Sunday, December 12, 2010

Perhaps I want everything

Our next door neighbors kindly house-sat for us over Thanksgiving week -- coping with the snow and the cold and the demanding feeding schedules of our dog, cats and fish -- and as a thank you I wanted to give them some prints from the sailboat race we all watched together from our decks a month or so ago.

So my friend came over yesterday to view all the possible images I'd put in the folder for her.  She chose three, including this one, but I'm sharing this one because ... well, it was funny.  There was another picture she liked more, but the sails were red, and she wanted blue.

There was another one with blue sails that was more balanced, but the jibs were luffing and she wanted them full.  There was one with three loons in it, but it was vertical and she wanted horizontal.  And she really really wanted it to pair up nicely with another one that featured the back deck of her house with the dune grass in front of it, but in the other picture that had grass the sail boats were too tiny and far away.

So I started with the full blue jibs, took the grass from the tiny boat picture, added the loons from the vertical picture, and reversed the direction of the boats to coincide with the boat in the photo she was pairing with this one.  The wonders of photoshop: she wanted everything, and she got it!  Magic!

So it was amusing to come across this Rilke poem this morning, quoted in After the Ecstasy, the Laundry :

You see, I want a lot.
Perhaps I want everything:
the darkness that comes with every infinite fall
and the shivering blaze of every step up.

So many live on and want nothing
and are raised to the rank of prince
by the slippery ease of their light judgments.

But what you love to see are faces
that do work and feel thirst...

You have not grown old, and it is not too late
to dive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out its own secret.

I love that idea; that our depths are always increasing; that when we dive in, life calmly gives out its own secret; that it's never too late, and I have not grown old...  I felt all of that last night, sitting in a local restaurant, sharing conversation with a dear friend from school, and feeling possibilities expand both beneath my feet and around my heart.  It's amazing to me that the depths of discovery can still be increasing, even at my advanced age, and that in the middle of a crowded and noisy bar, while I sip a cup of decaf coffee and try to listen above the insistent twang of live country music, life can calmly -- once again -- reveal her amazing secrets.

4 comments:

Maureen said...

I did have to smile at how you accommodated the desire for "the perfect picture".

Lovely Rilke quote.

Btw, you are not of "advanced" age. I think women really begin to come into their own in their 50s and 60s. And I can say that because I'm in one of those groups and very near the other.

KimQuiltz said...

I love this post, I love the Rilke, I love you.

Thank you for the constancy of your presence. You are an anchor of peace.

♥Kim

drw@bainbridge.net said...

The feeling, dear Kim, is mutual...

Patricia Ryan Madson said...

May I join the admiration society? I love this post. I needed it right now. As a woman of a "certain age" (nearly 70) I sometimes think there is nothing I want. I used to think this was good. Now I think that wanting keeps us vital. Both Kim and Drew are models of this. Love being part of the blogisphere with you two. Hope we can meet someday.