Monday, February 07, 2005

Rainer Maria Rilke's "Imaginary Career"

At first a childhood, limitless and free
of any goals. Ah sweet unconsciousness.
Then sudden terror, schoolrooms, slavery,
the plunge into temptation and deep loss.

Defiance. The child bent becomes the bender,
inflicts on others what he once went through.
Loved, feared, rescuer, wrestler, victor,
he takes his vengeance, blow by blow.

And now in vast, cold, empty space, alone.
Yet hidden deep within the grown-up heart,
a longing for the first world, the ancient one…

Then, from His place of ambush, God leapt out.

Re-reading this poem, that middle stanza's no fun. But that 'longing for the first world' is so true... I would learn German, just for Rilke.

I'm working on my imaginary career now... yesterday I felt that things finally started coming together for this audition. I have a chance to play well, and enjoy it.

Someday I'll have to have the right words ready to help students prepare for things like this. Thank goodness for my smart wonderful friends (you can see what they said to me at and my husband who listens well whether I'm playing or talking.

Even Simon's been sitting in my light-blue ebay chairs facing me with his eyes open while I play. Sure, he's snoring at the same time, but I just take that as friendly support, like humming along.

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