I Remember Rilke in Rome, in 1999
I remember being nineteen and in Rome, studying art and history. I remember reading a little golden book by Rainer Maria Rilke called Letters to a Young Poet. Kristin was in grad school, and she was a fine mentor to me–giving me careful books to read and hope to push into heart.
I remember these words in Rilke’s letter seven. They have shaped what I understand as amore and the infinite importance of growing the borders of my solitude.
“Love…consists in this, that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other.” (translated from German by M.D.H. Norton)
And there, somewhere between Trastevere and Monte Verde, as I had decidedly fallen for a boy back in America who would not fall for me, I decided to never fear being alone.