Letters on life

Rainer Maria Rilke

You have to live life to the limit, not according to each day but according to its depth. One does not have to do what comes next if one feels a greater affinity with that which happens later, at a remove, even in a remote distance. One may dream while others are saviors if these dreams are more real to oneself than reality and more necessary than bread. In a word: one ought to turn the most extreme possibility inside oneself into the measure for one’s life, for our life is vast and can accommodate as much future as we are able to carry.


 

The more we speak of solitude, the clearer it becomes that at the bottom it is not something one can choose to take or leave. We are lonely. One can deceive oneself about it and act as if it were not so. That is all. But it is so much better to see that we are so, indeed even to presuppose it. It will make us dizzy, of course; because all the focal points on which our eyes were used to resting are taken away from us, there is nothing near us anymore, and everything distant is infinitely distant


 

Do not search now for the answers which cannot be given you because you could not live them. It is a matter of living everything. Live the questions now.


 

For there clings to him something that often overwhelms us—
memory, a recollection that whatever we’re striving for now
was once closer and truer, and that its union with us was incredibly tender.
Here, everything is distance;
There, is was breath.


 

Fame is nothing but the sum of all the misunderstandings that cluster around a new name…Wherever a human achievement becomes truly great, it seeks to hide its face in the lap of general, nameless greatness.


 

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.


 

 

Respond to Letters on life

Fire away!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s