Ignorant Before the Heavens of My Life

Ignorant Before the Heavens of My Life


Ignorant before the heavens of my life,

I stand and gaze in wonder. Oh the vastness

of the stars. Their rising and descent. How still.

As if I didn’t exist. Do I have any

share in this? Have I somehow dispensed with

their pure effect? Does my blood’s ebb and flow

change with their changes? Let me put aside

every desire, every relationship

except this one, so that my heart grows used to

its farthest spaces. Better that it live

fully aware, in the terror of its stars, than

as if protected, soothed by what is near.

by Rainer Maria Rilke


Have you ever missed a place so much that your heart aches? I have missed a place such as this my entire life. How is this possible?  I do not know. I wish I understood, but I don’t. I long for this place yet cannot even describe it, a different dimension filled with love and light. I have no idea what this other is, but I wish to be there. As Rilke writes, “Ignorant before the heavens of my life, I stand and gaze in wonder. Oh the vastness of the stars.” I see and feel this vastness everyday. It blinds me with its purity and beckons with unconditional love.


I am not well suited for this world; it feels foreign and heavy to me. The day-to-day grind of life along with meaningless small talk and the incessant desire for more. I cannot seem to prescribe to this paradigm, even though I have tried on numerous occasions. My love for my family sustains me, but does not quench a constant thirst for this other. It is a buzzing that never ceases. I can be in a room full of people and still feel alone. It could be that everyone feels this way to some degree and my ultra sensitivity amplifies it. I only know my experience and how it feels to walk in my shoes. Nothing more and nothing less.


This has nothing to do with psychology mumbo jumbo or my personality type. This is much greater than that. It is metaphysical, indefinable and boundless. It feels like the earth’s core; hot, full of energy and dangerously intense. I feel this intensity inside all the while projecting a calm and serene demeanor. It is an untruth, yet a protective one, allowing me to move through my day without becoming completely disillusioned. I am very much unseen but often end up spending most of my time “seeing” other people. The naked truth of this sight can be sobering. I have this other voice in my mind constantly taunting me, calling out to me when all I want to do is live my life. It teases me, telling me, “No, this is not you. This is not living.”


In moments such as these I read Rilke’s last line, “Better that it live fully aware, in the terror of its stars, than as if protected, soothed by what is near.” I am fully aware and live in a state of unrest knowing that this other is too vast and beautiful to comprehend. I have chosen to sit in this space rather than be soothed by what is near. Comfort will never be enough and I have learned to accept this even when it is lonely. I find solace in writing, people that understand the jagged pieces of my soul and the light. I feel it nearby at all times and for this I am grateful. In due time I will come home to this other and all will be right, but first I must live this life fully. I must learn the lessons meant for me and love as much as my tentative heart will allow. It is only in the living that I will be released back to where I am from…home.


2 thoughts on “Ignorant Before the Heavens of My Life

  1. Very comforting to know that at least one other feels the same as I do. Oh how your words resonated with my feelings and I thought I was strange and alienated. Thank you for this.

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