Thursday, August 6, 2009

Everything is Gestation and Then Birthing

I am fond of quoting Rilke, because--while he may not be saying anything new, he says it in way that resonates with me. Below is one of my favorite quotes from Letters to a Young Poet. As you read it, substitute the word "artist" with "divine pregnant woman."

Rilke said: "Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to lives as an artist: in understanding as in creating.

In this there is no measuring with time, a year doesn't matter, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn't force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient. Who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything!"

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