Flare Up Like Flame
Updated: May 19
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
~~~ Rainer Maria Rilke Book of Hours
I have lately felt inspired to share this poem here with you all. This is my absolute favorite and it floats into my mind fairly often and especially when I am in the midst of comparing and contrasting myself to others and/or wishing I was further along on my path in some way, somehow. I have big dreams and ideas for my life and sometimes I want it all to go much faster than it is going – I want to just reach my goals now as opposed to remembering that this is all a journey to be savored and enjoyed. So difficult in this day and age of go, go, go. We tend to be so damn goal oriented and, quite frankly, it is exhausting and not all that pleasurable really. This is a huge obstacle when it comes to sensual and sexual pleasure as well – being too goal-focused puts us up in our heads and seriously detracts from the moment, from the connection, and from experiencing true intimacy with our partners. So I try to remember this as much as possible – for it is applicable in most areas of life.
Slow down, relax, breathe, enjoy.
This poem helps me remember that that is how I want to live my life. It also speaks to the absolutely subjective and extremely personal experience each of us is having here in this human lifetime. Though we share many similarities, we are each infinitely unique beings trying to do the best we can here and relate to each other as skillfully as possible – a serious challenge at best. What works for one person is not what works for the other – what speaks to me might not speak to you. It is all so very personal.
We can find wisdom and teachings along the way, but ultimately, the journey is ours alone and the choices we make are ours to make.
As mentioned previously, I tend to compare and contrast myself to others just way too much – and that is a painful and exhausting way to navigate the world. As the years go by, I recognize this more and more and I come into my own more and more – each year gaining more confidence in who I am and how I’ve shown up here – my own unique little energy configuration. I continue to step more fully into my personal power and embrace my individuality and uniqueness – and I quit trying to live life like everybody else is trying to live it.
I have never followed the norms of society and that has been a challenging path to take to be sure, but I simply could not have it any other way.
And now the further I go on this journey, the more gratitude I have for not following the norms and for not conforming to the societal cookie-cutter way of being. I’m grateful for a life of trying to align with what feels right for me – aligning with where my passions lie and what resonates with my soul. This poem helps me remember to follow my heart. To “flare up like flame” and “go to the limits of [my] longing.” Such powerful words.
And I am curious about you: what helps you align with your heart – your passions, dreams, and desires? I would love to learn more.
This poem brings tears to my eyes – to my soul – pretty much every time I read it. It resonates so deeply with me. I thought maybe it might touch you a bit as well and perhaps bring you some comfort or inspiration. I find it to be extremely rich and stirring.
Sending loves ~ Star
[And a disclaimer here: I still struggle with the word “God” as that still, unfortunately, brings to mind an image of the old white dude with a long beard sitting up in the sky pissed off, judging and punishing us humans. I would love to change the word in the poem, but it is not mine to change of course. I prefer “The Universe” or “Source” or even “Goddess” – but this is what we have, so there it is. I don’t know how you feel about that word or about “God” in general, but I do realize it can be a triggering word for many of us. Do know that for me, it is all encompassing and beyond language and is not a being outside of us – it is us and this experience that we are having. Anyway, we can talk more about that if you would like in person. That one is HUGE and my thoughts are many.]