To love the expanse between us

expanse

There’s an amazing, enormous collection of free-use photos, licensed under Creative Commons Zero, at a site called Unsplash. This one by Wil Stewart (click on it for a larger view) put me in mind of an excerpt from Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet.

“For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person—it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in [her]self for the sake of another person; it is a great and demanding claim on [her], something that chooses [her] and calls [her] to vast distances.

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.”

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

4 Responses to “To love the expanse between us”

  1. Avatar Lindy

    “Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person—it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in [her]self for the sake of another person; it is a great and demanding claim on [her], something that chooses [her] and calls [her] to vast distances.” That should be part of a wedding vow. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

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