Friday, May 11, 2012

Soul guides us to open to beauty and to respond

Kathy Ford shares a quote from Thomas Moore's book, Care of the Soul in her post yesterday, "Soul’s Great Talent" that includes Moore's view:
“An appreciation for beauty is simply an openness to the power of things to stir the soul.  If we can be affected by beauty, then soul is alive and well in us, because the soul’s great talent is for being affected. The word passion means basically “to be affected”, and passion is the essential energy of the soul."
He continues with a reference to poet Rainer Marie Rilke's The Sonnets to Orpheus:
"The poet Rilke describes this passive power in the imagery of the flower’s structure, when he calls it a “muscle of infinite reception.”  We don’t often think of the capacity to be affected as strength and as the work of a powerful muscle, and yet for the soul, as for the flower, this is the toughest work and its main role in our lives.”
Ford mentions gardening friends and includes photographs of her own flowers in her post.

Rilke's verse:
Flower-muscle, that opens the anemone’s
meadow-morning bit by bit,
until into her lap the polyphonic
light of the loud skies pours down,

muscle of infinite reception
tensed in the still star of the blossom,
sometimes so overmanned with abundance
that the sunset’s beckoning to rest


is scarcely able to give back to you
the wide-sprung petal-edges:
you, resolve and strength of how many worlds!

We, with our violence, are longer-lasting.
But when, in which one of all lives,
are we at last open and receivers?

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