Whether for good or ill, I have lived my life, travel
ling a long road fraught with struggles and quarrels, dis-
puttees and arguments, suffering and anxiety, and reached
these advanced years to find myself at the end of my teeth
er, tired of everything.
I have realised the vanity and futil-
ity of my labours and the meanness of my existence. What
shall occupy myself with now and how shall I live out the
rest of my days? lam puzzled that I can find no answer to
Rule the people? No, the people are ungovernable. Let
this burden be shouldered by someone who is willing to
contract an incurable malady, or else by an ardent youth
with a burning heart. But may Allah spare me this load
which is beyond my powers!
Shall I multiply the herds? No, I cannot do that. Let
the young folk raise livestock if they need them. But! shall
not darken the evening of my days by tending livestock to
give joy to rogues, thieves and spongers.
Occupy myself with learning? But how shall lengage
In scholarship when I have no one to exchange an intel-
gent word with? And then to whom shall I pass on the
knowledge l will have amassed? Whom shall I ask what I
do not know myself? What’s the good of sitting on a deso-
late steppe with an arshin in hand trying to sell cloth? Too
much knowledge becomes gall and wormwood that has
tens old age if you have по one by your side to share your
joys and sorrows.
Choose the path of the Sufi and dedicate myself to the
service of religion? No, I’m afraid that won’t do either.
This vocation calls for serenity and complete peace of
mind. But I have not known peace either in my soul or in
my life and what sort of piety can there be amongst these
people, in this land!
Educate children, maybe? No, this, too, is beyond my
powers. I could instruct children, true, but I don’t know
what I should teach them and how.
For what occupation, for what purpose and for what
kind of community am I to educate them? How can I
instruct them and direct their paths if! don» see where my
pupils could usefully apply their learning? And so here,
too, I have been unable to put myself to any good use.
Well, I have decided at length: henceforth, pen and
paper shall be my only solace, and I shall set down my
thoughts. Should anyone find something useful here, let
him copy it down or memorise it. And if no one has any
need of my words, they will remain with me anyway
And now I have no other concern than that.