Rainer Maria Rilke
She who did not come, wasn't she determined
nonetheless to organize and decorate my heart?
If we had to exist to become the one we love,
what would the heart have to create?
Lovely joy left blank, perhaps you are
the center of all my labors and my loves.
If I've wept for you so much, it's because
I preferred you among so many outlined joys.
"Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write."
"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"
"Love consists of this: two solitudes that meet, protect and greet each other. "
"Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading!"
"Think... of the world you carry within you."
".... believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it."
"The only journey is the one within."
"You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don't even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of
the next moment. All the immense
images in me -- the far-off, deeply-felt landscape,
cities, towers, and bridges, and un-
suspected turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing with the life of the gods--
all rise within me to mean
you, who forever elude me.
You, Beloved, who are all
the gardens I have ever gazed at,
longing. An open window
in a country house-- , and you almost
stepped out, pensive, to meet me. Streets that I chanced
you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors
were still dizzy with your presence and, startled, gave back
my too-sudden image. Who knows? Perhaps the same
bird echoed through both of us
yesterday, separate, in the evening... "
"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..."
"I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other. "
"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."
"I live not in dreams but in contemplation of a reality that is perhaps the future."
"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."
"Comfort me from wherever you are–alone, we are quickly worn out; if I place my head on the road, let it seem softened by you. Could it be that even from afar we offer each other a gentle breath?"
"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."
"She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
Of her life, and weaves them gratefully
Into a single cloth –
It’s she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
And clears it for a different celebration."
"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."
"Where something becomes extremely difficult and unbearable, there we also stand already quite near its transformation."
"Who has not sat before his own heart's curtain? It lifts: and the scenery is falling apart."
"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."
"I beg you... to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. and the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer..."
"Was soll ich mit meinem Munde? Mit meiner Nacht? Mit meinem Tag? Ich habe keine Geliebte, kein Haus, keine Stelle auf der ich lebe . . ."
"Alone: what shall I use my mouth to utter? How shall I pass my days? And how my nights?
I have no one to love. I have no home. There is no center to sustain my life. All things to which I give myself grow rich and leave me spent, impoverished, alone."