"Asja's stay in the sanatorium seems to be reaching its end. Over the past few days the hours she has spent lying outdoors have proved beneficial. She likes to lie there in her sack of blankets and listen to the crows in the air. She is even convinced that the birds have organized themselves with great precision and that their leader informs them as to what to do; certain birdcalls preceded by a long pause are, according to her, orders that they all follow. I have barely spoken to Asja in private of late, but in the few words we do exchange I believe I detect her closeness to me so distinctly that I feel a great sense of calm and well-being. I can think of nothing that has as healing and yet as intense an effect on me as the most trivial little questions she puts to me about my affairs. To be sure, she doesn't do this often. But on this day, for example, she turned to me in the middle of a meal where only Russian was being spoken and asked me what mail had arrived for me the previous day. Before eating, three of us had played dominos together".
W. Benjamin (Moscow Diary)