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 of 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.So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.
To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation...Love is a high inducement to the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world for himself for another's sake, it is a great exacting claim upon him, something that chooses him out and calls him to vast things.
His vision, from the constantly passing bars,has grown so weary that it cannot holdanything else. It seems to him there area thousand bars, and behind the bars, no world.As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,the movement of his powerful soft stridesis like a ritual dance around a centerin which a mighty will stands paralyzed.Only at times, the curtain of the pupilslifts, quietly. An image enters in,rushes down through the tense, arrested muscles,plunges into the heart and is gone.
Extinguish my eyes, I'll go on seeing you.Seal my ears, I'll go on hearing you.And without feet I can make my way to you,without a mouth I can swear your name.Break off my arms, I'll take hold of youwith my heart as with a hand.Stop my heart, and my brain will start to beat.And if you consume my brain with fire,I'll feel you burn in every drop of my blood.
This is the creature there has never been.They never knew it, and yet, none the less,they loved the way it moved, its suppleness,its neck, its very gaze, mild and serene.Not there, because they loved it, it behavedas though it were. They always left some space.And in that clear unpeopled space they savedit lightly reared its head, with scarce a traceof not being there. They fed it, not with corn,but only with the possibilityof being. And that was able to confersuch strength, its brow put forth a horn. One horn.Whitely it stole up to a maid - to within the silver mirror and in her.
Interior of the hand. Sole that has come to walkonly on feelings. That faces upwardand in its mirrorreceives heavenly roads, which travelalong themselves.That has learned to walk upon waterwhen it scoops,that walks upon wells,transfiguring every path.That steps into other hands,changes those that are like itinto a landscape:wanders and arrives within them,fills them with arrival.
You who never arrived in my arms, Beloved, who were lost from the start, I don't even know what songs would please you. I have given up trying to recognize you in the surging wave of the next moment. All the immense images in me -- the far-off, deeply-felt landscape, cities, towers, and bridges, and un-suspected turns in the path, and those powerful lands that were once pulsing with the life of the gods-- all rise within me to mean you, who forever elude me. You, Beloved, who are all the gardens I have ever gazed at, longing. An open window in a country house-- , and you almost stepped out, pensive, to meet me. Streets that I chanced upon,-- you had just walked down them and vanished. And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors were still dizzy with your presence and, startled, gave back my too-sudden image. Who knows? Perhaps the same bird echoed through both of us yesterday, separate, in the evening...
Quiet friend who has come so far,feel how your breathing makes more space around you.Let this darkness be a bell towerand you the bell. As you ring,what batters you becomes your strength.Move back and forth into the change.What is it like, such intensity of pain?If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.In this uncontainable night,be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,the meaning discovered there.And if the world has ceased to hear you,say to the silent earth: I flow.To the rushing water, speak: I am.
How they are all about, these gentlemenIn chamberlains' apparel, stocked and laced,Like night around their order's star and gemAnd growing ever darker, stony-faced,And these, their ladies, fragile, wan, but proppedHigh by their bodice, one hand loosely dropped,Small like its collar, on the toy King-Charles:How they surround each one of these who stoppedTo read and contemplate the objects d'art,Of which some pieces still are theirs, not ours.Whit exquisite decorum they allow usA life of whose dimensions we seem sureAnd which they cannot grasp. They were aliveTo bloom, that is be fair; we, to mature,That is to be of darkness and to strive.
It is always what I have already said: always the wish that you may find patience enough in yourself to endure, and simplicity enough to believe; that you may acquire more and more confidence in that which is difficult, and in your solitude among others. And for the rest, let life happen to you. Believe me: life is right, in any case.
It is not inertia alone that is responsible for human relationships repeating themselves from case to case, indescribably monotonous and unrenewed: it is shyness before any sort of new, unforeseeable experience with which one does not think oneself able to cope. But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, not even the most enigmatical will live the relation to another as something alive.
You darkness, that I come from,I love you more than all the firesthat fence in the world,for the fire makesa circle of light for everyone,and then no one outside learns of you.But the darkness pulls in everything:shapes and fires, animals and myself,how easily it gathers them! -powers and people -and it is possible a great energyis moving near me.I have faith in nights.