Live the Questions

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions”  Rainer Marie Rilke from “Letters to a Young Poet”

How many times have you worried a question to no result?  Thought and thought, turned it this way and that a thousand times and still, nothing.  Is it possible that the answer in the form that you seek does not exist?  Or are the answers right there and as the poet says “you would not be able to live them”?

Oddly, the thing about life is that we never have to find the answer to anything, as taking the next breath, living the next moments happen regardless.  The problem will always resolve itself into a sort of answer, one way or the other.  If the question has been asked, and no answer seems forthcoming, living the question as if it were the answer allows the natural tide of living to carry us in the direction intended for us.

This is different from the world of choices, with which we are most familiar and strive to handle well.  Given the either-or question demands a choice, and careful consideration and balance will generally lead us to the correct decision that suits our morality and temperament best.

The universe of questions though, vary from the miniscule to the sweeping.  Working as a poet, trying to divine the precise word to capture the essence of a thought or emotion, can be a question turned endlessly and must be given over to the subconscious.  Then, seemingly miraculously, the word or phrase leaps to mind unexpectedly.  The sweeping questions, of life, love, and being are ones we are even more reluctant to let go of, and tease and worry them to exhaustion.  While even the subconscious may be unable to offer the absolute answer, each day and each action will be its own answer.  Living the big questions and being open and ready to receive each piece of the answer as it arrives, prevents wasting emotional energy overworking problems without resolution, and clears the way for the solution to become part of the fabric overlaying our existence.  Letting go seems difficult, but in the end the result is the same, life goes on and the choice is to miss it while tangled in the question or live it and let the answers come to us.

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