Thursday, March 18, 2010

loving and living the questions

I love the Rilke passage below, and have been saving it for a matching photograph that illustrated the idea. This morning I noticed my camera had made its way back into my bedroom, and took a look to see what pictures might be waiting inside. My daughter spent some time yesterday photographing, and this image she captured makes me think of the mysteries we all hold and seek answers to, and like the small opening to the sun in this photograph, we must wait for the clouds to shift to see the answer.

I love the idea of loving the questions themselves, rather than fretting the not knowing. 

 Have patience with everything
 unresolved in your heart and try to
 love the questions themselves, as if they
 were locked rooms, or books
 written in a very foreign language.
 Don't search for the answers,
 which could not be given to you
 now, because you would not be
 able to live them. And the point
 is to live everything. Live the
 questions now. Perhaps then, someday
 far in the future, you will gradually,
 without even noticing it, live
 your way into the answer.
 ~Rainer Maria Rilke


Matthew said...


Michelle said...

Hi Billie! Boy, I've missed visiting your site during my period of distractions. And what a welcome back: beautiful photo and the passage is fabulous. It really speaks to my heart. Thanks for posting!

billie said...

Matthew, I think there's a new camera in the future. :)

billie said...

Michelle, it's great to see you.

I got your info about the great new site:

petsblogroll (dot) com

which everyone should go check out right now!

I didn't sign on because I often diverge from blogging about the animals we live with and didn't want to mis-represent camera-obscura to the readers, but I love the idea and it looks like a great place to find much good reading.

Grey Horse Matters said...

The picture certainly compliments the verse, which I love. There doesn't seem to be anything to add, Rilke has succinctly put it perfectly.

billie said...

You're right, Arlene - it's such a beautiful and succinct verse.

Jane said...

Exactly what I needed to hear. And so beautifully said. I love the photo, and of course the Rilke. Thanks for a wonderful post!

Máire said...

That's a nice coincidence. I was reading Rilke yesterday morning - the first verse:

Everything beckons to us to perceive it,
murmurs at every turn, "Remember me!"
A day we passed, too busy to receive it,
will yet unlock us all its treasury.

I love Rilke and I love how poetry slows me down, make the moment seem longer.


CharlieHorse said...

I, too, am an appreciator of Rilke and familiar with this favorite passage :) What a wonderful pairing with the picture your daughter took. Joseph Campbell is one of my all time favorite teachers - he wrote: "Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived...It's not the agony of the quest, but the rapture of the revelation...You ARE that mystery which you are seeking to know."
Thanks, as always, billie, for sharing :)

CharlieHorse said...

I want to add that imo, your daughter has a great "photographer's eye" !!

billie said...

Jane, it's interesting to me how these passages seem to float onto my radar just about the exact time I need to read them again.

I'm glad it worked that way for you as well!

billie said...

Maire, thanks for that passage - I love it too! And I agree that Rilke seems to slow the moment and make it more precious for reading his words.

billie said...

Beth, I'm a Joseph Campbell fan too - thank you for sharing that passage. It's wonderful!

And thank you for passing on the compliment to my daughter. She reads the blog so will see it and hopefully feel good about her work!

Kyle said...

Sort of a variation on the Serenity Prayer, isn't it?