“ask yourself whether these great sorrows have not, rather, gone right through the middle of you? If much within you has not changed, if you haven’t somewhere, in some place, changed your being, while you were sorrowful?…
“If it were possible for us to see farther than our knowledge reaches, and even a bit farther than the works of our forebears, perhaps we would then bear our sorrows with more confidence than our joys.
“For they are the moments when something New comes into us, something unknown; our feelings fall silent in shy confusion, everything in in us steps back, a silence ensues, and the New Thing, which no one knows, stands in the middle of this without speaking.
“I believe that almost all our sorrows are moments of tension that we perceive as numbness, because we no longer hear our estranged feelings living.
“Because we are alone with the strangeness that has entered us; because all that we trusted and were used to has been taken away from us for a moment; because we are in the middle of a transformation where we cannot be stable. That is why the sorrows also pass: the New Thing in us, that has come into us, has gone into our heart, into its innermost chamber, and is already no longer there– it is already in our blood.
“And we don’t learn what it was….
“We can’t say who is come, we may never know, but many indications show that the Future has entered us in this way, to transform inside of us, long before it happens.”
–Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), Letters to Franz Kappus, no. 8