The Masterwork

by Peter Saint-Andre

The masterwork of living is
    becoming who you are.
It's true you have a destiny,
    a task, an aim, a fate —
But it must slowly, surely grow
    from nebula to star,
Must long and hidden live unknown
    in some unfinished state.

It's best to have few notions about
    what your task may be:
Don't think you know yourself too soon,
    but let yourself emerge.
Keep clear of great imperatives
    and purposes you see;
Float aimlessly toward new seas
    with every ebb and surge.

The roads you travel have their value,
    even if they're wrong;
Experience is the long and secret
    artistry of soul.
From all you do and that is done
    a meaning will grow strong,
Mastering your life and self
    within a greater goal.

You need not struggle, strive, or will
    to reach a distant star,
But wish instead for just what is
    and rise to what you are.

(cf. Ecce Homo, "Why I Am So Clever", §9; The Case of Wagner, §1)

Peter Saint-Andre > Writings > Nietzsche