From “The Book of Monastic Life”, I. 16

Daraus, dass Einer dich einmal gewollt hat,
weiß ich, dass wir dich wollen dürfen.
Wenn wir auch alle Tiefen verwürfen:
wenn ein Gebirge Gold hat
und keiner mehr es ergaben mag,
trägt es einmal der Fluß zutage,
der in die Stille der Steine greift,
der vollen.

Auch wenn wir nicht wollen:
Gott reift.

–Rainier Maria Rilke, from The Book of Hours: The Book of Monastic Life”, published 1905.

English translation

Because once someone dared
to want you,
I know that we, too, may want you.

When gold is in the mountain
and we’ve ravaged the depths
till we’ve given up digging,

it will be brought forth into day
by the river that mines
the silence of stone.

Even when we don’t desire it,
God is ripening.

–Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy


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