Insofar as we understand the universe – if it can be understood – our doings must have some desire for order in them; but from the point of view of the universe, they must be very grotesque. As a matter of fact, the idea of “order” reminds me of something Jack Tworkov was telling me that he remembered of his childhood. There was the village idiot. His name was Plank and he measured everything. He measured roads, toads, and his own feet; fences, his nose and windows, trees, saws and caterpillars. Everything was there already to be measured by him. Because he was an idiot, it is difficult to think in terms of how happy he was. Jack says he walked around with a very satisfied expression on his face. He had no nostalgia, neither a memory nor a sense of time. All that he noticed about himself was that his length changed!
Willem De Kooning, written in 1950 for a lecture series at Studio 35 on Eighth Street in New York.