To Ilona (9 August 1947)

From Karl Polanyi
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Text in English to re-read

My Sweetheart - you, you alone, can ever understand what is happening in these days – (really: only in the very last few days) – to{then} brother. One after other some basic elements of existence have come to congregate around him, like domestic animals and he is beginning to realize that he has never seen them before. It is as if a man (or a human) saw for the first time a cat, or a child.

I had been slightly over working – at most fruitful enjoyable work – and had to rest, for {homs} a day, to that I can press on with reaching with writing. I am alone, in complete confort. And then this intervened: my concerns about you – your accident, my only one – subsided. Good news [128] reached me, the cloud dispersed. And now it happened: I began to feel entirely unknown things, surprising starts of____ movements, small warm {grings} _____ forth, as if little birds sang while I had never heard. For days – two days, three! – the “birds” and the “springs” spoke. Or rather I heard them, in the {mine} calm for the first time. And the calm – Oh sweetheart, oh secret self of mine – it came from this: I had security in life. A profession. A living. A work. My own work. No black emptiness in front of me. No certainty of perishing though joyfully. No strain of the morrow flashing into the void after-tomorrow. You, you, you there, Kari, Kari, my Kary there – and even I myself allowed to work and rest, rest and work, to hive as God intended life to be lived. I have never known it before. That it has come to me in this life.


Letter Informations

KPA: 59/08, 127-128