The Future Enters Us

My daily reading from A Year with Rilke was given the above title. It is a passage from Letters to a Young Poet which is one of my favorite volumes of all time. I first read it when I was very young, and it was as if this fellow from some other place and time had just given me to myself for the first time. And his writings continue to do this for me.

In this little piece Rilke mentions the way a house changes when a guest enters, saying that is how we change when the future enters us. The new presence –

…has entered our heart, has found its way to its innermost chamber, and is no longer even there — it is already in our blood. And we don’t know what it was. We could easily be persuaded that nothing happened, and yet something has changed inside us.

This was the perfect reminder for me today. Something has entered me in the last months during a harsh and challenging winter and then with the almost violent vibrancy of spring. I don’t know what it was, could easily be persuaded that nothing happened, yet know something has changed inside of me. Rilke named it exactly for me. How am I so connected to this man? I doubt I would have even liked him had I met him, he was I believe arrogant, was solitary and dependent upon benefactors. Yet he continues to give me back to myself. Such is the mystery of art and poetry, separate from the artists and poets.

And now we, like the still barren forests, are pregnant with the future. The new presence is here in our innermost chamber and bloodstream, and will show itself imminently.

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