29 December 1920

29 December 1920

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

... I went out into the garden just now. It is starry and mild. The leaves of the palm are like down-drooping feathers; the grass looks soft, unreal, like moss. The sea sounded, and a little bell was ringing, and one fancied - was it real, was it imaginary - one heard a body of sound, one heard all the preparations for night from within the houses. Someone brings in wood from the dark, lamp-stained yard, the evening meal is prepared, the charcoal is broken, the dishes are clattered, there is a soft movement on the stairs & in the passages & doorways. In dusky rooms where the shutters are closed the women, grave & quiet, turn down the beds and see that there is water in the water jugs. Little children are cheeping.

Does it always happen that while you look at one star you feel the other stars are dancing, flickering, changing places - almost playing a game on purpose to bewilder you. It is strange that there are times when I feel the star are not at all solemn: they are secretly gay - I feel this tonight. I sat on the cane chair and leaned against the wall. I thought of Jack contained in the little house against which I leaned - within reach - within call. I remembered there was a time when this thought was a distraction. Oh it might have been a sweet distraction - but there it was! It took away from my power to work ... I, as it were, made him my short story. But that time belongs to the Past ... One has passed beyond it. [KM Notebooks]