My remembrance of the past is a novel I am constantly recomposing; and it would not be a historical novel, but sheer fiction, if the material events which mark and ballast my career had not their public dates and characters scientifically discoverable.
You need as much ballast as possible to stop you from floating away; you need people around you, things going on, otherwise life is like some film where the money ran out, and there are no sets, or locations, or supporting actors, and it's just one bloke on his own staring into the camera with nothing to do and nobody to speak to, and who'd believe in this character then?
Help, then, is the ballast that keeps us steady, that recognizes where along the path are the dangers and pitfalls that can throw us off; hope tempers fear so we can recognize dangers and then bypass or endure them.
If the lives of men were relieved of all need, hardship and adversity; if everything they took in hand were successful, they would be so swollen with arrogance that, though they might not burst, they would present the spectacle of unbridled folly-nay, they would go mad. And I may say, further, that a certain amount of care or pain or trouble is necessary for every man at all times. A ship without ballast is unstable and will not go straight.
When, in 1913, in a desperate attempt to rid art of the ballast of objectivity, I took refuge in the form of the square... the critics... sighed, "All that we loved has been lost. We are in a desert"... But the desert is filled with the spirit of non-objective feeling...
Praise a fool, and slay him; for the canvas of his vanity is spread; His bark is shallow in the water, and a sudden gust shall sink it: Praise a wise man, and speed him on his way; for he carrieth the ballast of humility, And is glad when his course is cheered by the sympathy of brethren ashore.