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ART, English, Hesse Hermann, Literature

Wandering: Farmhouse – Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse

I am making a sketch of the house in my notebook, and my eye sadly
leaves the German roof, the German frame of the house, the gables,
everything I love, every familiar thing.

Once again I love deeply everything at home, because I have to leave
it. Tomorrow I will love other roofs, other cottages. I won’t leave my
heart behind me, as they say in love letters. No, I am going to carry it
with me over the mountains, because I need it, always. I am a nomad,
not a farmer. I am an adorer of the unfaithful, the changing, the
fantastic. I don’t care to secure my love to one bare place on this
earth. I believe that what we love is only a symbol. Whenever our love
becomes too attached to one thing, one faith, one virtue, then I
become suspicious.

Hermann Hesse

Good luck to the farmer! Good luck to the man who owns this place,
the man who works it, the faithful, the virtuous! I can love him, I can
revere him, I can envy him. But I have wasted half my life trying to
live his life. I wanted to be something that I was not. I even wanted
to be a poet and a middleclass person at the same time. I wanted to
be an artist and a man of fantasy, but I also wanted to be a good man,
a man at home. It all went on for a long time, till I knew that a man
cannot be both and have both, that I am a nomad and not a farmer, a
man who searches and not a man who keeps. A long time I castigated
myself before gods and laws which were only idols for me. That was
what I did wrong, my anguish, my complicity in the world’s pain. I
increased the world’s guilt and anguish, by doing violence to myself, by
not daring to walk toward my own salvation. The way to salvation leads
neither to the left nor the right: it leads into your own heart, and
there alone is God, and there alone is peace.

A damp mountain wind drifts across me, beyond me blue islands of
heaven gaze down on other countries. Beneath those heavens I will be
happy sometimes, and sometimes I will be homesick beneath them.
The complete man that I am, the pure wanderer, mustn’t think about
homesickness. But I know it, I am not complete, and I do not even
strive to be complete. I want to taste my homesickness, as I taste my
joy.

Hermann Hesse

This wind, into which I am climbing, is fragrant of beyonds and
distances, of watersheds and foreign languages, of mountains and
southern places. It is full of promise.
Goodbye, small farmhouse and my native country. I leave you as a
young man leaves his mother: he knows it is time for him to leave her,
and he knows, too, he can never leave her completely, even though he
wants to.

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Discussion

One thought on “Wandering: Farmhouse – Hermann Hesse

  1. So beautiful. I acquired a print of this some years ago simply because it was by Hesse, and whose books I had read more than 20 years earlier had dramatically influenced my life. As such I didn’t appreciate – nor even particularly like – the painting but was surprised to find it and wanted something of him. Now, another 15 years on and writing a book about my early years, I found myself looking at it again with new eyes and a better sense of form, colour and symbolism: love it. Carmen: thank you.

    Posted by Philip Darling | September 10, 2017, 6:48 pm

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