Addendum March, 2007
   Rainer Maria Rilke has written about the process of creating art.  
The struggle is to stay present
to the process as it develops.  

Many distractions can take our energies away
from the focus that is needed.
I remember using a magnifying glass in starting a fire.
Focus was necessary to cause the intensity
of the sunlight through the glass
to ignite a flame on the waiting kindling.  
The focus generated the heat.  
The focus needed to be present for quite a period of time.
Eventually, the smoke appeared
and then the first ignition of fire.  

   Some of us bring focus to some area of our life for a little while
but soon move our concentration to something else.  
The area cools
and the alchemical process that is necessary is thwarted.

The right amount of heat is needed
in order for the process of change to occur.
If we don’t stay present to the process,
we remain cool and nothing will happen.  
We are not changed through a process of passivity.  
Change comes through an active waiting,
focusing (which brings the heat),
being receptive, and following along.

From the experience of the womb, to the night of travail,
and the morning of birth,
synergy is created between the new life and our focus.  
Transformation occurs…
a cathartic moment in which we feel the burst of spring.  

   “All progress must come from deep within
and cannot be pressed or hurried by anything.
Everything is gestation and then bringing forth.

To let each impression and each germ of a feeling
come to completion wholly in itself,
in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious,
beyond the reach of one’s own intelligence,
and await with deep humility and patience
the birth-hour of a new clarity:  

   being that alone is living the artist’s life.

   Being an artist means not reckoning and counting,
but ripening like the tree
which does not force its sap
and stands confident in the storms of spring
without the fear that after them may come no summer.

   It does come.
But it comes only to the patient,
who are there as though eternity lay before them,
so unconcernedly still and wide.
I learn it daily;
learn it with pain to which I am grateful:
Patience is everything.”

                                                   Rainer Maria Rilke

   When we encounter ideas, feelings, and beliefs
that grow hot and alive within us,
everything has to recrystallize around them.
If we gravitate toward those ideas that nurture us,
perhaps in time a new perception…
a sudden emotional shock will reshape our inner landscape
like a kaleidoscope.  
We find a new center of gravity and become more stable.
We liken this to the scripture,

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being
transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from
the Lord, who is the Spirit”  (II Corinthians 3:18).