A Letter from Rilke

CARES WITHOUT COMPLAINT

From A Letter To Clara Rilke–October 4, 1907

RAINER MARIA RILKE

Sometime I go past little shops, in the rue de Seine, for example; antiquarians or petty dealers in old books or engravings with overcrowded windows; nobody ever enters them, apparently they do no business; but if you glance inside, there they sit and read without a care (yet they are not rich); they take no thought for the morrow, do not worry about success, have a dog that sits contentedly before them, or a cat that makes the silence even greater by gliding along the rows of books as though she were wiping the names off the bindings.

Ah, if that were enough! many a time I have wished to buy such a crowded shop-window for myself and sit behind it with a dog for twenty years. In the evenings there would be light in the back room; in front, everything quite dark, and we would sit at the back and eat; I have noticed that from the street, it always looks like a Last Supper, so large and solemn is it when seen through the dark room. (But this is how one should take all one’s cares, great and small.) You know what I mean: without complaint. And like this, surely, everything is good and would grow better and better.

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Published in: on December 12, 2009 at 9:55 AM  Leave a Comment  

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