LOOK WHAT THE CHILD CAN DO
When I was very young, because of the fact that my parents, students at the University of Vienna, had not been married when I was conceived, to shield the families from disgrace I was brought up from infancy living in my paternal Grandfather's study. It was lonesome, but nobody was ever mean to me. I was part of the situation, I guess, for better or for worse.
When I must have been maybe four years old someone gave me a piece of paper and a pencil. I started to draw a man with a cane and Frieda, the maid, came, leaned over me and called to Lina, the cook:
"Come and look what the child can do!"
Whenever I sit down to draw or stand in front of an easel to paint it is with the feeling of pride:
"Look what the child can do."
That phrase has given me a wonderful feeling of power and serenity.
Even eighty-five years later this phrase continues to be the source of my self-respect and joy to be alive.
- Annemarie Mahler (age 89), 2015
- Annemarie Ettinger (age 10), 1936