as the beams of sun. Kindness of expression that could make evil vanish.
In my years as an art student from 1906-1910 in Paris, I have spent many unforgettable hours with Rilke. One of them is most vivid in my memory.
Rue Cassette, a tiny hotel, a narrow staircase, at the top a door. I knock and enter. Rilke leaves his desk and greets me.
â€œI have worked well today, he says, listen.
Out of deep silence, words seem to shape, to live, to gleam, to die. Rilke pauses, exhausted. The panther in the Jardin des Plantes had come to life that day.
I have often heard him reciting, his eyes cloud as in prayer. Prayer and work to him were closely united.
Nothing in life lacked beauty to him, not even my studio with its damp and dingy walls. â€œHow wonderful to sit and read here after a day's work.
I never saw Rilke really tired. Even when exhausted after packing, hardly able to talk, I watched him at the Gare du Nord in Paris, the ugliest of all stations I have known. â€œLook at that lovely misty air, he said and those distant colorful lights. Like a cloak covered with beautiful gems. And then he continued, There are moments of haste as the rush we are watching and yet beauty combined with this. Never forget that, always be receptive, the rest is not for us.
A string broke on God's favorite instrument. God took it into His hand, soft beautiful sounds came louder and louder and many souls seemed to join in a lovely chorus. But then God sadly put the instrument aside, the world had ceased to listen, a string snapped, another, then all.