4 July 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Dear Koteliansky
   I want to write to you before I begin work. I have been thinking of you ever since I woke up, thinking how much I should like to talk to you. Today for instance is such an opportunity. Brett is staying here for a week or so but she has gone up the mountains for the day. And I am the only guest left in this big, empty, dim hotel. It is awfully nice here, my dearest friend. It is full summer. The grasshoppers ring ring their tiny tambourines, and down below the gardener is raking the paths. Swallows are flying; two men with scythes over their shoulders are wading through the field opposite, lifting their knees as though they walked through a river. But above all it is solitary.
   I have been feeling lately a horrible sense of indifference; a very bad feeling. Neither hot nor cold; lukewarm, as the psalmist says. It is better to be dead than to feel like that; in fact it is a kind of death. And one is ashamed as a corpse would be ashamed to be unburied. I thought I would never write again. But now that I have come here and am living alone all seems so full of meaning again, and one longs only to be allowed to understand. [To S.S. Koteliansky, 4 July 1922.]