Tuesday, October 18, 2005


"I love inseeing. Can you imagine with me how glorious it is to insee, for example, a dog as one passes by. To insee (I don't mean inspect, which is only a kind of human gymnastic, by means of which one immediately comes out again on the other side of the dog, regarding it merely, so to speak, as a window upon the humanity lying behind it, not that) -- but to let oneself precisely into the dog, the place in it where God, as it were, would have sat down for a moment when the dog was finished, in order to watch it under the influence of its first embarrassments and inspirations and to know that it was good that nothing was lacking, that it could not have been better made. . . . Laugh though you may, dear confidant, if I am to tell you where my all-greatest feeling, my world-feeling, my earthly bliss was to be found, I must confess to you: it was to be found time and again, here and there, in such timeless moments of this divine inseeing." --Rainer Maria Rilke

Yesterday I walked through early fall woods for two hours with my two greyhounds as companions, a favorite activity I haven't been making time for lately. Silly me, because I probably received as much re-creation from that two hours as I might have from a day at a spa. There is something inherently calming and sustaining about being with my dogs, and especially seeing the world through their eyes.

Nearly every early culture acknowledges a goddess with a dog as her companion - and very often, the dog is portrayed as a "threshold" animal, one who guides souls to the next world. If I still my own ego and become attentive to what they have to tell me, I often do find guidance. And being in the woods with them, in a place where a Civil War battle occurred, was quite instructive. The older dog, Connor, was seeing something - something I only sensed, after a few minutes' stillness, by the prickling of the hairs on the back of my neck.

I am taking on as a spiritual practice Rilke's idea of "inseeing" - much more challenging with my fellow humans than it is with my sweet doggies. But, I suspect, it may be the only way to experience the divine here on earth.

Photo above is of a watercolor I purchased from Ron Krajewski. I didn't commission it, but could well have, as it is the spit and image of my dog, Connor.


Blogger ParisLondres said...

What a beautiful post dear D! So intrigued by this.
You are very gifted and perceptive and I am delighted that you have your gorgeous pets in your home.


2:45 PM  
Blogger Lulu said...

Greyhounds seem to me to be to be a most superior kind of dog.

I think I have too much daily fret buzzing in my head. I envy those who can get beyond this.

7:52 PM  
Blogger mireille said...

Oh, I love this. Especially the concept of dog as threshold animal ... I have been with at least a couple of dogs who I know were much more spiritually evolved than me. And I would have followed them anywhere. xoxo

7:26 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I LOVE that quote, Thank you. I love Rilke and I do feel just that way many many times. And to walk with dogs in the woods is a joy I hope everyone gets to know at least sometimes. :-)

6:01 PM  

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