* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Poet or painter, musician or architect, all solitary individuals at bottom turn to nature because they prefer the eternal to the transient, the profound rhythms of eternal laws to that which finds justification in passing. Since they cannot persuade nature to share in their experience they consider their task to grasp nature in order to place themselves somewhere in its vast contexts. And with these single solitary individuals all of humanity approaches nature. It is not the ultimate and possibly most peculiar value of art that it constitutes the medium in which man and landscape, figure and world encounter and find each other. But in the painting, the building, the symphony – in a word, in art itself, they seem to join together as if in a higher, prophetic truth, to rely on one another, and it is as if they completed each other to become that perfect unity that characterizes the work of art.
The Poet’s Guide to Life: The Wisdom of Rilke, edited and translated by Ulrich Baer
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