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Glad You Asked, and So’s Rilke

April 1, 2017

One week ago today I ended my blog with these two sentences:

It’s okay to live into the questions.

That’s where the answers are.

Several have asked where that came from. Glad you asked! It was only when you did that I realized how much I had internalized something from my past. And it’s good stuff. Here’s the story.

That kind of thinking is no doubt traceable to a lot of people and writings and songs, but I point to a poet named Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926). I met him through a fabulously rich class with my 20th Century German Literature instructor, Frau Anna Kuhn. It was a small class: three of us met in her office. Yes, 3. Officially called a Directed Study, she described it with the word Tutorial. She was an amazing teacher.

His famous iteration of this idea is from his Letters to A Young Poet, and goes along the lines of Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.

You asked. Now you know.

I cannot thank you enough for reading and contacting me in all sorts of ways; hope to see you back here tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here again is The Joe Version from a week ago of Rilke’s advice:

It’s okay to live into the questions.

That’s where the answers are.

And even with an appropriate degree of humility, I gotta admit: a week later, kinda like the bluntness of my two sentences.


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