You will say that everyone has seen landscapes and figures from childhood on. The question is: Has everybody also been reflexive as a child? Has everybody who has seen them also loved heath, fields, meadows, woods, and the snow and the rain and the storm? Not everybody has done that as you and I have; it is a peculiar kind of surroundings and circumstances that must contribute to such knowledge of nature; it is a peculiar kind of temperament and character, too, that must help to make it take root.
But after all I find in my work an echo of what struck me. I see that nature has told me something, has spoken to me, and that I have put it down in shorthand. In my shorthand there may be words that cannot be deciphered. There may be mistakes or gaps, but there is something in it of what wood or beech or figure has told me, and it is not a tame or conventional language, that proceeds not from nature itself but from a studied manner or a system.
And sometimes there is relief, sometimes there is new inner energy, and one stands up after it; till at last, someday, one perhaps doesn't stand up any more, que soit, but that is nothing extraordinary, and I repeat, in my opinion, such is the common human fate.
A weaver who has to direct and to interweave a great many little threads has no time to philosophize about it, rather, he is so absorbed in his work that he doesn't think, he acts: and it's nothing he can explain, he just feels how things should go. Even though neither you nor I would arrive at any definite plans, etc., by talking together perhaps we could mutually strengthen the feeling that something is ripening within us. And that is what I should like...
A good picture is equivalent to a good deed.
You write in your letter something which I sometimes feel also: Sometimes I do not know how I shall pull through.
It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to. The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.
Love is eternal - the aspect may change, but not the essence. There is the same difference in a person before and after he is in love as there is in an unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and was a good lamp, but now it is shedding light too, and that is its real function. And love makes one calmer about many things, and that way, one is more fit for one's work.
I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.
How can I be useful, of what service can I be? There is something inside me, what can it be?