Thursday, March 22, 2018

Dear BHB: Here's the Rilke quote (off-topic)

Portrait of the BHB as a Young Man
Last fall, the BHB (BigHelpfulBrother) and I were having a conversation about stuff that he has been studying since he retired. He was always drawn to books and learning. I was drawn to pencils and paper. It took a couple decades for us to find any common ground. Technically, we didn't. We just figured out that we could laugh at our differences instead of getting all uppity.

In the end, he will have studied himself to death and I will have arted myself to death and neither of us will have any answers to any questions.

The conversation last fall was about finding answers to big questions and I remembered a Rilke quote - not the exact words, but the gist of the first line. Then, I remembered to research the quote and was pleased to find the full quote.

Here is my monumental existential question.... where the heck are my images/photos/scans/pictures stored on my computer. And you can be sure I did not say heck.

He keeps telling me the difference between photos, pictures and images.
I post the info on Post-Its on mycomputer.
It doesn't help.

Here is the quote.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. 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 now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

P.S.  Happy Birthday BHB.


  1. The artist is my granddaughter - your grand niece.
    I have no idea who she was drawing - but I was thinking of the book "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" and the illustration is an homage to that book. Of course, I thought the book was by Rilke - and it isn't, it's by Jimmy Joyce.

    Rilke's book is Letters to a Young Poet - which is a beloved book amongst artists...

    Everything I have ever known is getting mixed up.
    Happily, we have Google, so we can catch a few of errors - if we remember to fact check.

  2. I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

    Look what I found on my morning surf ;-)