Like trying to figure out what’s on the last page of a book you haven’t even started, I too often try to answer many questions before living them. As if there was a rational and definitive answer to a question that only us can bring a meaning to.
A few months back, as I moved in a new room closer to the center in Jerusalem, I found a magnet with this quote from Rilke. I had the impression this magnet had been waiting for me, and many were the times I reread it to try an ease the thirst for answers in my heart.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
I still don’t know the answers to the questions I had back then, some of which still haunt me. However, I understand now, with the distance of time and space, that I could’ve never had the same experience I had in Jerusalem if I hadn’t let go of the need to have an answer. It was because I decided to live my questions, doubts and fears, to live everything like Rilke says, that I realize that I didn’t need an answer, just acceptance.
I have no idea what the future will bring, if I will be healthy, successful, fulfilled, or if my grand parents would be proud of me. I will just try to live everything now.
Picture by me of the Sea of Galilee