PALM OF THE HAND
Palm of the hand. Sole that walks now
only on feeling. It turns over,
becomes a mirror,
shows sky roads, which
themselves are walking.
It has learned to walk on water,
when it dips down,
moves on springs,
causes all roads to fork.
Comes forward into other palms,
those like itself
turn into a countryside,
through them it travels and arrives,
fills them with having arrived.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
The tragic natural disaster in Japan, complicated by the fierce and frightening man-made nuclear crisis looming over the days since the earthquake and tsunami, offer a compelling narrative of the tenacious soul of mankind. How we live in the face of the unknown. How we respond when the horrific and unexpected sweeps all that we love and care about away. How we struggle to gain the upper hand on the most frightening of unfathomable threats and uncertainties. We live and work in harmony with the risks of the world. We struggle to master the limits of our own inventions and uncertain science. We dwell in the faith that the unknowable mystery, the core of life, the pendulum rhythm that turns the night into day and back again, will swing us once more into the light. We can not undo all that we have done. We can not undo what breaks in nature. But we can endure. We can hold out a helping hand. We can turn our palms to the sky and mirror one another, multiply the light. We can care. We can be compassionate. We hold life in our hearts. Hand in hand, salvaging the broken world.