It’s been a strange month away from the regularities and the speed of my London life. I’m in Krakow yet again, dealing with the ebbs and flows of family life. And then there’s the flood. My home town is still above the water, but the surrounding areas are one by one being scarred by the spreading waters. The rain, the pouring rain, has been coming down from the sky for days on end now. The city has been in a state of amok, with its vegetation contracting in sudden frenzy of water overdose, the traffic standing still, the TVs screeching with news of yet another evacuation, yet another river swallowing new homes, yet another reason to keep watching the news.
Anyway, thought I’d post this amid this mess. It’s one of my favourite poems on life as such by Rainer Maria Rilke. Enjoy.
We, however are not prisoners. No traps or snares are set about us, and there is nothing which should intimidate or worry us. We are set down in life as in the element to which we best correspond, and over and above this we have through thousands of years of accomodation become so like this life, that when we hold still we are, through a happy mimicry, scarcely to be distinguished from all that surrounds us. We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them. And if we could only arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful. How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.