I had gone back again to my little house and stood up on its roof and wanted to see a good end in all that and to find a good beginning in myself. And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.Rainer Maria Rilke to his wife Clara Rilke on January 1, 1907 from Villa Discopoli (Capri)
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time. – The More Loving One, W. H. Auden
Passeggere:Â Cosi vorrei ancor io se avessi a rivivere, e cosi tutti. Ma questo e segno che il case, fino a tutto quest’anno, ha trattato tutti male. E si vede chiaro che ciascuno e d’opinione che sia stato piu o di piu peso il male, che gli e toccato, che il bene, se a patto di riavere la vita di prima, con tutto il suo bene e il suo male, nessuno vorrebbe rinascere. Quella vita ch’e una cosa bella, non e la vita che si conosce, ma quella che non si conosce; non la vita passata, ma la futura. Coll’anno nuovo, il caso incomincera a trattar bene voi e me e tutti gli altri, e si principiera la vita felice. Non e vero?
Passerby: That’s what I would like too if I were to live all over again; and that’s what everyone else would like. But this means that, up until the end of this year, Fortune has treated everyone badly. And it’s clear that everyone thinks that he was allotted more, and greater, evil than good – if to live the same life all over again, with all its good and all its evil, no one would want to be born anew. The life that’s beautiful is not the life we know, but the life we don’t know; not the past life, but the future. With the new year, Fortune will start treating you and me and all the others well, and the happy life will begin. Isn’t it true?