"A human being can only endure depression up to a certain point; when this point of saturation is reached it becomes necessary for him to discover some element of pleasure, no matter how humble or on how low a level, in his environment if he is to go on living at all. In my case these insignificant birds with their subdued colorings have provided just sufficient distraction to keep me from total despair. Each day I find myself spending longer and longer at the window watching their flights, their quarrels, their mouse-quick flutterings, their miniature feuds and alliances. Curiously enough, it is only when I am standing in front of the window that I feel any sense of security. While I am watching the birds I believe that I am comparatively immune from the assaults of life. The very indifference to humanity of these wild creatures affords me a certain safeguard. Where all else is dangerous, hostile and liable to inflict pain, they alone can do no injury because, probably, they are not even aware of my existence. The birds are at once my refuge and my relaxation."
—Anna Kavan, from “The Birds”, in Asylum Piece and Other Stories
Image: La Jetée (1962), directed by Chris Marker