Half Broken Things

“But this is what . . . people are so often and so
disastrously wrong in doing: they (who by their very
nature are impatient) fling themselves at each other
when love takes hold of them, they scatter themselves,
just as they are, in all their messiness, disorder,
bewilderment . . .

And what can happen then? What can life do with this
heap of half broken things that they would like to call
their happiness, and their future?

And so each of them loses himself for the sake of the
other person, and loses the other. And loses the vast
possibilities . . . in exchange for an unfruitful
confusion, out of which nothing more can come, nothing
but a bit of disgust, disappointment and poverty.”

[From Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke,
translated by Stephen Mitchell, © 1984,
Stephen Mitchell.]

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