Hermann Hesse’s Glass Bead Game: The Fountain of Inspiration

by Steven Hermans

I wake up. Around me birds announce the sunrise. Through the plastic of my little tent I see the outline of the new day painted in thin light. After a few silent minutes I hear myself saying:

"Here I am, in the middle of a forest on the edge of some German back of beyond, surrounded by sour Krauts and insects."

My voice sounds unfamiliar to me, a deep, rusty bark that I never heard before.

"What the hell am I doing here? Is this my new life, Loneliness and Mosquito Bites?"

My questions remain unanswered by the forest; just the early-morning chatter of sparrows ...

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