. . . go out into the evening,
leaving your room, of which you know each bit,
your house is the last before the infinite, . . .
(from Rainer Maria Rilke's "Eingang", MacIntyre translation)
The light which strikes my retina
as I look at the Great Galaxy in Andromeda
left there two million years ago.
(Hominids made tools from stone then, but had not yet
learned the use of fire.
Genetic material from certain of these hominids has been passed
from one being to another and now is in my own body.)
Millennia from now, humans who have
colonized the farthest reaches of our galaxy,
laboriously creating and maintaining Earth-like atmospheres,
will marvel that there once was a place so perfectly suited to
that such labor was unnecessary. (Just as we marvel that orchids,
whose precise temperature and humidity requirements would seem to necessitate a greenhouse, grow wild in the Amazon.)
I cannot believe in a personal God,
intervening in human affairs, but stand in awe
of the terrible force which set the stars and galaxies in motion
--strewing them like so much confetti--;
the life-force running through each living creature,
as straight and true as a ray of light from that galaxy in Andromeda,
willing us to live, grow and be fruitful.
Hear Lucius/Jerry read the poem: humanist-art.org/old-site/audio/SoF_063_fullness.MP3 .
This poem is part of the Scraps of Faith collection of poems ( https://humanist-art.org/scrapsoffaith.htm )