Originally uploaded by Emma Über.
I am currently reading Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties by German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. This is my second time around and there’s still so much to digest. Here are three Rilke quotes that seem most relevant to me at the present moment:
“It is not inertia alone that is responsible for human relationships repeating themselves from case to case, indescribably monotonous and unrenewed: it is shyness before any sort of new, unforeseeable experience with which one does not think oneself able to cope. But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, not even the most enigmatical will live the relation to another as something alive.” Yes, Rilke is talking about human relationships, but oftentimes, my relationships with others can be as muddled and confusing, as painful and joyful, as my relationship with my self. With everything that happens or doesn’t happen, I cope again and again. Each time I see more of myself. I may be shy and wide-eyed, a little fearful, a little unsure, but I survive, I grow, I strengthen, I love. I embrace and I let go. I refuse inertia—and, in doing so, I think I may have found my best and most fulfilling relationship yet.
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” I’m not sure what frightens me, or maybe I do and don’t want to confront it. This is a scary thing... maybe one day I will have the courage to do this.
“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.” This is a guide to how I want to be. I want to remember in moments when I’m caught up in the details of not knowing what and when and why and how that I need to go back to the notion of trying to live in the unknown—and that, in fact, hopefully will lead to the answer.