"It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living. Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us; because everything we trust and are used to is for a moment taken away from us; because we stand in the midst of a transition where we cannot remain standing. That is why the sadness passes: the new presence inside us, the presence that has been added, has entered our heart, has gone into its innermost chamber and is no longer even there, - is already in our blood. And we don't know what it was. We could easily be made to believe that nothing happened, and yet we have changed, as a house that a guest has entered changes. We can't say who has come, perhaps we will never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens."
-Rainer Maria Rilke
Why this man speaks to me I'll never know, but in every moment of deepest fatigue and despair he strikes right at the heart of the matter with a passage or a poem. I am thankful for this man who lived and died years before I was even born, even before my parents were born. Sometimes I felt that I quoted him too much, but this blog is a testament to his enduring influence, ever since I first received a copy of "Letters to a Young Poet" when I was 16.
Tonight he reminds me of the need for patience, even when patience is wearing thin. I feel so done in, so exhausted, so helpless to prevent conflict that I just want to check out sometimes. Rilke reminds me that you simply cannot snap your fingers and expect change. Change is difficult and painful, but we must, must hold to what is difficult. I am learning to be attentive, learning to sit with sadness, during those times in which we "stand in the midst of a transition where we cannot remain standing." Sometimes I wish that I could go back, revert to a time of not knowing what I know, not feeling what I've felt. I know that this is impossible because perhaps a new future is being transformed within me, waiting to move out of me someday.
*"The future stands still, dear Mr. Kappus, but we move in infinite space. How could it not be difficult for us?" RMR