“…as if everything were calm and composed…”

From: The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (1910), by Rainer Maria Rilke:

“And now (how shall I describe it?), now silence fell. It was as silent as in the aftermath of pain. The silence was strangely palpable and prickling, as if a wound were healing. I could have slept right away; I could have taken a deep breath and fallen asleep. It was only my astonishment that kept me awake. Somebody was speaking next door, but that too was part of the silence. The nature of that silence had to be experienced; it cannot be described. Outside, too, it was as if everything were calm and composed. I sat up and listened, and it was like being in the country. Dear God, I thought, his mother is there. She was sitting with the lamp at her side, talking to him, and perhaps he was resting his head a little on her shoulder. Presently she would be putting him to bed. Now I knew what that soft tread out in the passage had been. Ah, to think that it was still possible. Such a creature, for whom doors open in such a way as they never do for us. Yes, now we could sleep.”

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