3 Dec 1921

3 December 1921

Chalet des Sapins, Montana-sur-Sierre, Switzerland

Dear dear Sydney
   I do beg you to send me a copy of Elinor Colhouse as soon as possible. You do understand how I want one? Pity me! Feel for me up here in these heaven-kissing mountains. One thing I promise you, you will not have a more ardent reader - no, not one. I wish there were some other means of communication except this cursed one of letters. It is not enough. I want to be with you - to listen, talk, look, observe, absorb, remember, rejoice in. It is so awfully nice to laugh at the same things - and then your voice - Violet's voice - her smile, your way of sitting on the arm of a chair, a black tie that Violet wears sometimes (very important) the lunch table at Big Tree Villa - your cigarettes. But so one could go on for ever, and its all a kind of code, immensely boundlessly significant for those who understand it. I miss you. And the worst of it is I feel you are not coming to Switzerland - that for the time at least Switzerland is over. I am still here to all appearance. But the "essential moi' as Daudet would say is in Paris sitting in a small darkish room opposite a man called Manoukhine. Whether I shall follow this me I don't know yet. When does one really begin a journey - or a friendship - or a love affair. It is those beginnings which are so fascinating and so I misunderstood. There comes a moment when we realise we are already well on our way - déja. [To Sydney Schiff, 3 December 1921.]

Its queer how even when the need is removed she waits in a fury of impatience for the post.
I wonder why it should be so difficult to be humble. I do not think I am a good writer; I realise my faults better than anyone else could realise them. I know exactly where I fail. And yet, when I have finished a story & before I have begun another I catch myself preening my feathers. It is disheartening. There seems to be some bad old pride in my heart; a root of it that puts out a thick shoot on the slightest provocation . . . This interferes very much with work. One can't be calm, clear, good as one must be while it goes on. I look at the mountains, I try to pray & I think of something clever. It's a kind of excitement within one which shouldn't be there. Calm yourself. Clear yourself And anything that I write in this mood will be no good; it will be full of sediment. If I were well I would go off by myself somewhere & sit under a tree. One must learn, one must practise to forget oneself I can't tell the truth about Aunt Anne unless I am free to enter into her life without selfconsciousness. Oh God! I am divided still. I am bad. I fail in my personal life. I lapse into impatience, temper, vanity 8c so I fail as thy priest.
Perhaps poetry will help. .
I have just thoroughly cleaned & attended to my fountain pen. If after this it leaks then it is no gentleman! [KM Notebooks 2, undated]