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What we choose to fight is so tiny…
When we win it’s with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from the poem “The Watching Man”  <link>

And we, who think of happiness ascending,
would with consternation
know the rapture that almost overwhelms us,
when happiness falls.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from the end of “The Tenth Elegy”  <link>

A person is not who they are during the last conversation you had with them—they are who they have been throughout your whole relationship.

— Rainer Maria Rilke  <link>

The wanderer does not bring a handful of earth
from the mountain slope to the valley,
the unutterable,
but a pure word he has learned,
the blue and yellow gentian.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from “The Ninth Elegy”  <link>

Infinite Distances

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.

— Rainer Maria Rilke  <link>

For one human being to love another, that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.

— Rainer Maria Rilke  <link>

Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you?

— Rainer Maria Rilke  <link>

Live the Question

Be patient with regard to all that in your heart is still unresolved and try to love the questions themselves like closed parts and books written in an extremely foreign language. Do not seek for the moment of the answer because you would not be able to live through it. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will live thereafter and gradually without realizing it, one day, live your way into the answer.

— Rainer Maria Rilke  <link>