296

Alas, what are you then, my written and painted thoughts! It's not so long ago that you were still so colourful, young, and malicious, full of stings and secret seasonings, so that you made me sneeze and laugh. - And now? You have already stripped off your novelty and some of you, I fear, are ready to become truths: you already look so immortal, so heartbreakingly honest, so boring! And was it ever different? What things we transcribe in our writing and painting, we mandarins with a Chinese paintbrush, we immortalizers of things which let themselves be written - what are the only things we are capable of painting? Alas, always only what is just about to fade and is beginning to lose its fragrance! Alas, always only storms which are worn out and withdrawing and old yellow feelings! Alas, always only birds which have exhausted themselves flying and lost their way and now let themselves be caught by hand - by our hand! We immortalize what can no longer live and fly, only tired and crumbling things! And it is only your afternoon, my written and painted thoughts, for which I alone have colours, many colours perhaps, many colourful caresses and fifty yellows and browns and greens and reds: - but no one will sense from me how you looked in your dawn, you sudden sparks and miracles of my loneliness, you, my old loved ones - my wicked thoughts!

Friedrich Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil
Part IX - Aphorism # 296

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