Saturday, February 11, 2012


"If your everyday life seems to lack material, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to summon up its riches; for there is no lack for him who creates and no poor, trivial place."
(Rilke, Rainer Maria: Letters to a Young Poet, Penguin Classics, London 2011, p.8)

This quote is reassuring as well as challenging, and it immediately made me think of Emily Dickinson's poetry, which is incredibly rich and complex, even though she lived the life of a recluse. I am fascinated by those living simple, secluded lives and their creative output (probably because I am an introvert and a bit of a hermit myself). Of course interaction with others can be stimulating and productive, but I often find that the best ideas come to me in periods of isolation and solitude, and too many people and too much talk just leave me drained and unable to think clearly. So a lot of the thoughts expressed by Rilke in these letters resonate with me.

I find myself more and more in favour of a small life - I can honestly say that I never get bored when I spend quiet time at home. Our inner lives hold abundance, and as long as I can read (which provides plenty of vicarious experience anyway), listen to music and create, I am content. This week has been quite the opposite of solitude - I only returned to my house to sleep - and I am craving some time alone, with my notebooks and a drawing pad.

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