Monday, June 2, 2014

Words of Witt & Wisdom: Excerpts From Letters To A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke



I could give you no advice but this:to go into yourself and to explore the depths where your life wells forth.
There is only one journey.Going inside yourself.

...keep growing quietly and seriously throughout your whole development; you cannot disturb it more rudely than by looking outward and expecting from outside replies to questions that only your inmost feeling in your most hushed hour can perhaps answer.

There are no classes in life for beginners;right away you are always asked to deal with what is most difficult.

Most people have (with the help of conventions) turned their solutions toward what is easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must trust in what is difficult; everything alive trusts in it,everything in nature grows and defends itself any way it can and is spontaneously itself, tries to be itself at all costs and against all opposition.

No experience has been too unimportant, and the smallest event unfolds like a fate,and fate itself is like a wonderful, wide fabric in which every thread is guided by an infinitely tender hand and laid alongside another thread and is held and supported by a hundred others.

If you trust in Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble and try very simply, as someone who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness, and knowledge.

Were it possible for us to see further than our knowledge reaches,and yet a little way beyond the outworks of our divinings,perhaps we would endure our sadnesses with greater confidence than our joys.For they are the moments when something new has entered into us,something unknown;our feelings grow mute in shy perplexity,everything in us withdraws,a stillness comes,and the new,which no one knows, stands in the midst of it and is silent.

We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors,they are our terrors; has it abysses,those abysses belong to us;are dangers at hand,we must try to love them.

And if only we arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now still seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful.

How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.

Love is something difficult and it is more difficult than other things because in other conflicts nature herself enjoins men to collect themselves, to take themselves firmly in the hand with all their strength, while in the heightening of love the impulse is to give oneself wholly away.

The great renewal of the world will perhaps consist in this, that man and maid, freed of all false feelings and reluctances, will seek each other not as opposites, but as brother and sister, as neighbors, and will come together as human beings.

Someday there will be girls and women whose name will no longer mean the mere opposite of the male, but something in itself, something that makes one think not of any complement and limit, but only life and reality: the female human being.

I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between
two people: that each should stand guard over
the solitude of the other.

Love consists of this:two solitudes that meet,
protect and greet each other.

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.

1 comment:

  1. Love this! Very inspiring in a way. Thank you so much for sharing!


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