September 12: extinct

Doch auf einmal kehrt sie, wie geweckt,
ihr Gesicht und mitten in das deine:
Und da triffst du deinen Blick im geelen
Amber ihrer runden Augensteine
unerwartet wieder: eingesclossen
wie ein ausgestorbenes Insekt.

(Scwarze Katze, Rilke. 1908)

And suddenly it turns its face
into yours, awake, alert :
and you meet your own image in the golden
amber of its round eyeball
caught off guard: you’re locked in there
like an extinct insect.

(Black Cat, Rilke. 1908)

We are all becoming extinct, gradually, as we understand less and less of the world, its vocabulary, its excitement and reactions. Sometimes we try and keep up with it but our heart isn’t in it. You end up like your dad with nothing left in the world that you recognise and the things that are left a bit rubbish.

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