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.
Rainer Maria Rilke
(Translated by Robert Bly)
I’ve been crying off and on all morning. Not the great grief cry perhaps, just a steady tearing up.
Yesterday I saw myself everywhere. In two classrooms, one with innocent, playful seven-year-olds and one full of combatant teenagers, I was both the teachers and their students.
I was each beginning teacher in last night’s seminar, my whole life in front of me, trying to make sense of it. And later with a mother of young children and another with teenagers preparing to leave the nest.
And this morning I cry. For all that was, and is, and will yet be.