The Circle Within Me

30.V
As if it were a law the following circle happens within me.
I am arrogant, rejective, retired, sensitive, happy.

A certain kind of feeling asserts istself. I have tired my muscles too much with rowing, or I am too stupidly intesive working on philosophy.

In the very first days of the war, when at evening everyone rushes through the streets in search of newspapers, the crowd grows madly fond of reading, forms a solid mass through which a tram attempts to move very slowly.
Simultaneous with all the ecstasy, the ugly singing in the cafes. The nervous excitement that wants to fight its own little war for every copy of a newspaper.
Most of the last-minute weddings are taking place in the maternity hospitals.

You hear it a long time before it lands. A wind-like whistling or rushing sound. Growing louder and louder. Suddenly it (a piece of shrapnel) landed right beside me in the earth. Not a trace of fear, not even the simply nervous kind like palpitation, which also usually ensues without fear in cases of sudden shock. Afterwards a pleasant feeling. Satisfaction at having survived. Pride, almost. Being accepted into a community, baptism.The dead man’s few possessions lie wrapped in a shred of newspaper on our dining-table. A purse, the rose from his cap, a short, small pipe, two oval tin boxes containing ready-cut Toscani – cigar-like cigarettes – a small, round pocket mirror. From these objects streams a heavy sadness.

I feel foremost that my arrogance is leaving me. I am less amiable, have less spirit. I feel empty and work out of desperation. My behaviour suffers from it. I am defeated. In comparison with any other person I feel dumb. I act clumsy, not capable of reacting to respond to an insult in the proper way. A few hours later I am again arrogant, rejective, retired, sensitive, happy.

From: Cahier 11 (1905 – 1918/19)


After this most enjoyable night of his life he came to visit her. He looked in her eyes for remains of yesterday. They were big and round, of a hot humidity. He asked her: “Cry”. And she cried. After a while he cried with her. For he had the will to cry. After this they were both tired. And both they felt a more tender sort of love. He however, had made a discovery. This.

On the quietest hour.
Every person is a cemetary of his thoughts. They are the most precious to us the moment they come into being, later we can feel an intense remorse that they leave us indifferent where they once excited us so much.

A quitest hour is this between twelve and one of our soul, in which they rise from their graves and each bring us a lost part of ourself. It gives us a different experience of ourselves and become quiet, because we know the inevitability with which they leave as at one sharp.

Crying
A little twist. How would it be if people instead of laughter produce tears to express joy. How would people that are capable of this look like? Crying and laughter should be treated as a diet anyway.
From: Cahier 3 (1898 – 1905/06)


Fantasies: Two months of love in a provincial town. The wife some sick mans that cannot leave the house, the teacher, the salesman. She has a broad, sturdy middle and too thick knees. If she is naked her hands do not join in her bodily movements, but as someone who stands shyly on the side. And yet so full of life, so full of will to pleasure, so much a woman – in a provincial way, who is somewhat ashamed, but determined to get her way. She smells after spices. She knows she is not doing it perfectly, but she wants to do it anyway.

Holiday stay. Man, who lost his childhood with work. Waking up hungry. And you notice that you are already 35 and funny to 17 year old girls. Because you only know yourself from within it is unimaginable to you that you could be old. Excursion with the youth. The mother is 35 also. You and she belong to eachother. You walk with her behind the others. Slowly you get charmed by her. But you should have to be in the middle of these young girls all the time. – A girl gets serious, listens to you, lets her tell you stories. Beautifull, this serious and friendly manner of girls before they fall in love.
From: Cahier 7 (1913 – 1914)


Retrospective glances :

Alarm in Christof * after a long period of calm and adjustment to peace is like being attacked with a fist. These short commands: “Battalion alarm,” “Prepare to board wagons,” etc. The nerves, not at present used to such things, tremble. I was pale and agitated, without feeling any reason.

Boarding the wagons . During the long wait, groups of people, a few here, a few there, go off unnoticed; in the evening many of the squad are tipsy, some of them are completely drunk. The brigadier with his cane is at the station; he makes a speech. In the wagons a menagerie of sound. Otherwise well-behaved people are like animals. Good-natured persuasion and threats have no effect. We have the sliding doors closed. From within fists drum against them. At some of the doors there is a secret resistance. Lieutenant v. Hoffingott who takes charge of the door-closing shouts “Hands away!” and, in the same instant, strikes against the secret hands with his hunting knife…

This movement of the hunting knife was indescribable. Like an electrical charge released in a bolt of lightning; but with no flash, no lightning or the like–something white, decisive….

 

Berlin, August, 1914

In the very first days of the war, when at evening everyone rushes through the streets in search of newspapers, the crowd grows madly fond of reading, forms a solid mass through which a tram attempts to move very slowly.

Simultaneous with all the ecstasy, the ugly singing in the cafes. The nervous excitement that wants to fight its own little war for every copy of a newspaper.

Most of the last-minute weddings are taking place in the maternity hospitals.

22nd September, 1914

You hear it a long time before it lands. A wind-like whistling or rushing sound. Growing louder and louder. Suddenly it (a piece of shrapnel) landed right beside me in the earth. Not a trace of fear, not even the simply nervous kind like palpitation, which also usually ensues without fear in cases of sudden shock. Afterwards a pleasant feeling. Satisfaction at having survived. Pride, almost. Being accepted into a community, baptism.

23rd October, 1914

The dead man’s few possessions lie wrapped in a shred of newspaper on our dining-table. A purse, the rose from his cap, a short, small pipe, two oval tin boxes containing ready-cut Toscani – cigar-like cigarettes – a small, round pocket mirror. From these objects streams a heavy sadness.

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