Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday 26th September 1942

Evening: I'm going to bed early tonight. But first I'll read my letter again – though that'll do no good. She has even quoted Brooke to me. “... Is this, friend, the end of all that we could do?...”

“Desertion”! Ah, Brooke, like a great work of art, can be quoted in many ways. “Shall we linger on, content in the lean twilight...” Or, “All's over that is ours and life burns on...” But Brooke is a strange poet to quote – he can be brutal:

“I've loved you faithfully and well
Three years or a bit less
It wasn't a success.”

She writes:-

“Long, long ago I gave up thoughts of marriage – we were not of the type that could have our love made earthly... My dear, do not reproach yourself, there is nothing either of us can do to tread the path we must tread alone, but never lonely, for the other will always be there within call and helping spiritually... I am always close to you... altho' we may not meet for years. Love such as ours... holds us together for all time... the lamp of love is still a steady flame... No, again I say it must not be “good-bye” but “au'voir,” which is less bleak, for we have trust, love and understanding... I'll always love you to the end and beyond for all time...”

Some of this sounds like the writings of a crazy person. Yes! And I'm liable to go crazy too! These letters coming to me at intervals, sometimes in the desert, sometimes at the Base, sometimes in training areas, make my head ache at the back. God knows it's difficult enough to keep serene and confident and happy in this endless war so far from the England that I may never see again.

Still, I have sometimes achieved some measure of faith and serenity. Yet each time I do, one of these letters comes, to destroy all faith, all hope, every straw, all security.

How different is my four years love of April! Cool fire!

“Here's peace for you, and surety; here the one Wisdom – the truth!...”

Peace, surety, wisdom and truth. Age and Certainty too, and Quiet kind...

The letters of April, so full of faith and confidence give all their serenity to me, when I read them. And then there are imperishable things again.

April write like this:-

“We will meet again and not in any dream land of fantasy either but in reality, you and I...” “I'd like to kiss you and kiss those silly ideas out of your head” “The beginning is yet to be...” “Tell me everything, from toothache to flies and dust, and tiredness, to fright and terror and desert to leave.”

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