December 22, 1938

The Dead City

Gabrielle d’Annuzio

His language is beautiful, his insight in the feelings of people is true and feel.  So many passages are of deep understanding and beauty.  It was not just reading, but I feel I was there, lived there and was Anna. These thoughts that she expresses could have been mine, when I came out of the depths of depression – it was Joy, the joy brought to me by a being that helped me.  My greatest happiness and my greatest sorrow was given me by humans and not things, so it is the human that dictates us and our doings.

It is there you would like to live. There, there is joy. All your being asks for joy, needs joy.  Ah, how brilliant your youth should be to-day.  The desire of living radiating from your person like the heat of a fire place.  Let me warm my poor hands.

I cannot take my thoughts from this last sentence, I read it last night and all through my waking hours it followed me.  Let me warm my poor hands.  It is full of sadness and sorrow, it is a feeling one can have for anything anyplace.  Our poor souls, let us warm them.  Haven’t we all hungry souls that cry out for compassion and understanding and even the vilest among us are souls in need of compassion.

He asked me not to say “Life is real” anymore.  He sensed this was said at a time when I was harassed, worried.  I meant it there, and to-day I would use it easily as a remark.  How well he knows me.

To-day our Christmas Party in the school, I am looking forward to all the people coming.  I love to have gatherings in the school and although we are far from ideal conditions, that group of men and women -deep thinking, acting and doing, we may have a well spring of joy opened and can play. ——- (This late, over to Mme Sai, who, when I come in, will say ‘Hello Anne, come in Child’, then I rattle off and she will say ‘Come kiss Mama’ and I brush her cheek, still shy, but beginning to enjoy it, I am always so suspicious of people and their kindness to me, because why should they be kind, I don’t do anything active to deserve it, as a matter, most of the time I am too wrapped up in the work and make others listen to my blatherings. ——- But there I sit and relax, and tell her all that happens, there she takes care of my hair and massages my head – one place, one person who hears me well and I do not pay, I owe so much, I hope I never forget these generous deeds. To-day I did very little, it seems, I just am loaded with so much and writing brings a little release. People are so kind to me, Mrs. Hinsfeld brought presents for the grab bag, she is not coming.  —-  What a Colony we should have, where no thought is so daring that cannot be expressed and freedom is from within

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