The morning will see you thrown upon the twisting paths
With the first light as your only guide
And the raging wind for your only friend.
The fork lies ahead, friend, and as you know
you shall go east and I shall go west.
The earth is your mother, the sky
Your father, every man you meet
A brother, comrade, and every woman
A moonly muse, the colors, the sighs
The scents, the tastes, the delights, Goldmund,
You are no thinker, you have no use for
The logic of how your world works, for it is
But a poor substitute to the raging, pining
Heart that you are all of, Goldmund
Your artist’s heart.
Words are wasted on you, Goldmund, you feel
The anguish behind the poor shape of the words
That created those very words in the first place.
You are fiery passion, not for you
The subtlety of the exaltation
Of a head bowed in prayer.
You are a mother’s son, your head
Still resides in the folds of Her bosom.
Find you voice, dear Goldmund, find it
Not to speak words of inanity, not to
Translate your thoughts into language
But to sing those ancient melodies
The heartbeat of Life
Your mother’s song.
You will learn to sing, Goldmund.
Go forth into the large, lost world
And soak yourself in it.
Leave nothing unturned.
Make your peace with your nature
And revel in your freedom.
Feel it all, the pain
Of too much joy, the fleeting
shudder of the snowflake as she
Dies on your cheek, the anguish
Of birth, the fear of being stalked
by the reaper’s scythe, the emptiness
of life, the meaningless meander
The walk without a goal,
Do it all, feel it all.
You will remain unspoiled, I know.
And one day, when we are old men
Visit my cloister
And tell me your tale,
for I cannot join you
For your path is yours
and yours only.
Fare you well, amicus.
Inspired by Hermann Hesse’s ‘Narcissus and Goldmund’