death as yeasayer

Prejudiced as we are against death, we do not manage to release it from all its distorted images, it is a friend, our deepest friend, perhaps the only one who can never be misled by our attitudes and vacillations–and this, you must understand, not in the sentimental-romantic sense of life’s opposite, a denial of life: but our friend precisely when we most passionately, most vehemently, assent to being here, to living and working on earth, to Nature, to love. Life simultaneously says Yes and No. Death (I implore you to believe this!) is the true Yes-sayer. It says only Yes. In the presence of eternity.

Rilke to Countess Margot

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