Go to the Limits of Your Longing
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
Book of Hours, I 59
“Go to the Limits of Your Longing” from Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God. Translation by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows, reprinted with permission. Read by Joanna Macy.
This poem was originally read in the On Being episode “A Wild Love for the World.”