Friday, February 27, 2015

The Hour Without Minuteness

The hour is striking so close above me,

So clear and sharp,

That all my senses ring with it.

I feel it now: there’s a power in me

To grasp and give shape to my world.

I know that nothing has ever been real

Without my beholding it.

All becoming has needed me.

My looking ripens things

And they come towards me, to meet and be met.

Rilke wrote the Book of Hours between 1899 and 1903. The book was published in 1905, and the poem above is the first poem in the section called The Book of a Monastic life.

Rilke’s message is a simple but complex one to understand. The hour Rilke talks about has been the topic of religious discussions for centuries. Is the hour real, and is our beholding of it real? The answer lies in our becoming.

Becoming is an interesting thought. We are becoming in awareness. A veil is being lifted from our senses, and our minds ring with the creative act of feeling. The realness of the moment is reinforced by the hour striking our perceptions. Time mails the envelope of sanity to a grave-site, and the postmark on its face is stamped with the memory of an hour. The hour without minuteness is buried within the hours. Those hours scream for more until our becoming pulls on the faceless hands of hours and we feel the power. That feeling ripens the hour of that which we already are.

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