Alice: If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn’t be, and what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?
Alice: Where I come from, people study what they are not good at in order to be able to do what they are good at.
Mad Hatter: We only go around in circles in Wonderland, but we always end up where we started. Would you mind explaining yourself?
Alice: Well, grown-ups tell us to find out what we did wrong, and never do it again.
Mad Hatter: That’s odd! It seems to me that in order to find out about something, you have to study it. And when you study it, you should become better at it. Why should you want to become better at something and then never do it again? But please continue.
Alice: Nobody ever tells us to study the right things we do. We’re only supposed to learn from the wrong things. But we are permitted to study the right things other people do. And sometimes we’re even told to copy them.
Mad Hatter: That’s cheating!Alice: You’re quite right, Mr. Hatter. I do live in a topsy-turvy world. It seems like I have to do something wrong first, in order to learn from what not to do. And then, by not doing what I’m not supposed to do, perhaps I’ll be right. But I’d rather be right the first time, wouldn’t you?
My heart is in Michigan.
My mind is in Los Angeles.
My spirit is in Paris.
My dreams are in Italy.
On returning from Italy, this was exactly how I felt:
“Now, little by little, I redeveloped an eye for the humors of life, and I found it easier and increasingly possible to reconcile myself with my fate and not begrudge myself the odd tasty morsel or so in the feast of life. Indeed, when you travel back home from Italy, it is always like that. You snap your fingers at principles and prejudices, smile indulgently, thrust your hands in your trouser-pockets and see yourself as a shrewd man of the world. You have moved around for a brief while in the comfortable and warm life of the South and you are under the illusion that it will continue like that in your own country. Those were my feelings every time I came back from Italy and more especially on that occasion. When I reached Basel and found the old, inflexible way of life, unchanged and unchangeable, depressed and angry, I graudally left my gaiety behind and came down to earth. But I had gained something from my experiences and never after this did my small boat sail through clear or troubled water without at least one colored pennant fluttering its confident defiance.”
- Herman Hesse, from Peter Camenzind