The Open ..

Animals see the unobstructed
world with their whole eyes.
But our eyes, turned back upon
themselves, encircle and
seek to snare the world,
setting traps for freedom.
The faces of the beasts
show what truly IS to us:
we who up-end the infant and
force its sight to fix upon
things and shapes, not the
freedom that they occupy,
that OPENESS which lies so deep
within the faces of the animals,
free from death!
Could that surefooted beast,
approaching from a direction
different than our own, aquire
the mental knack to think as do we,
he would spin us round
and drag us with him.
But he is without end unto himself:
devoid of comprehension,
unselfscrutinized, pure
as his outgoing glance.
We see future; he sees
eternal completion.
Himself in all.
From Rilke's 8th Duino Elegy
Another tr.
Earth's creatures look wide-eyed
into the Open. Our eyes, alone, as though reversed,
are ringed like snares around free exit.
What lies outside, is clearly shown us
in the animal's face. 

The creature gazes into openness with all
its eyes. But our eyes are
as if they were reversed, and surround it,
everywhere, like barriers against its free passage.

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