I live my life in widening circles
That reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
But I give myself to it.
I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years
And I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
A storm, or a great song?
—Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Hours
Perhaps the spiritual life is not so much a linear journey, as it is a kind of unfinished spiral—an ever-broadening orbit around something greater than ourselves. The poet Rilke seems to be saying that we grow larger by these ever-widening circles—and passionate and wiser, too; and most of all, we develop a humility about what we know. And even who we are.
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