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I Stay, I Go


21st November 2002

8:11am: And to speak of solitude again, it becomes
clearer and clearer that fundamentally this is
nothing that one can choose or refrain from. We
are solitary. We can delude ourselves about this
and act as if it were not true. That is all. But how
much better it is to recognize that we are alone;
yes, even to begin from this realization. It will, of
course, make us dizzy; for all points that our eyes
used to rest on are taken away from us, there is
no longer anything near us, and everything far
away is infinitely far.


We have no reason to harbor any mistrust against
our world, for it is not against us. If it has terrors,
they are our terrors; if it has abysses, these abysses
belong to us; if there are dangers, we must try
to love them. And if only we arrange our life in
accordance with the principle which tells us that
we must always trust in the difficult, then what
now appears to us as the most alien will become
our most intimate and trusted experience. How
could we forget those ancient myths about
dragons that at the last moment are transformed
into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our
lives are princesses who are only waiting to see
us act, just once, with beauty and courage? Per-
haps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest
essence, something helpless that wants our love.

~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet.
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