There’s a very well known quote from Rilke :
“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”
…from the Letters to a young poet.
In fact, when he was around 30; Rilke wrote a few letters to a young man who had asked him advices about poetry. Rilke’s answer is splendid :
“Nobody can advise you and help you, nobody. There is only one way. Go into yourself.”
But at this time he was also writing letters to Lou Andreas-Salomé, who was… 14 years older than him. I read their letters, they are amazing : two high-range brains talking about subtleties of life…
In 1903 he wrote :
“Patience contains everything: humility, strength and moderation.”
Patience, at this time, seemed to be an obsession to him.
How do we hear this today?
- Do we hear that negatively, patience as inertia disguised in virtues? Should we be patient instead of enter a resistance?
- Do we hear that positively, patience as hope? Humility, strength and moderation… Is it linked to indecision “as a decision”?
How do you hear it?
Why do I think about Saint-Exupéry?
Les vaincus doivent se taire, comme les graines
The vanquished must stay silent, like the seeds…
Thanks for reading!