When corrected for the effects of propagation in the interstellar medium (i.s.m.), the observed composition of galactic cosmic rays can give us some clues as to the origin of these particles. It is noteworthy that the main pecularities of the cosmic ray source composition (CRS), as compared to normal i.s.m. abundances, bear some resemblance to that of i.s. grains, as inferred from i.s. absorption line measurements (e.g. York 1976): (1) the refractory elements Al, Si, Mg, Ni, Fe and Ca, which in i.s. clouds are almost completely locked into grains, are present with normal abundance ratios in the CRS. (2) normalized to Si, the volatile and reactive elements C, N, O, S and Zn are underabundant in CRS by factors of 2.5 to 6; these elements are only partially depleted in the i.s.m. (3) at a given rigidity the ratios H/Si and He/Si are lower than in the i.s.m. by a factor of ~ 25; while H and He atoms are virtually absent in i.s. grains. (1) implies that cosmic rays originate in astrophysical sites where the grains have either not condensated as yet, or where they have been (at least partially) destroyed. Then, to account for (2) and (3), one might consider that an unspecified mechanism selects the particles to be accelerated, possibly according to their first ionization potential (Cassé 1979 and references there-in).