Standing in the Midst of Life

From Rilke’s wonderful book Letters to a Young Poet.

Do not expend too much courage or time to clarify your position to others.  I know your career is difficult and I anticipated your complaint and knew it would come.  Now that it has come, I cannot reassure you.  I can only advise you to think seriously about this: Are not all careers the same, filled with demands and people filled with animosity toward the individual, at the same time absorbing the hatred of those who have silently and sullenly adapted to dull duty?  The situation that you are now obliged to tolerate is not burdened any heavier with conventions, prejudices, and errors than any other situation.  If there are some who outwardly give the impression of granting more freedom, know that there really exists none that is related to the important things that make up real life.  The individual person who senses his aloneness, and only he, is like a thing subject to the deep laws, the cosmic laws.  If a person goes out into the dawn or gazes out into the evening filled with happenings, if he senses what happens there, then all situations fall away from him as from someone dead, even though he stands in the midst of life.

[Post image: Starry night by magicmarie on stock.xchng]

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The quote I live by

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.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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