It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,
and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.
I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief—
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.
"It's possible" ["Vielleicht, dass ich durch schwere Berge gehe"] by Rainer Maria Rilke. Text as published in Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke, edited and translated from the original German by Robert Bly (HarperCollins, 1981).
Art credit: "Mountain wall in Norway," photograph by tupungato.
Curator's note: Another mass shooting on Wednesday in the United States. My heart is so heavy. Robbed of words. The dark enormity of needless suffering here and around the world "makes me feel small," as perhaps it does you. Yet each day we can choose to give ourselves up once again to the painful work of the "great transforming," both within and without.