Rainer Maria Rilke, full name René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke
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.
Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels' hierarchies? And even if one of them pressed me against his heart: I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence. For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure, and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us. Every angel is terrifying.
Whoever you are: in the evening step out of your room, where you know everything; yours is the last house before the far-off: whoever you are. With your eyes, which in their weariness barely free themselves from the worn-out threshold, you lift very slowly one black tree and place it against the sky: slender, alone. And you have made the world. And it is huge and like a word which grows ripe in silence. And as your will seizes on its meaning, tenderly your eyes let it go...
Whom will you cry to, heart? More and more lonely, your path struggles on through incomprehensible mankind. All the more futile perhaps for keeping to its direction, keeping on toward the future, toward what has been lost. Once. You lamented? What was it? A fallen berry of jubilation, unripe. But now the whole tree of my jubilation is breaking, in the storm it is breaking, my slow tree of joy. Loveliest in my invisible landscape, you that made me more known to the invisible angels.
Who speaks of conquering? To endure is everything.
Who has not sat before his own heart's curtain? It lifts: and the scenery is falling apart.
Who is there today who still cares about a well-finished death? No one. Even the rich, who could after all afford this luxury, are beginning to grow lazy and indifferent; the desire to have a death of one's own is becoming more and more rare. In a short time it will be as rare as a life of one's own.
While in that patent is awarded to the art of love, he comes with a grammar for beginners in the pocket.
When, between two books, silent sky appears: be glad
Where something becomes extremely difficult and unbearable, there we also stand already quite near its transformation.
When I saw others straining toward God, I did not understand it, for though I may have had him less than they did, there was no one blocking the way between him and me, and I could reach his heart easily. It is up to Him, after all, to have us, our part consists of almost solely in letting him grasp us.
When I think about little girls in the moment of turning into big girls (it is no slow timid development but something strangely sudden), I always have to imagine an ocean behind them, or a grave eternal plain, or something else you don't actually see with your eyes but can only sense, and that only in the deep and silent hours. Then I see the big girls as being exactly as big as I was used to the little childlike girls being small--and Heaven above knows why, that's just how I want to see them. There is a reason for everything. But the best things that happen, after all, are the ones which hide their deeper reason with both hands, whether out of modesty or because they don't want to be betrayed.
What we do battle with is so small, what battles us is so large.
What is required of us is that we love the difficult and learn to deal with it. In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on us. Right in the difficult we must have our joys, our happiness, our dreams: there against the depth of this background, they stand out, there for the first time we see how beautiful they are. and learn to deal with it. In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on us. Right in the difficult we must have our joys, our happiness, our dreams: there against the depth of this background, they stand out, there for the first time we see how beautiful they are.
What keeps you from... living your life as a painful and lovely day in the history of a great pregnancy?
What else can I tell you? It seems to me that everything has its proper emphasis; and finally I want to add just one more bit of advice: to keep growing, silently and earnestly, through your whole development; you couldn't disturb it any more violently than by looking outside and waiting for outside answers to questions that only your innermost feeling, in your quietest hour, can perhaps answer.
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 want it visible to show when even the most visible joy will reveal itself only when we have transformed it within. There
We wasters of sorrows! How we stare away into sad endurance beyond them, trying to foresee their end! Whereas they are nothing else than our winter foliage, our sombre evergreen, one of the seasons of our interior year.
We see the brightness of a new page where everything yet can happen.