The poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote these words nearly 100 years ago and they are still true today. They represent the most eloquent expressions of the essence of what is unquestionably one of the most difficult to describe experiences known to humanity. Rilke reminds us that “we must learn love.” This may sound strange coming from a poet known for his mystical writings. And yet for those of us who have traversed the territory to which he refers, his words serve as striking reminders of the inner qualities required of those of us who have committed ourselves to this path of the heart.
Lovers are those for whom no minute is like any other, people between whom nothing habitual takes place, just what is new, unprecedented, unexpected. In such connections there exists an almost unbearable happiness. When we understand our lives correctly, we can slowly grow into such happiness by preparing ourselves for it. When we love, we must not forget that we are beginners, bunglers of life, apprentices in love. We must learn love and that takes calm, patience, and composure.