As the New Year approaches, I have found myself captivated by a phrase from the poet Rilke. It goes like this:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
It is too easy to approach the newness of 2013 with the same old, same old….I will eat healthier – I will exercise more – I will be kinder and more balanced….. Excess finds us so easily this time of year; it is understandable that our thoughts would gravitate to “shedding” when the New Year rings itself in.
Perhaps, our focus on diet and exercise is too small. If there is anything that needs shedding it is our fear and self-hatred, our lack of courage and our failure at imagination.
We are odd creatures who live in the land between the limits of what is and the possibility of what could be. And strangely our brains seem to be just as happy either way. We are wired to stay content in the same habits, and we are wired to explore new pathways into the unknown. Our brains can easily accommodate either choice.
It takes skill and honesty to walk in this “between” land. If we give too much loyalty to our limits, we may never get close to tasting our full potential. If we give too much loyalty to potential, it may lack the authenticity of our limits. It is our limits that give credence to reality and our imagination that defies it.
I wish for you, for me, for what might be, that we will walk into 2013 flaring up like flame and making big shadows.