Letters

Be patient towards all that is unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms, like books written in a foreign tongue. Do not now strive to uncover answers: they cannot be given to you because you have not been able to live them.”

“We are placed into life as into the element with which we are the most affinity, and moreover we have after thousands of years adaptation come to resemble this life so closely that if we keep still we can, thanks to our facility for mimicry, hardly be distinguished from all that surrounds us. We have no reason to be mistrustful of our world, for it is not against us. If it holds terrors they are our terrors, if it has its abysses these abysses belong to us, if there are dangers we must try to love them. And if we only organize our life according to the principle which teaches us always to hold to what is difficult, then what now still appears most foreign will become our most intimate and most reliable experience… Perhaps everything terrifying is deep down a helpless thing that needs our help.”

“One day there will be girls and women whose name will no longer just signify the opposite male but something in their own right, something which does not make one think of any supplement or limit but only of life and existence: the female human being. This step forward (at first against the will of the men who are left behind) will transform the experience of love, which is now full of error, alter it root and branch, reshape it into a relation between two human beings and no longer between man and woman. And this more human form of love (which will be performed in infinitely gentle and considerate fashion, true and clear in its creating of bonds and dissolving of them) will resemble the one we are struggling and toiling to prepare the way for, the love that consists in two solitudes proctecting, defining, and welcoming one another.”

“Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where it all comes from and where it is leading? You well know you are in a period of transition and want nothing more than to be transformed.”

 

– Rainer Maria Rilke