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Question: To the Cliffs . . . or another way?

Rainer Maria Rilke, Austrian-born poet and novelist, has become one of my favorite philosophers. His writings are peppered with elegantly-stated ideas that have been able to stand on their own for a century, as guideposts helping others to live into their own, most vital questions.

My favorite Rilke quote, prominently displayed on the front of my refrigerator, is a gem I return to when I find I’m nagging myself to get it together and figure out which direction I’m supposed to head. His words chide me to remember that pushing to discover life's important answers and solutions on demand is, more often than not, a futile and frustrating pursuit. When we’re aware, he says, what we most want to know will eventually become such an answer, wrapped in some form of our own patience.

It goes like this:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves . . . like books that are now 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 some day into the answer.”

Sending you all wishes for deep breathing and peaceful acceptance as you step back from your big questions long enough to unlock what they want you to know.


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