A collection worthy of Rainer Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke [ 1875-1926]

His life was poetry and his soothing words assuage my difficulties.

Part I

 


 

× Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

× Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final.

× We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.

× Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.

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

× Do not assume that he who seeks to comfort you now, lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life may also have much sadness and difficulty, that remains far beyond yours. Were it otherwise, he would never have been able to find these words.

× Extinguish my eyes, I’ll go on seeing you.
Seal my ears, I’ll go on hearing you.
And without feet I can make my way to you,
without a mouth I can swear your name.

Break off my arms, I’ll take hold of you
with my heart as with a hand.
Stop my heart, and my brain will start to beat.
And if you consume my brain with fire,
I’ll feel you burn in every drop of my blood.

× Only someone who is ready for everything, who doesn’t exclude any experience, even the most incomprehensible, will live the relationship with another person as something alive and will himself sound the depths of his own being.

× The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.

× It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living. Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us; because everything we trust and are used to is for a moment taken away from us; because we stand in the midst of a transition where we cannot remain standing. That is why the sadness passes: the new presence inside us, the presence that has been added, has entered our heart, has gone into its innermost chamber and is no longer even there, – is already in our bloodstream. And we don’t know what it was. We could easily be made to believe that nothing happened, and yet we have changed, as a house that a guest has entered changes. We can’t say who has come, perhaps we will never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens. And that is why it is so important to be solitary and attentive when one is sad: because the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us is so much closer to life than that other loud and accidental point of time when it happens to us as if from outside. The quieter we are, the more patient and open we are in our sadnesses, the more deeply and serenely the new presence can enter us, and the more we can make it our own, the more it becomes our fate.

× The only journey is the one within.

× Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. …live in the question.

× A person isn’t who they are during the last conversation you had with them – they’re who they’ve been throughout your whole relationship.

× The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with the noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the more terribly; and gather inside us and are life, are life that is unlived, rejected, lost, life that we can die of.

× Embrace your solitude and love it. Endure the pain it causes, and try to sing out with it. For those near to you are distant…”

× That’s love: Two lonely persons keep each other safe and touch each other and talk to each other.

× I am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough
to make every moment holy.
I am too tiny in this world, and not tiny enough
just to lie before you like a thing,
shrewd and secretive.
I want my own will, and I want simply to be with my will,
as it goes toward action;
and in those quiet, sometimes hardly moving times,
when something is coming near,
I want to be with those who know secret things
or else alone.
I want to be a mirror for your whole body,
and I never want to be blind, or to be too old
to hold up your heavy and swaying picture.
I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
and I want my grasp of things to be
true before you. I want to describe myself
like a painting that I looked at
closely for a long time,
like a saying that I finally understood,
like the pitcher I use every day,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship
that carried me
through the wildest storm of all.

×May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.

× But your solitude will be a support
and a home for you,
even in the midst of very
unfamiliar circumstances,
and from it you will find all your paths.

×Things aren’t all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered, and more unsayable than all other things are works of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life.

× 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.

× You must give birth to your images. They are the future waiting to be born. Fear not the strangeness you feel. The future must enter you long before it happens. Just wait for the birth, for the the hour of the new clarity.

× So don’t be frightened, dear friend, if a sadness confronts you larger than any you have ever known, casting its shadow over all you do. You must think that something is happening within you, and remember that life has not forgotten you; it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why would you want to exclude from your life any uneasiness, any pain, any depression, since you don’t know what work they are accomplishing within you?

× I am learning to see. I don’t know why it is, but everything enters me more deeply and doesn’t stop where it once used to. I have an interior that I never knew of… What’s the use of telling someone that I am changing? If I’m changing, I am no longer who I was; and if I am something else, it’s obvious that I have no acquaintances. And I can’t possibly write to strangers.

× This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love: the more they give, the more they possess.

× Our heart always transcends us.

× 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.

× Most people come to know only one corner of their room, one spot near the window, one narrow strip on which they keep walking back and forth.

× 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.

× No one can advise or help you – no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you write, find out whether it spreading out its root in the deepest places of your heart…Delve into yourself for a deep answer.

× The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.

× Let your beauty manifest itself
without talking and calculation.​
You are silent. It says for you: I am.
And comes in meaning thousandfold​,
comes at long last over everyone.

× He does not always remain bent over the
pages; he often leans back and closes
his eyes over a line he has been reading
again, and its meaning spreads through
his blood.

× Ultimately, and precisely in the deepest and most important matters, we are unspeakably alone; and many things must happen, many things must go right, a whole constellation of events must be fulfilled, for one human being to successfully advise or help another.

× It is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.

× All emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you.

 

 

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