Radical Joy Revealed
January 21, 2015
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Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places. We hope you'll enjoy these doorways into places that are both familiar and surprising, and we welcome your suggestions, stories, and photos. Click here to subscribe.


Kneaded (Proud and Strengthened)   

lightning storm over fields
"LIghtning Storm, Kentucky." Photo by Jason Whitman

 

"The Man Watching," a poem by Maria Rainer Rilke, translated by Robert Bly, about the great rewards of being "beaten, decisively, by constantly greater beings":

 

I can tell by the way the trees beat, after

so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes

that a storm is coming,

and I hear the far-off fields say things

I can't bear without a friend,

I can't love without a sister.

 

The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on

across the woods and across time,

and the world looks as if it had no age:

the landscape, like a line in the psalm book,

is seriousness and weight and eternity.

 

What we choose to fight is so tiny!

What fights with us is so great!

If only we would let ourselves be dominated

as things do by some immense storm,

we would become strong too, and not need names.

 

When we win it's with small things,

and the triumph itself makes us small.

What is extraordinary and eternal

does not want to be bent by us.

I mean the Angel who appeared

to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:

when the wrestlers' sinews

grew long like metal strings,

he felt them under his fingers

like chords of deep music.

 

Whoever was beaten by the Angel

(who often simply declined the fight)

went away proud and strengthened

and great from that harsh hand,

that kneaded him as if to change his shape.

Winning does not tempt that man.

This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,

by constantly greater beings.

 

 

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Make Beauty
for a Place
You Care About

On June 20 people around the world will go to wounded places to share their stories of what the places mean to them, spend time getting to know the places as they are now, and make a simple act of beauty there: a bird created out of materials found on site. Join the world in making beauty for the Earth for the 6th annual Global Earth Exchange.

To see the photos of the 2014 Global Earth Exchange, visit our website. To read the stories click on the little "pins" on our world map.
Radical Joy for Hard Times is a global community dedicated to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Reconnecting with these places, sharing our stories of loss and despair, and making acts of beauty there, we transform the land, reconnect people and the places that nourish them, and empower ourselves to make a difference in the way we live on Earth.
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2014 Radical Joy for Hard Times | | trebbe@radicaljoyforhardtimes.org |