To Selma Kohn*
[Entry in an album]
How many words in this book.
They are meant for remembrance. As though words could carry memories.
For words are clumsy mountaineers and clumsy miners. Not for them to bring down treasures from the mountains’ peaks, or up from the mountains’ bowels.
But there is a living mindfulness that has passed gently, like a stroking hand, over everything memorable. And when the flame shoots up out of these ashes, hot and glowing, strong and mighty, and you stare into it as though spellbound by its magic, then–
But no one can write himself into this kind of pure mindfulness with unskillful hand and crude pen; one can write only in such white, undemanding pages as these. I did so on September 2, 1900
*”Selma Kohn Robitschek, daughter of the chief postmaster of Roztok (Roztoky), on the left bank of Moldau, 7 1/2 miles north of Prague.… Read the rest