“...I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to 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, 1903
In Letters to a Young Poet
This quote was shared with me last night over a dinner I made (four new Giada dishes—two wonderful, one good, one not-so-much) for PCSVLDSRL’s. Rilke is CRL’s favorite poet. She and PRL were discussing the death of their second child and this quote was something that continues to speak to them. I struggled to keep the tears in as she attempted to first quote it from memory and then proceeded to look it up on the internet to give it to me verbatim.
I have had so much support over the past year and a half—from family, from dear, dear friends, and (at times) from total strangers. The RL’s, however, have been the chief among them. They so easily could have quoted Bible verse after Bible verse. They could have said, ‘Can we please quit talking about this now, can you quit crying?’ Even more, they could have said, ‘We’ve lost a child! What the fuck are you bitching about? You have no idea what loss is!’ Instead, every step of the way, they have prayed for and with me, they have called to check in, they have held me when I couldn’t stop shaking from tears. And, in the midst of me trying to shove everything away or down deep so that I can begin to function once more, in the midst of me saying, ‘I can’t talk about this anymore with you, if I do, I’ll never stop,’ they offer me this passage. Typically, I hate being given a quote, verse, etc, etc. I find them cliché and rote (is that how you spell that?). Asinine, really. However, this one was different. She hadn’t even finished it and already, my chest clinched and I knew I was being given something of truth, something that I was supposed to hear at that moment—if I’d been given it sooner, I wouldn’t have been willing to take it. “Don’t search for answers…Live the question now.” Through everything, that has been the hardest part. I always want to know why. I want answers. I need reasons. Reasons that are deep and genuine. Reasons that are real and able to clear up hurt, pain, and doubt. I know those probably don’t exist. And, I don’t really know if I will ever be able to make sense of all the has happened and his choices. However, I am finally open to that possibility, that maybe, just maybe, I will “live my way into the answer.”
Black Coffee Tables
2 years ago