"Not all of our memories give us the feeling that they have to do with our past. Some seem to come up from a chasm that is deeper and vaster than our past; they seem to come from before we were born. But this isn’t so strange. These memories that seem so difficult to locate come from that period of our early childhood when ideas and concepts haven’t as yet achieved the scope and coherence they one day will have, when they will give us at once a world and an idea of ourselves. During the period I’m thinking of, we are as yet outside of what one day we will be able to recognize and identify as our individual lives. We perceive things, people, events; we are struck by them, but without being able to analyze them with the tools of the adult; they are simply there before us, silent, without a before or after and without any relation to the reality around us: they are pure presences, though each is closed upon itself and full of enigma. And this is why today if we remember them, it is as though they are both outside the past and a part of our beginnings."
- Yves Bonnefoy, from My Memories of Armenia, trans. John Naughton, with thanks to apoetreflects (via growing-orbits)