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"Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write" R.M. Rilke

Chasing Yellow Lines Diary entry during Corona, 5th April 2020


It's a goal of mine to spend at least a few hours a day working on my book "Chasing Yellow Lines" at this time of Cor-19. More than any other book I have written, this particular story has become a deeply moving experience for me as I ponder my journey up until this point. I believe in this project with all my heart because I believe that my story has the power to heal many people.


Today, I stumbled upon the poetry of R.M.Rilke, who reminded me once again why it is so important for me to write this book and just to write in general. Below, is a quote from one of his books; "Letters to a Young Poet," which is a compilation of ten lengthy letters to young poets.


I was particularly encouraged by Rilke's letter. This resonated with me because I know I am by no means a fantastic Wordsmith especially in the areas of punctuation, spelling, and grammar. I'm partially dyslexic which has always been a challenge and a hindrance in communication both written and verbal. I am also very much on the neurodiverse spectrum, which has resulted in similar misunderstandings and frustrations when it comes to interacting successfully with other humans. This is why writing - regardless of my abilities, has been vitally important to me, as I try to bridge the gap between my internal experience and my connection with other people.


Enough about all of that. Here's what my new favorite Bohemian-Austrian poet/writer has to say:


“Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.


This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose...


...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator, there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it.


Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.”


― Rainer Maria Rilke





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