"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture
and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words." ~Goethe

~ also, if possible, to dwell in "a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious." ~Yeats

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mental Beauty

Clematis at the Backdoor ~ Similar to Passion Flower*

According to Kate Greenaway's Language of Flowers,
 this flower symbolizes Mental Beauty
[other sources say, Artifice, Ingenuity]

Wreath by Kate Greenaway

"If you trust in Nature, in what is simple in Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble and try very simply, as someone who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness, and knowledge. . . .

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."
from Letter Four: 16 July 1903
by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)

I also like this alternate translation from Stephen Mitchell:

"Perhaps then, someday far in the future,
you will gradually, without even noticing it,
live your way into the answer."

As I wrote a few years back, my inclination to blog is fueled by "those moments when Life offers its own theme to a strand of apparently accidental events, and everything hangs together for a moment in such an uncanny way that you'd swear it was all planned out somehow!" The latest thrilling trail of irresistible coincidence that I just had to follow concerns the above quotation by Rilke.

I guess the first link in the conversation was my recent post on cursive writing and the meaning of life (scroll down or click) -- more on that later.

The next day, my insightful neighbor, author Patricia Henley posted the first line of the Rilke passage on facebook: "Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves . . . ." I loved it, liked it, shared it, and googled it to learn more about the source, context, etc. I discovered that it was part of beautiful excerpt from Rilke's well loved (but new to me) book of writing advice Letters to a Young Poet (to read online). I stored the longer quotation in my saved file of future blog - post material.

The following day, concerning the Fortnightly post, "Cursive," my friend Meg wrote: "Love this entry, Kitti! But I still root for the art of cursive, practicing it in moments of musing -- not expecting any answers, knowing that any flourish is a momentary enjoyment, a ruse that distracts from the clutter of daily life."

I wrote back to Meg right away to tell her that her comment reminded me of my newfound Rilke quotation, sending her the opening line that Patricia had shared with me.

Meg replied: "That quote is part of a larger passage that Rich and I had read at our wedding. Another part of it: 'And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.' "

What a beautiful and unique reading for a wedding -- and congratulations to Meg and Rich for their vision and passion! At that point, I had to let Meg know that she had so inspired me that I would surely be posting the longer version on my blog very soon, along with her comments.

Shortly after that my brilliant literary friend Kathleen O'Gorman wrote to share another link in the chain: "Kitti, Apropos of the Rilke quote (which I adore), if you haven't read Carole Maso's novel, AVA, I recommend it with the greatest of enthusiasm. It incorporates that quote and many others in a breathtakingly beautiful evocation of the texture of a life."

Well, who could resist such a heartfelt recommendation; and it was true that I had been casting about for something rich to read. So I sent straight to amazon and ordered Rilke's Letters and Maso's AVA. I look forward to reporting my impressions very soon on Kitti's Book List (see also "Last Fruits"). The ingenious web of connection and coincidence has once again taken of a vibrant life of it's own.

Now some may call that Artifice, but I call it Mental Beauty.

*E - card from jacquielawson.com
~ click on picture below to enlarge
for reading more about the Passion Flower ~

Next Fortnightly Post
Friday, September 14th

Between now and then, read
my shorter, almost daily blog posts

Looking for a good book? Try
my running list of recent reading

Girl at Writing Table
by Kate Greenaway (1846 - 1901)
English children's book illustrator

1 comment:

  1. Lovely and inspirational as always; you give me a belief in Jungian synchronicity!