The world is bigger than our jobs, routines, fears, and limitations; our spirits are cleansed through traveling and taking a step back from the world we’ve built. We find Rilke, in letter 4 of Letters to a young poet, saying, “I feel that no person has an answer for the questions and feelings arising from deep inside you.” On the path to mastery we struggle with looking for solace, comfort, or answers in the people around us; it takes much time to understand that everyone is trapped within the same conundrum. While the people we love can offer an listening ear, which we should all be extremely grateful, we must learn to discover our rhythms and live from this intimacy.
“We must draw near to nature”, says Rilke; we have a tendency to lose our lust for life, and everything around us turn into a grey unshakable blob. Seeing the beauty and magnificence around us allows each moment to become untainted with preconceptions; we can learn to experience the world anew everyday. The lake outside my house has become a mirror to the clouds, whatever the clouds are experiencing the water expresses it through the crash or calm of its waves. Each morning I watch the water as the sun rises, and when the sun is setting I take claim my sacred spot. The beauty in our lives, we often overlook, contain the potential for transformation; the development of our patience allows us to appreciate our current situation. We often spend our days paralyzed over our ignorance, but, as Rilke also believed, we should not try and solve the questions, but live them. Spending our days within ourselves and allowing life to unfold before us.
Through the pain, loneliness, fear, and, everything that causes us to question our trajectory, we are being molded to learn love. An enduring and everlasting process of learning to trust every moment, for we know, rather intimately, that life is hard, but we cannot find solace in the potential of pain ending once we have reach a stage in our life. People believe success, money, power, or retreating to the forest will free them from pain, but only those that recognize pain is purposeful and we must embrace difficulty as Rilke says, “We know little, but that we must trust in what is difficult is a certainty that will never abandon us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be one more reason for us to do it.” I learned after many years that good and bad are meaningless; everything is as it is. Every moment brings its own blessings and pain; our responsibility is fulfilling our duty of that particular hour. We cannot predict the future, so we have little clue what will come from our mistakes, our losses, our struggles, and must learn to develop a relationship with the present. Beauty is all around us, and the questions that beg to be answered must first be lived.
A beautiful collection of letters that is a great companion for every artist; each letter provides wisdom on the obstacles we all face, and provides insight into overcoming the inhibitors to our success. Letters to a young poet should be read by every artist; whether you are a healer, yogi, astrologist, reiki initiate, or poet this collection should be kept on your hip.