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A Softness Touching the Earth

A softness touching the earth, 40 x 30 in, oil on canvas

Japan has been on all our minds and in all our hearts.  There doesn’t seem to be enough capacity in the human soul to witness nature unleash its force on man in this way.  Helplessness still sits with us even after the contributing of funds to relief efforts.  The magnitude of the disaster and continuing saga has made us all feel vulnerable to the uncertainty of life.  We can’t fathom how recovery can possibly follow such devastation. And then there’s me here in my studio painting clouds and wondering how what I do could possibly matter.  Today I happened upon this Rilke poem after finishing the painting shown above.  The words could not be more profound and with them my painting feels right again.

Harshness gone.  All at once caring spread over

the naked gray of the meadows.

Tiny rivulets sing in different voices.

A softness, as if from everywhere,

is touching the earth.

Paths appear across the land and beckon.

Surprised once again you sense

its coming in the empty tree.

Uncollected Poems

Rainer Maria Rilke translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

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