Be ahead of all parting, as if it had already happened

by Rainer Maria Rilke

English version by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy
Original Language German

Be ahead of all parting, as if it had already happened.
like winter, which even now is passing.
For beneath the winter is a winter so endless
that to survive it at all is a triumph of the heart.

Be forever dead in Eurydice, and climb back singing.
Climb praying as you return to connection.
Here among the disappearing, in the realm of the transient,
be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings.

Be. And, at the same time, know what it is not to be.
The non-being inside you allows you to vibrate
in full resonance with your world. Use it for once.

To all that has run its course, and to the vast unsayable
numbers of beings abounding in Nature,
add yourself gladly, and cancel the cost.

-- from In Praise of Mortality: Rilke's Duino Elegies & Sonnets to Orpheus, by Rainer Maria Rilke / Translated by Joanna Macy

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Be ahead of all