Lou Andreas-Salome was Rilke’s teacher, muse, lover and friend. This is from her book, You Alone Are Real to Me: Remembering Rainer Maria Rilke. The memoir was written in 1927, a year after he died.
Mourning is not as singular a state of emotional preoccupation as is commonly thought: it is, more precisely, an incessant discourse with the departed one, in order to draw him nearer. For death entails not merely a disappearance but rather a transformation into a new realm of visibility. Something is not just taken away but is gained, in a way never before experienced. In the moments when the flowing lines of a figure’s constant change and effect become paralyzed for us, we are imbued for the first time with its essence: something which is never captured or fully realized in the normal course of lived existence.
There’s a little bird singing in the trees today. I try to get a picture but one moment the song comes from one tree, and then another. I’m circled – notes calling leaves to come forth from trees.