How wild it is! My notion is snapping its reins on fantasy's back. Behind me the chair-back creaks, secretly nattering, sending a sudden shudder through all my nerve ends. It annoys me and disturbs my deep study of the bizarre shapes of smoke drifting around me, through which I had already resolved to draw a connecting thread.
Now the silence has gone to the dogs. Jangling movement flows through all my senses. Feverish, nervous, crazed. Every sound a stab! And tangled up in all this, forgotten things rise up. Things long ago imprinted on my sense of sight now strangely renew themselves, along with their old forgotten feelings.
With interest I notice that my awareness expands hungrily, embracing that area in the darkness in which the bright forms of smoke stand out with increasing clarity. I notice how my glance engulfs these things, only imaginings, yet full of bliss. And my sight takes in more and more, it lets itself go more and more, creates more and more, conjures more and more, more…and…more.
Now the creation, the artwork of chance, emerges, clear, just like in the past, looming from things forgotten, re-created, formed, painted by fantasy, that magically talented artist.
Not large: small. And not really a whole, but perfect, as it had been back then. And yet infinitely blurring into darkness in all directions. A world. A universe. In it light trembles, and a powerful mood, but no sound. Nothing of the laughing noises around it can penetrate: the laughing noises not of now, but of then.
Right at the base, dazzling damask. Across it, woven flowers zigzag and curve and wind. Translucently pressed upon it and rising up slender a crystalline goblet, half-filled with pallid gold. Before it, dreaming, a hand stretches out, the fingers draped loosely around the goblet's base. Clinging to one finger is a matte silver ring upon which a ruby bleeds.
Where the vision strives to form an arm above the delicate wrist, in a crescendo of shapes, it blurs into the whole. A sweet enigma. The girl's hand lies dreamy and still. Only where a light-blue vein snakes its way over its pearly whiteness does life pulse and passion pound, slowly and violently. And as it feels my glance it becomes swifter and swifter, wilder and wilder, till it turns into a pleading flutter: stop, don't…
But my glance is heavy and cruelly sensual, as it was then. It weighs upon the quaking hand in which, in the fight with love, love's victory pulsates…like then…like then.
Slowly, from the bottom of the goblet, a pearl detaches itself and floats upward. As it moves into the ruby's orbit of light it flames up blood red, and then on the surface is suddenly quenched. The disturbance threatens to dissipate everything, and my eyes struggle to rekindle the vision's soft contours.
Now it is gone, faded into darkness. I breathe, breathe deeply, for I notice that I had forgotten now, as I had back then…
I lean back, fatigued, and pain flares up. But I know now as surely as I did then: You did love me…Which is why I can cry now.
Translation by Peter Constantine