• billytombs

hes·se

Good luck to the man who has possessions, is settled, faithful and virtuous! I can love him, respect him and envy him. But I have lost half my life in my attempt to emulate his virtues. I wanted to be what I was not. Of course, I wanted to be a poet, but I wanted to be a citizen as well. I wanted to be an artist and a man who used his imagination, but at the same time I wanted to possess virtue and enjoy a home. It has taken a long time to discover that one can’t be and have both, that I am not a peasant but a nomad, a seeker and a preserver. For years I have mortified myself before gods and laws – but they were no more than idols. That was my mistake, my anguish and my complicity in the misery of the world. The way of redemption leads neither to the left nor to the right but into one’s own heart, and there alone is God, and there, freedom.


~ Hermann Hesse

from Wanderung (Excursions)

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