Whenever I reread A Wonder Plays on Muted Strings, tremendous joy shoots through my whole being. Hamsun told us that age does not matter; the most important thing in life is experience. Age confers no maturity; age confers nothing beyond old age. We cannot have happy time all the time; we have to face the serious problems and have to overcome many obstacles, since all of these experiences called life. And every time we encounter happy moment, we feel like being rewarded our struggles. So what should we do our lives? I guess that we should appreciate for being alive and enjoy being alive each day. In all my life I have been wandering on earth and enjoying having new experiences. All in all, I have made a number of friends through my wandering! Life is fun to live! Here are some excerpts from A Wonder Plays on Muted Strings:
A wanderer plays on muted strings when he reaches the age of two score years and ten. That is when he plays on muted strings.
Or I might put it like this:
If he comes too late in the autumn to the woods where the berries, grow, why then, he comes to them to late; and if one fine day he no longer feels up to making merry and laughing uproariously from joie de vivre, why then, it must be because he is old; don’t blame him for that! Besides, beyond question, it takes a certain degree of brainlessness to remain permanently contented with oneself and with everything. But favorable moments we all have. A condemned man sits in his thumbnail on the way to the scaffold; a nail in the seat irks him; he shifts position and feels more comfortable.
It is wrong of a captain to ask God to forgive him – as he forgives God. He is simply dramatizing. A wanderer who doesn’t each day find food and drink, clothes and shoes, house and home provided, according to his needs, feels just the right degree of privation when all these splendors are absent. If one thing doesn’t work out, another will. And if that other fails to work out also, he does not go around forgiving God but takes the responsibility himself. He puts his shoulder to the wheel of fortune – that is to say, he bows his back before it. It’s a trifle hard on flesh and blood, it grays the hair horribly; but a wanderer thanks God for life, it was fun to live!
I might put it like that.
Why, in short, all these exacting demands? What have we earned? As many boxes of candy as a sweet tooth could desire? Fair enough. But have we not looked on the world each day and heard the soughing of the forest? There is no splendor like the soughing of the forest.
There was a scent of jasmine in a grove, and a tremor of joy ran through one I know, not for the jasmine but for everything – a lit-up window, a memory, the whole of life. But when he was called away from the grove, he had already been paid in advance for this annoyance.
And there it is: the very favor of receiving life at all is handsome advance payment for all life’s miseries, each single one.
No, a man should not believe in his right to more candy than he gets. A wanderer advise against all superstition. What is life’s? Everything. And what is yours? Is fame? Pray tell us why! A man should not insist on what is “his”; to do so is ludicrous, and a wanderer laughs at anyone so ludicrous. I remember such who never escaped that “his”; his fire at high noon and finally go it to burn in the evening. Then he couldn’t bring himself to leave its warmth for bed, but sat there making the most of it, till others got up again. He was a Norwegian dramatist.
I have wandered around a good deal in my time, and am now grown dull and withered. But I do not hold that perverse graybeard’s belief that I am wiser than I was. And I hope, indeed, that I shall never grow wise; it’s a sign of decrepitude. If I thank God for life, it is not on the strength of any increased maturity that has come with age but because I have always enjoyed being alive. Age confers no maturity; age confers nothing beyond old age.