Perhaps dragons are princesses

But we are not prisoners. There are no traps or snares set for us, and there is nothing that should frighten or torture us…  We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us.  If it has terrors, they are our own terrors.  If it has precipices, they belong to us.  If dangers are present, we must try to love them.  And if we fashion our life according to that principle, which advises us to embrace that which is difficult, then that which appears to us to be the very strangest will become the most worthy of our trust, and the truest.

How could we be capable of forgetting the old myths that stand at the threshold of all mankind, myths of dragons transforming themselves at the last moment into princesses?  Perhaps all dragons in our lives are really princesses just waiting to see us just once being beautiful and courageous.  Perhaps everything fearful is basically helplessness that seeks our help.[1]
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

[1] or, in another translation, “Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.”


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