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On Security

December 5, 2011

Oh Rilke. Rilke, Rilke, Rilke. I love opening Rilke and awaiting whatever wisdom comes from whichever page opens first.

Today, I awaited as the soft pages wafted open. This gem greeted me:

On Security

Outside of poetry and art, security is only and ever achieved at the cost of the most inescapable limitation. This diminishment consists of choosing to be satisfied and pleasured by a world where everything is known and where preoccupation with self is both possible and useful. But how could we want that? Our security must become a relationship to the whole, omitting nothing. 

– Rainer Maria Rilke, Letter to Ilse Erdman, October 9, 1916

Most inescapable limitation. As I consider this chilling thought, I consider how often I yearn for security. How valuable is security? And what, in its place, could be more engaging, more real, more alive? Especially when it comes to writing?

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