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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rilke on Wednesday

 
“Worpswede, near Bremen,
July 16, 1903
…I want to beg you, as much as I can, my dear sir,
to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart
and to 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 then gradually, without noticing it,
live along some distant day into the answer.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Albuquerque Bound, September 2009
Recently I was listening to "Widening Circles" by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated and recited by Joanna Macy.  You can find it here.
This reminded me again of the Rilke quote above.  It has been one of my favorites for many, many years now.  Sometimes I can hold on to the meaning easier than other times.  Some days I really want the answers!
Anyway, I thought I'd share these here.  They may have special meaning for some of you as well.  I'm still having computer pains, so enjoy this photo from the archives!

  Photo by Nancy A. Erisman ©2009

24 comments:

Ms. said...

http://soundcloud.com/onbeing/20100916-wild-love-uc-widening

love it...and some days I need answers too...but most days I only need soup and sleep :-)

Doris said...

These words too have been my favorit for years, had them on a pinwall. Thanks for remembering.
At the moment for me it is question-time ... the answers are not so urgent.

saskia said...

wonder-full quote, indeed live and love the questions first and then who knows...

jenclair said...

What a lovely poem. I love the phrase "to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart..." I haven't read Rilke in years, but think I should steep myself in my poetry books now.

Thanks, Nancy!

yvette said...

o ja Rilke, one of my favs too
thanks

Nancy said...

Michelle~ Soup and sleep, sounds good to me!

Doris~ It's a questions time for me too, and the invisible answers chew at me. I shared this quote with my mom, who loved it right away.

Saskia~ Yes, who knows?


Jenclair~ That patience part is so important. I should read more Rilke :)

Yvette~ :)

blandina said...

The poem is so meaningfull, so true and talking to me so deeply.
Thank you.

Nancy said...

Blandina~ That is Just how I felt when I came upon it years ago, during a challenging time. I'm glad to have posted it, so you could embrace it too.

ali said...

at this juncture in my life, I think maybe soup and sleep will help me in striving to live the questions…to remember that path. thanks, Nancy!

Peggy said...

Nancy, I love the top quote and I really liked Widening Circles, too. Thank you so much, I think I needed them both today. xo

Nancy said...

Ali~ It is not an easy task, in my opinion, to Live the questions. Especially when we have attached much meaning to the answers...which I just discovered (as I wrote that)is part of the hard part for me! Mmmm...I will think on this some more.

Peggy~ I was not familiar with Widening Circles, glad I was introduced. I'm glad they were here for you.
I just reread an old favorite by Barry Lopez...and discovered a quote I did not remember.
"I have put my poem in order on the threshold of my tongue".
Isn't that lovely?!

Deb G said...

That's a good one...

Judy Martin said...

live the questions
love the questions themselves like locked rooms

like locked rooms

I have to think hard about this and thank you for challenging me to do so beside Rilke.
xx

Nancy said...

Deb~ Yep!

Judy~ Those lines really hit me the first time I read it. You can be OK with the questions themselves? Who knew? And live them? Wow. Thanks for stopping by and thinking with me :)

Leslie said...

Ah, yes. Embrace the questions. Not always easy, but certainly rewarding to be able to do so.

Nancy said...

Leslie~ No, not always easy!

MulticoloredPieces said...

Hi, Nancy. Thanks for the Rilke link. I will listen while I'm stitching. A good thought for the day, live the questions. Have a happy holiday season with lots of stitching!
best, nadia

Nancy said...

Nadia~ I have enough questions to fill many days!! Enjoy your stitching!

sewing susan said...

Nancy you have a wonderful collection of amazing quotes. I have decided to create a place to keep inspiring words and I will add this one plus the Leonard Cohen quote about the crack and the light. Thanks!

handstories said...

"being patient toward...the unsolved"-so not in my nature, but how much easier it would all be if only i could. sigh.

Nancy said...

Susan~ I love quotes and do have a whole notebook of ones I've collected, as well as a ongoing mixed-media project of them!! (I really should get back to that one). I used to post in my classroom a rotating choice from the ones in the notebook. They are printed out on pretty/unique/interesting papers. I enjoy sharing them because they can mean whatever they need to to each person.

Cindy~ Not in my nature either. The past several days have been pretty rough in that arena. (((sigh)))

handstories said...

so sorry, me, too. take care. ooo

Velma Bolyard said...

good food for thought and a beautiful photograph. happy!

Nancy said...

Cindy~ Thanks.

Velma~ Thank you, I love that part of the country. Such big blue skies - the American Southwest...love it! And love words worth pondering, ones that Inspire it :)