Adele Gallogly

REFLECTIONS & REVIEWS

Rilke on Marriage

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rilke.young.poet.mitchell“Marriage is in many ways a simplification of life, and it naturally combines the strengths and wills of two young people so that, together, they seem to reach farther into the future than they did before. Above all, marriage is a new task and a new seriousness, – a new demand on the strength and generosity of each partner, and a great new danger for both.

The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.

… For the more we are, the richer everything we experience is. And those who want to have a deep love in their lives must collect and save for it, and gather honey.”

 — From Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke — a passage read by our friend (and matchmaker) Daniel Bowman Jr. at our December 31, 2013 wedding ceremony. Dan has a brief but beautiful reflection on this passage, and on marriage as one way to “love the expanse” others, over on the Relief Journal blog.

Author: Adele Gallogly

I'm a writer and editor living in the lovely city of Hamilton, Ontario. By day, I write for World Renew, a relief and development agency; during evenings and weekends, I let short stories, essays, and other pieces out to play. I like to write about the intersection of faith, art, culture, and justice.

One thought on “Rilke on Marriage

  1. thank you

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