Waterlogue, Storks, Roses, Rilke, and Dictators


Waterlogue is a great app. I’m saying that after just a few days of using it, having used quite a few different apps over several years for processing images.

Of course, it doesn’t stop with the image. I added text to the following image with an extract from a love poem called Pathways, by Rainer Maria Rilke

Understand, I’ll slip quietly
away from the noisy crowd
when I see the pale
stars rising, blooming, over the oaks.

I’ll pursue solitary pathways
through the pale twilit meadows,
with only this one dream:
You come too


It seems in the right mood for the fast-approaching sentiments of Valentine’s Day…

Rilke is a romantic poet in the spirit of Rumi and Kahlil Kibran. He died in 1926 at a time when his native Germany was in turmoil. It may come as a surprise to learn that out of this romantic heart came a longing for dictatorship. In what have become known as the Milan letters, Rilke wrote about the saviour of Italy, Mussolini, in these terms:

“What I reproach of freedom is that it leads to people at most to what he sees, but never beyond, Freedom is not enough: even applied in moderation and justice, it makes us stop halfway, in the narrow space of our reason … Is not this what the dictators, the true dictators, have sometimes understood by making a wholesome and reliable use of violence?”

What is he talking about? If we go beyond reason does that imply violence? It doesn’t leave violence out of the picture but neither does it imply that violence shines like a beacon leading the way. On could more easily say that a spirit of cooperation, fairness, and justice leads the way.

Or that balance is the way.

As the hero in Camus’ The Stranger says when he kills a man ‘I knew that I had broken the balance of the day.’

When a person feels the balance of the day, of the connectedness of things, how does violence lead any way but to self-destruction?

5 thoughts on “Waterlogue, Storks, Roses, Rilke, and Dictators

  1. Beautiful card and sentiments David. Hadn’t heard of Rilke! I can relate to his words on freedom. Means nothing without respect for fellow human beings. And that is a rare commodity these days.


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