You are so young, all still lies ahead of you, and I should like to ask you, as best I can, dear Sir, to be patient towards all that is unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms, like books written in a foreign tongue. Do not now strive to uncover answers: they cannot be given you because you have not been able to live them. And what matters is to live everything. Live the questions for now.
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.
Didn’t you wake up feeling that you had no future? Didn’t you walk around drained of all meaning, without the right to even the slightest danger? Didn’t you have to promise, a hundred times, not to die?
Rainer Maria Rilke, from “The Prodigal Son,” The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke)