Saturday, February 13, 2010

"[...] everything good, no matter how often and how unintentionally such a deed is repeated, is new and spontaneous each time."

Today, I spent a decent amount of time reading Letters on Life (a book of writings collected from Rainer Maria Rilke's personal letters). The whole thing is basically just a self-help book written by the twentieth century's greatest German-language poet. And really, I don't know what else you could want from a book.

Try this on for size:

There is only a single, urgent task: to attach oneself someplace to nature -- to that which is strong, striving and bright -- with unreserved readiness, and then to move forward in one's efforts without any calculation or guile, even when engaged in the most trivial and mundane activities. Each time we thus reach out with joy, each time we cast our view toward distances that have not yet been touched, we transform not only the present moment, and the one following, but also alter the past within us, weave it into the pattern of our existence, and dissolve the foreign body of pain whose exact composition ultimately we do not know.

Bam! You've just been Rilked.