Rainer Maria Rilke
“It seems to me that the only way one can be helpful is to extend one’s hand to someone else involuntarily, and without ever knowing how useful this will be,” the brilliant words from a man named Rilke. Was he writing this for me, a care partner?
Who was this man named Rainer Maria Rilke, born in 1875 in Prague, Bohemia, Austria-Hungry; today this is the Czech Republic, who died at the age of fifty-one from an undiagnosed incurable form of leukemia in 1926 in Switzerland? He was a poet and writer who is often quoted because his profound wisdom erupts and gushes though his words; his words resonate within me. Rilke was also a mentor to Franz Kappus (1883-1966) then a nineteen-year-old young military cadet in the German military seeking advice on his writings; the letter writing lasted from 1902 to 1908. These letters are published in a book, Letters to a Young Poet, 1929. Although Kappus’ works are not noteworthy, the letters are a lasting source of inspiration.
We can utilize the wisdom as we continue our life journey as a care partner; these are his life lessons providing spiritual guidance, nurture, and encouragement.
- Just keep going. No feeling is final. Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness. The only journey is the one within.
- Go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows.
- I am glad you are here. It helps me realize how beautiful my world is.
- I would like to beg of you, dear friend, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Do not now look for answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything.
- Don’t be too quick to draw conclusions from what happens to you; simply let it happen. Otherwise it will be too easy for you to look with blame . . . at your past, which naturally has a share with everything that now meets you.
- Right in the difficult we must have our joys, our happiness, our dreams: there against the depth of this background, they stand out, there for the first time we see how beautiful they are.
- This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love: the more they give, the more they possess.
- You mustn’t be frightened if a sadness rises in front of you, larger than any you have ever seen; if an anxiety, like light and cloud-shadows, moves over your hands and over everything you do. You must realize that something is happening to you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall.
- We must accept our reality as vastly as we possibly can; everything, even the unprecedented, must be possible within it.