being here

August 29th, 2006 by amy

Oh not because happiness exists
that too-hasty profit snatched from approaching loss.

But because truly being here is so much; because everything here
apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way
keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all.

…Ah, but what can we take along
into that other realm? Not the art of looking,
which is learned so slowly, and nothing that happened here. Nothing.
The sufferings, then. And above all, the heaviness,
and the long experience of love, — just what is wholly

– Rilke, The Ninth Duino Elegy (slightly different translation than above)

One of my favorite poems, cited in The Time Traveler’s Wife, a very good book recommended by Ted.

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