Some days the immense sorrow that exists in our world, in the hearts of millions of children, just hits me, hard, and I weep and weep and weep.
When I'm this sad, there are only three things that are a balm at all. First is making a difference: sending a care package, collecting items to send, calling Anya to offer her support. And then there is prayer and poetry. They both help me.
This is the poem that helped me today. It is by one of my very favorite poets, Rainer Rilke. This translation is the best one I've ever found. I thought I would pass it on, as a gift to all of you that grieve today, too.
by Rainer Maria Rilke
How shall I hold my soul, that it may not
be touching yours? How shall I lift it then
above you to where other things are waiting?
Ah, gladly would I lodge it, all-forgot
with some lost thing the dark is isolating
on some remote and silent spot that, when
your depths vibrate, is not itself vibrating.
You and me — all that lights upon us, though
brings us together like a fiddle-bow
drawing one voice from two strings it glides along.
Across what instrument have we been spanned?
And what violinist holds us in his hand?
O, sweetest song.