Episode

Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

My experiments in the pursuit of happiness and good habits

Website

Have You Ever Read Anything That Made You Think, “I Must Change My Life”?

June 25th, 2016

Episode 296 of 399 episodes

A friend showed me the poem “The Archaic Torso of Apollo” on her phone, and told me, “I read this, and I know I want to change my life.” I read it, too. That last line! It swept me off my feet. Have you ever read anything that made you think, “I must change my life”? Archaic Torso of Apollo by Rainer Maria Rilke We cannot know his legendary head with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso is still suffused with brilliance from inside, like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low, gleams in all its power. Otherwise the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could a smile run through the placid hips and thighs to that dark center where procreation flared. Otherwise this stone would seem defaced beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur: would not, from all the borders of itself, burst like a star: for here there is no place that does not see you. You must change your life. Translated by Stephen Mitchell That final line! Rarely have I read a single line that was so powerful in its context. The post Have You Ever Read Anything That Made You Think, “I Must Change My Life”? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

Featured Podcast

Listen