16/27

Perhaps, too, my lifelong belief notwithstanding. I was not a poet, and the whole aesthetic impulse had simply been a mistake? Why not? Even that was no longer of any importance. Most of what I had been confronted with in the course of the journey through the hell of myself had been false and worthless, and perhaps this was also the case with the illusion of my vocation or gift. How unimportant that was, after all! And that which once, full of pride and childish joy, I had regarded as my task was no longer there either. I saw my task, or rather my way of salvation, no longer in the realm of lyric poetry or philosophy or any one of the occupations of specialists but rather simply in letting what little there was in me that was vital and strong live its life, simply in unqualified loyalty now to what I felt to be still alive within myself. That was Life, that was God. - Afterward, when such times of high, mortally dangerous exaltation are passed, all this looks strangely different, because the former contents of consciousness and their names are now without meaning, and what was holy the day before yesterday can sound almost comic.