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 toward me, to meet and be met.
"I, 1" by Rainer Maria Rilke, from The Book of Hours, translated from the German by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy. © Riverhead Books, 1996.
Photograph: "Footprints in Sand," by Mal Bray.