With Silence or a Solitary Joy

Just as bees gather honey, so we collect from all that happens what is sweetest — and we build Him. Even with the littlest, most insignificant thing, when it comes from love, we begin. We begin with effort and the repose that follows effort, with silence or a solitary joy, with everything we do alone without anyone to join or help us, we begin Him whom we will not live to see, any more than our ancestors could experience us. Yet they are in us, those long departed ones, they are in our inclinations, our moral blunders, our pulsing blood, and in gestures that arise from the depths of time.

— Rilke, Rome, December 23, 1903
Letters to a Young Poet

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