Rainer Maria Rilke, full name René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke
No, we don't accomplish our love in a single year as the flowers do; an immemorial sap flows up through our arms when we love. Dear girl, this: that we loved, inside us, not One who would someday appear, but seething multitudes; not just a single child, but also the fathers lying in our depths like fallen mountains; also the dried-up riverbeds of ancient mothers-;also the whole soundless landscape under the clouded or clear sky of its destiny -; all this, my dear, preceded you.
No one can advise or help you, no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.
No, no, one can imagine nothing in the world, not the least thing. Everything is composed of so many isolated details that are not to be foreseen. In one's imagining one passes over them and hasty as one is doesn't notice that they are missing. But realities are slow and indescribably detailed.
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.
Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness. Give me your hand.
Never forget that solitude is my lot ... I implore those who love me to love my solitude.
MUSIC: Take me by the hand; it's so easy for you, Angel, for you are the road even while being immobile. You see, I'm scared no one here will look for me again; I couldn't make use of whatever was given, so they abandoned me. At first the solitude charmed me like a prelude, but so much music wounded me.
My life is not this steeply sloping hour, in which you see me hurrying. Much stands behind me; I stand before it like a tree; I am only one of my many mouths, and at that, the one that will be still the soonest. I am the rest between two notes, which are somehow always in discord because Death
Music: breathing of statues. Perhaps: silence of paintings. You language where all language ends. You time standing vertically on the motion of mortal hearts. Feelings for whom? O you the transformation of feelings into what?--: into audible landscape. You stranger: music. You heart-space grown out of us. The deepest space in us, which, rising above us, forces its way out,-- holy departure: when the innermost point in us stands outside, as the most practiced distance, as the other side of the air: pure, boundless, no longer habitable.
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. In this way they have a certain security... We, however, are not prisoners.
More unsayable than all other things are works of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life.
May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.
May you find in yourself enough patience to endure and enough simplicity to have faith.
May you gain more and more confidence in what is difficult and in your solitude among other people.
Lovers, if Angels could understand them, might utter strange things in the midnight air. For it seems that everything's trying to hide us. Look, the trees exist; the houses we live in still stand where they were. We only pass everything by like a transposition of air. And all combines to suppress us, partly as shame, perhaps, and partly as inexpressible hope.
Make yourself fierce; break in.
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.
Love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. Your solitude will be a support and a home for you.
Love is at first not anything that means merging, giving over and uniting with another (for what would a union be of something unclarified and unfinished, still subordinate?), it is a high inducement to the individual to ripen, to become world, to become world for himself for another's sake. It is a great exacting claim upon him, something that chooses him out and calls him to vast things.
Love is like the measles. The older you get it, the worse the attack.
Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other.
Look: the trees exist; the houses we dwell in stand there stalwartly. Only we pass by it all, like a rush of air. And everything conspires to keep quiet about us, half out of shame perhaps, half out of some secret hope.
LOSING: Losing too is still ours; and even forgetting still has a shape in the kingdom of transformation. When something's let go of, it circles; and though we are rarely the center of the circle, it draws around us its unbroken, marvelous curve.