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Rainer Marie Rilke’s poem “The Walk” invokes an image of

later life, a time of life by which we are grasped even if we

cannot grasp it– that “sunny hill” which belongs to old age

imagined as ‘our future selves:’

My eyes already touch the sunny hill,

going far ahead of the road I have begun.

So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;

it has its inner light, even from a distance–

and changes us, even if we do not reach it,

into something else, which, hardly sensing it, we

already are,

a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave…

but what we feel is the wind in our faces.

Rainer Maria Rilke, “Spaziergang” or “The Walk,”

written in the Alps, 1924.

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