This photo is from The Bodacious Book of Succulence by SARK.
When I read this quote by Rilke, it tumbled down the stairs in my mind and crashed at the bottom with a resounding “WHOOP” of joy + a little pain! I don’t know if you’ll be able to read it from the photograph, so I’ll write it out here.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” Rainer Maria Rilke
In one fell swoop, I came to the realization that I have tried to come up with the answers to unanswered questions that exist in my heart all of my life. All of it! In fact, I thought it was my duty to come up with the answers to unanswered questions that live in my heart, and then try to make those answers happen. As a side note, I’ve always read the last chapter of any mystery story (as soon as I started to feel afraid, not knowing what would happen), within the first several chapters of any book. That does say a lot about my personality, right?
When I landed at the bottom of the stairs in my mind, I felt the very QUIET WISDOM, the soul-stirring resonance contained within the action of “liv(ing) the question now.” I realized that in trying so hard to answer all unanswered questions, it gave me no chance of simply listening to the direction, the murmurings, the callings of my own Incandescent Wild Soul. The very direction that is able to lead me outside of any culturally approved and expected choices. The very direction that leads me to live as BOTH the author AND the main character of my own life. The very direction that leads me to choose myself and to live my Incandescent Wild Soul on the full page of my life rather than relegating it to the margins.
So, here I am, learning to love the questions that live in my heart. Here I am learning to hold them as Sacred. Here I am learning that answers to those questions will come to me when I am ready and able to live them. Here I am learning to trust that if I am able to hold the questions tenderly enough, I will “gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
From my Incandescent, Wild Soul to yours,