Saturday, April 27, 2013
It is also good to love: because love is difficult.
For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps
the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us,
the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which
all other work is merely preparation.
That is why young people, who are beginners in everything,
are not yet capable of love: it is something they must learn.
With their whole being, with all their forces, gathered around their solitary,
anxious, upward-beating heart, they must learn to love.
But learning-time is always a long, secluded time, and therefore loving,
for a long time ahead and far on into life, is: solitude, a heightened
and deepened kind of aloneness for the person who loves.
Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person
(for what would a union be of two people who are unclarified, unfinished, and still incoherent?),
it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself,
to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person;
it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chooses him
and calls him to vast distances.
Only in this sense, as the task of working on themselves
("to hearken and to hammer day and night"), may young people
use the love that is given to them. Merging and surrendering and
every kind of communion is not for them (who must still,
for a long, long time, save and gather themselves); it is the ultimate,
is perhaps that for which human lives are as yet barely large enough.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
from Letter to a Young Poet, #7
art by picasso