Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


I'm working on 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 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 find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer. ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

18 comments:

Anthony said...

Well said.
Or written, rather.

There sure is some truth to Rilke's quote. We never seem to get answers when we WANT them. But it is interesting how answers can come to you after you've let go of your troubles... when you're no longer trying so hard to figure things out.

And I have had some epiphanies hit me years later, long after I'd given any thought to the original issue. You know what they say, "Hindsight is 20/20".

I think it's good to focus energy on these two words: Patience and Reflection

And remember, Debra, I think you're a shining light!

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

And I think you're the best, Anthony!

For sure, patience is not a virtue I was blessed with, unfortunately. Perhaps this is the one of the hardest thing - wanting change and feeling like you are standing in quicksand, trying to paddle your way out but not going anywhere.

Hindsight is somewhat of torture that wears like a coat of concrete, I find.

I always thought life would make sense at a certain age. It makes less sense the older I get. :)

Maybe I need to join the Monks in Tibet for a time.

As always, I value your comment, perspective, and your lovely, warm friendship. xoxo

steven said...

sixpence isn't this such sweet good writing?!!! i'm in my early fifties now and looking back through the decades i don't laugh at myself so much as commiserate because each decade or phase of my life has been riddled with hard learnings among which are the reality of patience vs the idea of patience. i have learned to wait, for good things eventually arrive or at the very least, crazy-making life events make sense at some point. thanks for this. steven

Delwyn said...

Hello 6p

It was nice to have you drop that comment on an old post, and nice to see your lovely face again.

This is an interesting quote because another blogger is struggling with questions and answers and discussing epiphanies.

I have found that giving up the need for answers, knowing what is coming next, and the desire to understand has been one of the most freeing things about maturity(AKA getting older)

It becomes quite exciting to rest in the unknowing.

Not knowing, insecurity and uncertainty are three of the most consistent constants in life. Quite a paradox isn't it.

Happy days

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

Steven, a beautiful comment!

Like yours, each chapter of my life has been hard, and a life changing experience. Most certainly, the idea of patience is much different from the reality of patience. The idea of patience is hard enough.:)

If only I had come with an on/off switch, life would be so much easier.:)

I very much appreciate your words of wisdom! Thank you. xoxo

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

Hello Delwyn! Thank you! Your blog is awesome - full of gems and nuggets to savor and devour.

I know all of you are right in your advice. It's letting go and letting be, that's where real peace drips through our veins and becomes a part of our being, our existence. I'm trying really hard.

And btw, I going to use the term "mature", getting older is just scary!!! :)

"Rest in the unknowing" (I like that.) I'm going to try that for awhile and see how it works for me.

Thank you for stopping by, and for your lovely comment.

Have a peaceful and lovely week! xoxo

drollgirl said...

i got this book long ago. i struggle with poetry. i am impatient and i rarely get it. i know i should try harder. :[

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

Just read it for the enjoyment, don't try and figure it out. Poetry speaks to the soul, not the mind. :)

Just keep reading...

Thanks for the visit Drollgirl.

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Sixpence,

I enjoyed your post and the poem from Rainer Maria Rilke.
I like what Delwyn said ... Rest in the unknown.
We really do need to take each day as it comes.

I hope that you are having a great week
Hugs
Carolyn

LENORENEVERMORE said...

As I grow older, I'm begining to be gain more patience...it's so true that we can't find all the answers, even via Wikepedia!!!
Hope you have a lovely week so far darling!

~Blessings*

GYPSYWOMAN said...

wonderfully beautiful post - and from rilke! how divine! oh, and like you, patience is not a virtue of mine - and the older i become, the less i have want of it anyway! i say, bring it on - bring it all on - now! no time for patience for me!!!

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

Beautiful advice, Carolyn. Yes...really it is the only way to have peace of mind, by living one day at a time. Thank you for the visit. It is always nice to see you. xoxo

Lenore, you totally crack me up. Only you can say something so serious and it still have humor. I do not trust Wikepedia. :) Have a lovely weekend, darling lady. xoxo

Gypsywoman, I'm right there with you on the patience - I have none! I should have a little more than I do. It would probably fix many of my self-inflicted problems. :) I'm going to come by your page tonight; seriously, I am. :)

Jack Beacham said...

Sixpence --

That's a wonderful quote - and idea beneath it. Like you and a few other posters, I've struggled with uncertainty. I am a "knower". Or, have been. Still, that's odd given a few things I know about myself. For instance, I'm a huge fan of the Austrian school of economics - Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, etc - and one of their fundamental ideas is that human action, especially in the aggregate, is unknowable. There are just too many variables.

Still, this idea of having "to know" has predominated my life. In the last few months though, as things have taken a downward turn in my own economic life, I kept thinking about this idea - this quote from Rilke - trusting in uncertainty, or as Delwyn put it, "rest in the unknowing."

I had no idea of how I would make it through the holidays - to make something of a Christmas for my two daughters. And, so, I decided not to concern myself with it - at least consciously. I simply paid my bills and moved forward and they, both my creditors and daughters were quite pleased with December's outcome.

Now, half through January, I've, I'll be honest, been concerned. I've never not paid a bill. But, I've not paid too much attention to that. I've moved forward wondering about things, wondering about Rilke, questioning all sorts of things - about who I've been and where I'm going and, mostly, why.

In the meantime, I have no idea of why, long forgotten customers, and brand new folks referred to me by dear, dear friends, have seemed to have blossomed like crocuses in the snow.

So, I remain a big fan of Mr. Rilke, the questions, and of people like you that wonder about things like this.

Have a wonderful time of it --

Jack

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

Jack, your comment is...well, AWESOME!!!

When I think back over the years of my life, some very hard years, I often thought I would not make it through. Somehow, without my assistance, the moon goes to sleep and the sun rises - if not in my world, in another.

The questions I suppose will always be a constant visitor in our lives. I envy those who can walk through life without questioning so much. I can't. Even as a very young child, I can remember questioning things that I should not have questioned as a child.

I wonder how much our questioning keeps us from moving forward. Or does it?

I hope that January has and will turn out many wonderful surprises for you.

Your website is very interesting!

Thank you for the visit, and the comment. I hope you will visit again.

victoria said...

thanks for sharing!

The Cottage Cheese said...

Oh my, what a beautiful photograph! Life rarely gives us answers to the hard questions when we go looking for them. Some questions are never answered, and it's difficult to accept this, but we must find a way. I know that your life has been filled with so much loss these past years, and I think you are an amazing woman and you are doing remarkably well (emotionally) given the circumstances. You always have kinds words to share with us when many other people would have become bitter and withdrawn if they had experienced what you have. Take care girlie, you're in my thoughts!

Prince and Fox said...

Are you fan of Lady Gaga? Her new tattoo is from the same letter. I love this from Rilke, he is great :-)

Anonymous said...

deb,
your poetry, musings, reflections,
and thinking about the same
makes one think of holding the tail of a wild tiger
and the brain feels like
cold scrambled eggs