simple pleasures: marées changeantes, changing tides

Let life happen to you. believe me: life is in the right, always.
— Rainer Maria Rilke

numéro neuf: the changing colors of the seasons are singing out from every flower, leaf + tree, and i'm reminded of the many life changes that unspool before us throughout our lives and each new season. i'm currently reading the words of bohemian-austrian poet + novelist rainer maria rilke including "letter number nine" from letters to a young poet, the publication of his correspondence to and by writer franz xaver kappus. as life unfurls before us, the following words of guidance are quite sagacious. here is the full letter:

Furuborg, Jonsered, in Sweden

November 4, 1904

My dear Mr. Kappus,

During this time that has passed without a letter, I have been partly traveling, partly so busy that I couldn't write. And even today writing is difficult for me, because I have already had to write so many letters that my hand is tired. If I could dictate, I would have much more to say to you, but as it is, please accept these few words as an answer to your long letter.

I think of you often, dear Mr. Kappus, and with such concentrated good wishes that somehow they ought to help you. Whether my letters really are a help, I often doubt. Don't say, "Yes, they are." Just accept them calmly and without many thanks, and let us wait for what wants to come.

There is probably no point in my going into your questions now; for what I could say about your tendency to doubt or about your inability to bring your outer and inner lives into harmony or about all the other things that oppress you-: is just what I have already said: just the wish that you may find in yourself enough patience to endure and enough simplicity to have faith; that you may gain more and more confidence in what is difficult and in your solitude among other people. And as for the rest, let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always.

And about feelings: All feelings that concentrate you and lift you up are pure; only that feeling is impure which grasps just one side of your being and thus distorts you. Everything you can think of as you face your childhood, is good. Everything that makes more of you than you have ever been, even in your best hours, is right. Every intensification is good, if it is in your entire blood, if it isn't intoxication or muddiness, but joy which you can see into, clear to the bottom. Do you understand what I mean?

And your doubt can become a good quality if you train it. It must become knowing, it must become criticism. Ask it, whenever it wants to spoil something for you, why something is ugly, demand proofs from it, test it, and you will find it perhaps bewildered and embarrassed, perhaps also protesting. But don't give in, insist on arguments, and act in this way, attentive and persistent, every single time, and the day will come when, instead of being a destroyer, it will become one of your best workers - perhaps the most intelligent of all the ones that are building your life.

That is all, dear Mr. Kappus, that I am able to tell you today. But I am sending you, along with this letter, the reprint of a small poem that has just appeared in the Prague German Labor. In it I speak to you further of life and death and of how both are great and glorious.


Rainer Maria Rilke

simple pleasures: grandes bénédictions, blessings so large

Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.
— Rainer Maria Rilke

grandes bénédictions: i've always considered love to be very much like a rubber band that surrounds us + those we love; no matter how far away we may travel, no matter the time or distance between us, that love stretches around us, encircling us with elastic arms, until we return to the people we love + care for. when i'm traveling, i keep small tokens in my pockets, on my person, or inside my camera bag to remind me of my friends + their never-ending love + support. these items include:

1/ a prayer card from my father

2/ a picture of my nephews + parents

3/ a tiny heart-shaped pin from my dear friend taylor

4/ an artisan-made necklace from my best friend lauren

5/ a handmade card from the ying to my yang, my lovely friend cats

we carry things both tangible + intangible with us, including words of wisdom + tokens of affection. take a moment to remember the love that buoys us up each day.