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with Death Reviews
If you will cling to Nature, to the simple in Nature, to the little things that hardly anyone sees, and that can so unexpectedly become big and beyond measuring; if you have this love of inconsiderable things and seek quite simply, as one who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier, more coherent and somehow more conciliatory for you, not in your intellect, perhaps, which lags marveling behind, but in your inmost consciousness, waking and cognizance. You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. Perhaps you do carry within yourself the possibility of shaping and forming as a particularly happy and pure way of living; train yourself to it -- but take whatever comes with great trust, and only if it comes out of your own will, out of some need of your inmost being, take it upon yourself and hate nothing.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To a Young Poet
Jesus Out to Sea
This piece from Bruce Desilva looks at a new book of short stories from James Lee Burke, and Levee Prayer, an elegy by bluesman Jimmy Thackery. Both works are inspired by Hurricane Katrina and the mess it left behind in New Orleans.
Here’s James Lee Burke, in Jesus Out to Sea:
“You woke in the morning to the smell of gardenias, the electric smell of the streetcars, chicory coffee, and stone that turned green with lichen. The light was always filtered through the trees, so it was never harsh, and the flowers bloomed year-round. New Orleans was a poem, man, a song in your heart that never died.”