The Gift of Exploration

Dove that stayed in the open, outside the dovecote,
brought back and housed again
where neither night nor day poses danger —
she knows what protection is. . . .

The other doves not exposed to peril
do not know this tenderness.
The heart that has been fetched back can feel most at home.
Vitality is freed through what it has renounced.

Over Nothingness the universe bends.
Ah, the ball we dared to throw
fills the hands differently on its return:
it brings back the reality of its journey.

— Rilke, Uncollected Poems

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