Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Live the Questions

Girl at Writing Table
by Kate Greenaway (1846 - 1901)
English children's book illustrator

"If you trust in Nature, in what is simple in Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble and try very simply, as someone who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness, and knowledge. . . .

"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."
from Letter Four: 16 July 1903
in Letters to a Young Poet (to read online)
by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

I also like this alternate translation from Stephen Mitchell:

"Perhaps then, someday far in the future,
you will gradually, without even noticing it,
live your way into the answer."

As I wrote a few years back, my inclination to blog is fueled by "those moments when Life offers its own theme to a strand of apparently accidental events, and everything hangs together for a moment in such an uncanny way that you'd swear it was all planned out somehow!" The latest thrilling trail of irresistible coincidence that I just had to follow concerns the above quotation by Rilke.

For more on this ingenious web of connection and coincidence,
see my new post "Mental Beauty"
on The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker

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