,
the second seems drafty and a hybrid.
excerpt from The Eighth Elegy by Rainer Maria Rilke. Translation by ___________(?)