Miners in the Snow at Dawn
letter sketch by Vincent van Gogh
It is good that you are about to enter a profession [the military] that will make you self-sufficient and set you on your own feet. Wait patiently to see if your inner life narrows in the grip of this profession. I consider it to be a very difficult and challenging one, for it is greatly burdened with conventions and allows little room for personal interpretations of its duties. But in the midst of these very unfamiliar conditions your inner solitude will be a support and a home to you. It will be the starting point of all your journeys.
Worpswede, July 16, 1903
Letters to a Young Poet