light & the book of hours
Christmas day, and today the light in the Tuileries was like looking God straight in the face. I took this photo of the mourning Cain because the light and shadow – illuminating his body and darkening his face – create a narrative in themselves.
Henri Vidal, “Cain,” Jardin des Tuileries
When I see this, I hear this.
You, neighbor God, if sometimes in the night
I rouse you with loud knocking, I do so
only because I seldom hear you breathe
and know: you are alone.
And should you need a drink, no one is there
to reach it to you, groping in the dark.
Always I hearken. Give but a small sign.
I am quite near.
Between us there is but a narrow wall,
and by sheer chance; for it would take
merely a call from your lips or from mine
to break it down,
and that without a sound.
The wall is builded of your images.
They stand before you hiding like names,
And when the light within me blazes high
that in my inmost soul I know you by,
the radiance is squandered on their frames.
And then my senses, which too soon grow lame,
exiled from you, must go their homeless ways.
–Rainer Maria Rilke, from Poems from the Book of Hours