‘…at one with the earth.’

November 4, 2016

Baladine Klossowska: La Contemplation Intérieure (Rilke dormant sur un petit sofa à Muzot), 1921; watercolor portrait of Rainer Maria Rilke by his lover Klossowska, at the top of which he wrote a poem that is translated into English for the first time below.

         Once for each thing. Just once; no more.

And we too, just once. And never again.

But to have been this once, completely,

even if only once: to have been

at one with the earth,

seems beyond undoing.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

I enter every meeting with another being saying to myself, ‘If I only have this time on Earth with this person, if I may never see them again, what is it I want or need to ask, to know? What is it I want or need to say?’ Honoring others in this way has opened me to wisdoms that would otherwise run silent beneath my time on Earth.

-Mark Nepo

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