Monday, February 19, 2007

The Philosophers' Walk
Here in Heidelberg there is a cozy feeling. There is the lively university and the old streets where Goethe, Wagner, Mozart, and other major intellectual lights walked and talked. Across the Neckar River is the famous Philosophers' Walk through gardens and woods that looks across at the mighty castle and brings inspiration and peace. The other night my friend and I ate at one of the oldest restaurants here, in a little cavelike room where Mark Twain, Ben Franklin, Einstein, and so many others had feasted. There is an air of a living salon here, stimulation for the mind that wants to reflect on loftier themes. My friend is translating Rainer Maria Rilke's poems and elegies from the German into an updated English, intuitively capturing the deepest mystical truths he certainly intended. Here is one that keeps with the theme of what I've been feeling:

For Just a Moment, I Wish that Silence…
For just a moment, I wish that Silence could become totally quiet,
that all the possibilities and probabilities would cease to stir,
even the friendly laughter;
If the noise, that over-agitates my body’s senses,
went quiet, I would Awaken—

Then I could embrace you in a thousand different ways,
wrap myself around the edges of your soul,
become you (a simple smile would do);
then I’d release you back into the living Silence,
like a blessing.

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