If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the Creator, there is no poverty. —Rainer Maria Rilke

One thing about my life now as opposed to other times in the past is that I am inside quite a bit.  It’s very isolating because of the weird hours that I have.  When the world is awake and busy, I am idle and the vice versa is true.  There have been whole weeks where I haven’t ventured outside, whole weeks where I haven’t even spoken to someone outside of my responsibilities.  For an extrovert, it feels very much like I am becoming introverted against my will.  But with all things, there is always a choice.

In reading Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke, I came across the quote above.  So, since the news that my preparations for a new life have come crashing down, I had all the makings for a full-blown dark time in my life.  Who knows, I still may… However, I realise that what I want from life is far from concrete, and at times it seems esoteric enough to be called poetic.  So that quote struck me hard.

… for the Creator, there is no poverty…

Of course what Rilke is talking about is poverty of spirit, of perspective, of inspiration, of life.  For many people, that richness is absent, or at the very least, veiled by the mundanities of life. 

For me, when that perspective creeps up, I seek out something that seems normal, an every day situation.  A large group of people in a public place, an ordinary mundane situation… and I look for something extra there.  Rainstorms and great winds and forces of nature make for a wonderful place to see something divine.  People love to be awestruck with the beauty that surrounds nature… flowers, sunsets, snow, oceans, etc.  It’s another thing to find beauty in the urban decay of the city.  To find something outside of ourselves in the hustle and bustle, or in the brokenness of humanity… that’s where those that create find their purpose, find their meaning, find their riches.

I am a writer.  Whether or not my words or voice have impact on anyone else other than myself remains to be seen.  But, there is a great hole in my life when I cannot or do not stop to seek out that which makes my life rich.  Over the last couple of weeks while I have languished over the decisions that do not lead out to Birmingham, I have come to terms that I still much that I want to say, want to see…  and now I realise that it is up to me to make sure that I have the opportunity. 

Creative people need to be inspired.  Often that is why during times in my life when I’ve been disconnected or disjointed, I have nothing to write about.  Nothing seems to come.  So, I have to get out of my normal pattern of life.  So, I have reveled in the rainstorms lately.  Whole days listening to the splatter of raindrops.  Seeing the canal behind my home pocked by the constant drizzle.  That has kept me from feeling overwhelmed with yet another life change left behind.

But, I need to get out of the house, go to a place, perhaps grab a cup of tea or coffee, and watch.  School campuses, all-night diners, bus stations, crowded halls… and many other places have been my refuge in the past.  Maybe I’ll find a place where my anonymity is a way to absorb inspiration.  Not interacting with my surroundings but allow them to interact with me. 

Perhaps that is what Rilke also meant.  Instead of Creator with a capital “C”, perhaps it also extends to a creator with a small “c”.  I’ve always believed that creativity is intrinsically a part of us that is divinely breathed into us.  It reflects the Creator for us to be creative.  As someone who needs that to be nourished, perhaps the poverty that is in all of us is overcome by that which overcomes the world….

…for the creator, there is no poverty…

May I be proved poet enough to see things through.  Here’s to seeing the riches in our midst, and being transformed by them. 

Selah.

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