Art is a journey into the most unknown thing of all - oneself. Nobody knows his own frontiers… I don’t think I’d ever want to take a road if I knew where it led.

Louis Kahan
Clouds

I’d have to be really quick
to describe clouds—
a split second’s enough
… for them to start being something else.

Their trademark:
they don’t repeat a single
shape, shade, pose, arrangement.

Unburdened by memory of any kind,
they float easily over the facts.

What on earth could they bear witness to?
They scatter whenever something happens.

Compared to clouds,
life rests on solid ground,
practically permanent, almost eternal.

Next to clouds
even a stone seems like a brother,
someone you can trust,
while they’re just distant, flighty cousins.

Let people exist if they want,
and then die, one after another:
clouds simply don’t care
what they’re up to
down there.

And so their haughty fleet
cruises smoothly over your whole life
and mine, still incomplete.

They aren’t obliged to vanish when we’re gone.
They don’t have to be seen while sailing on.

— Wisława Szymborska

(Translated by Stanisław Barańczak and Clare Cavanagh)

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