Old Woman with a Ball of Yarn
by Marc Chagall
. . . And to think of all these things is still not enough. One must remember many nights of love, of which none was like another. One must remember the cries of women in labor and the pale, distracted sleep of those who have just given birth and begin to close again. But one must also have been with the dying and sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and the fitful sounds of life. And it is still not enough to have memories: one must be able to forget them when they crowd the mind and one must have the immense patience to wait until they come again. For it is not the memories themselves. Only when they become our blood, our glance, our gesture, nameless and indistinguishable from who we are only then can it happen that in a very rare hour the first word of a poem rises from their midst and goes forth.
The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge