The yard is weighted in rainwater and cloud. Everything in sight is soaking wet, and the air is as thick as chowder. I am sitting at the kitchen table looking at the poems of Rilke, but not reading them yet. Sweet williams nod in their vases. The washing machine grinds a load of towels. A hummingbird buzzes the feeder, and now a glint of sun forks its way through the fog.
In "The Ninth Elegy" Rilke writes:
. . . truly being here is so much; because everything hereI see what he means, but I also don't see what he means. It is so simple to feel unnecessary, yet here I am: the feeder of an old dog, who would die without me. Here I am, coaching an 18-year-old, via cryptic text message, on how to negotiate the vagaries of middle school canoe-campers who have decided to compose a comic song about him.
apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way
keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all.
Pointless but not pointless. Or as Rilke writes:
Perhaps we are here in order to say: house,
bridge, fountain, gate, pitcher, fruit-tree, window--