Hurricane Sandy Thoughts & Rilke
“Do you know that when I am in the city I am frightened by hurricanes at night. It is as though, in their elemental pride, they did not see us. But they do see a lonely house in the country; they take it in their powerful arms and, in that way, they inure it, and when you are there, you would like to be out-of-doors, in the roaring garden, or at least, stand at the window and applaud the infuriated old trees that twist and turn as though possessed by the spirits of the prophets” – Rainer Maria Rilke
In this passage I believe Rilke does not want to be out-of-doors to enjoy the wind and the rain, rather he feels the anger of the trees and wants to push back against the storm all the while knowing that even in such a rage it is the choices of the elements in which he is forced to trust that his fate lies. After reading this passage I wondered: would I feel more confident in a country house “inured” by its trials and tribulations with the elements? Or in the city? In the city sometimes I forget that we are not in control so when the reminder came maybe I would be like Rilke and be particularly fearful – not just of the storm but of what I had become in the city. It’s sobering to read the accounts of Hurricane Sandy. People picking up the pieces and finding out new things about themselves and others e.g. what community is or is not, fortitude, values, trust, love, etc.
Our thoughts are still with people as they recover.