Helen Spaw, who leads many of the Healing Circles at St. Paul's, joins Rev. Tommy Williams today for a conversation about the process of healing through poetry. In the poem she shares, Helen points out Rilke's phrase, "Try to love the questions themselves." She sees this as a surrender to the mystery of God, a patience with not understanding all things. There's a particular futility of rushing to figure out all the answers in life, as we often do in our desperation.
Healing certainly takes time, and as the poem says, it may come to us "gradually... along some distant day."
From "Letter Three" in Letters to a Young Poet
by Rainer Maria Rilke
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.