Pastoral Songs and the Summer Winds like the Sea for Rainer Maria Rilke by Author Brian Michael Barbeito

They paginated the letters put them in a book. Rainer tells Lou Andreas- Salome that he is weary. But then the book is closed and it is time to see the fields far and far, wide and wide, somehow sanguine and then saturated against reason and logic with the scent of summer clouds. We begin and the morning is empty there save for reeds being thrown to the side by the wind. The tree branches are made to dance by it all and move awkwardly like someone who can’t dance but tries…

There is a straight path half one third wild grasses, one third compressed dirt, and one third fine grain sand. And the sand is fitting for the wind, (always the wind), sounds much like the sea. At the Atlantic far south the whitecaps boast up briefly, kissing the air, and then disappear for others to have a chance. Wind there moves through verdant palms and preternaturally white parapets and stone pathways bleached by the sub-tropical sun. Soon a path offers to traverse to the right and becomes thin, almost hidden, and the world down in where it takes you is in its own special manner esoteric, covert, and unorthodox.

Small birds scatter everywhere and one can see they are not used to being disturbed. Feral ferns, archways of shrubs, evergreens, odd plants and wildflowers whose names remain unknown. To the left is a forest where the medicinal chaga grows hidden on birch trees and can be harvested if one’s eye is keen enough to locate it. A porcupine was once halfway up a tree there, just down by hundreds or perhaps thousands of buttercups growing in marshy-mud and hidden from the world yellow, yellow, yellow like no others.

It is then that we know we have made it to the chorus of the song, what was wanted all along, because the outer world is behind and unseen and the inner labyrinthine pathway fine like a rare chain and almost disappearing. Above are the cumulus too numerous to understand, so numerous they are somehow linked together in a benevolent firmament conspiracy of quiet and still celebration. 

Eventually we go out from there having admired butterfly, odd insect, even seemingly prosaic artifacts of nature such as beige chaparral, June moth struggling along, and naturally curled grape vine healthy and confident.

The rest takes one down and around many sights and scenes. A hawk surveying the lands. Is that a small bird that follows it? Does hawk not get annoyed by such hangers-on? The sun is sanguine and marries a distant farm crop and the surrounding loam protected by an old-time wooden fence and ridge. A mysterious valley,- see the shade and nuance of hundreds of branches crossing one another and seeming to whisper their own stories like ghosts, like specters and phantoms right there on the earth yet also hidden, hidden, hidden.

The woodlands and fields, sky clouds and weaving trails are all parts of a character then. Organic. Colorful. Textured. Knowing. Joyous. Then the winds that had calmed begin again. A coolness and refreshing air caresses literally all things. It is possible that it touches Rilke’s spirit somewhere, somehow, sometime.

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