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Journal of Katherine Mansfield

Two Climates

Two Climates.

I'd always rather be in a place that is too hot rather than one that's too cold. But I'd always rather be with people who loved me too little rather than with people who loved me too much.

“She has made her bed,” said Belle—“she must lie on it.” I reflected thankfully that in this case that would be no hardship—on the contrary, indeed. I hoped it was what they were both longing to do….

page 124

North Africa. The whole valley is smothered in little white lilies. You never saw such a sight! They make me feel so wretchedly homesick. They smell just like dear old Selfridge's.

Souvent j'ai dit à mon mari: Nous en prenons un? Et il me dit: Ah, non, non, ma pauvre femme. Notre petit moment pour jouer est passé. Je ne peux rien faire que de rester dans un chaise en faisant des grimaces, et ça fait trembler plus que ça ne fait rire un petit enfant.

When I read Dr. Johnson, I feel like a little girl sitting at the same table. My eyes grow round. I don't only listen; I take him in immensely.

“Don't you think it would be marvellous,” she said, “to have just one person in one's life to whom one could tell everything?” She leant forward, put down her cup, but stayed bent forward touching the spoon against the saucer. She looked up—“Or is it just childish of me—just absurd to want such a thing? … All the same,” she leaned back, smiling, “childish or not —how wonderful it would be—how wonderful! to feel—from this person, this one person—I really don't need to hide anything. It would be such heavenly happiness!” she cried, suddenly, “it would make life so …” she got up, went to the window, looked out vaguely and turned round again. She laughed. “It's a queer thing,” she said, “I've always believed in the possibility— page 125 and yet—in reality … Take R. and me, for instance.” And here she flung back in a chair and leant back, still she was laughing but her body leant to the chair as though exhausted. “I tell him everything. You know we're … rather different from most people. What I mean is—don't laugh—we love each other simply tremendously—we're everything to each other! In fact he's the one person on earth for me—and yet,” and she shut her eyes and bit her lip as though she wanted to stop laughing herself: “try, try try as I can—there's always just one secret—just one—that never can be told—that mocks me.” And then for a moment she lay still….