It is in the face of all this visual chaos, so opposed to order and simplicity, that I suddenly, perhaps a little guiltily, recall my vow to simplify my life. When I made that promise I had in mind the image of the ancient Greek subsisting on a fragment of pungent cheese, coarse bread, a handful of sun-warmed olives, a little watered wine; a man who discussed the Good, the True, the Beautiful with grave delight, and piped clear music in a sylvan glade. But I feel the absence of hills clothed in myrtle and thyme; of the Great Mother, Homer's wine-dark sea. Good resolutions, it seems, require good scenery.
This is the life I lead by day. But on a deeper level of consciousness I lead a different life. There, an insistent, persistent, hidden voice has been saying for years: No, no, this is not it! Some other kind of will in me turns away in misery and distaste from all of culture, from all that is being said and done around me. It finds all this tedious and vain, like a struggle of phantoms flailing away in a void; it seems to know another world, to foresee a different life, not yet to be found on earth but which will come and cannot fail to come, for only then will true reality be achieved. To me this voice is the voice of my real self. I live like a foreigner acclimatized in an alien land; the natives like me and I like them. I diligently work for their good, share their sorrows and rejoice in their joys, but at the same time I know that I am a stranger, I secretly long for the fields of my homeland, for its different spring, the smell of its flowers, and the way its women speak. Where is my homeland? I shall never see it, I shall die in foreign parts.
He said there were two kinds of bitterness: one that takes away the appetite and one that stimulates it. Pepper, he said, was of the first kind - it burns the tongue and nothing more. But horse-radish, though bitter, sharpens the hunger and makes a man impatient for the good things of the meal. So, he said, if a man becomes only bitter and downcast he goes no further. But a little bitterness, a little horse-radish, may give one an appetite for perfection."How quaint," said Ogle, "how undeniably folksy.