Unattainable Happiness

Distance, my friend, is like the future. A dim vastness is spread before our soul; our feelings are as obscure as our vision, and we desire to surrender our whole being, that it may be filled with the perfect bliss of one glorious emotion–but alas! when we rush towards our goal, when the distant there becomes the present here, all is the same; we are as poor and limited as ever, and our soul still languishes for unattainable happiness.

And so the restless traveler at last longs for his native soil, and finds in his own cottage, in the arms of his wife, in the affection of his children, and the labor necessary for their support, all that happiness which he sought in vain in the wide word.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther

Share