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Oh, Not Because Happiness Exists

Rainer Maria Rilke

Oh, not because happiness exists, that too-hasty profit snatched from approaching loss. But because truly being here is so much; because everything here apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all. …Ah, but what can we take along into that other realm? Not the art of looking, which is learned so slowly, and nothing that happened here. Nothing. The sufferings, then. And, above all, the heaviness, and the long experience of love,—just what is wholly unsayable.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from The Ninth Duino Elegy