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