Journal of Katherine Mansfield
The Candlestick. — [An imaginary letter.]
[An imaginary letter.]
Many thanks for your stuffy letter. As for the candlestick, dear, if you remember, I gave it you on your last birthday. No wonder it reminded you of me. I have kept it in its paper and intend to return it to you with a pretty little note on your next. Or shall I first send it to you as an early Christmas present and do you return it as a late one or a New Year's gift. Easter we shall leave out. It would be a trifle excessive at Easter. I wonder which of us will be in possession of it at the last. If it is on my side, I shall leave it you in my will, all proper, and I think it would be nice of you, Camilla, to desire that it should be buried with you. Besides, one's mind faints at the idea of a candlestick whirling through space and time for ever—a fliegende candlestick, in fact!
I have been suffering from wind round the heart. Such a tiresome complaint, but not dangerous. Really, for anything to be so painful I think I would prefer a spice of danger added. The first act was brought on by a fit of laughing.
September. September is different from all other months. It is more magical. I feel the strange chemical change in the earth which produces mushrooms is the cause, too, of this extra ‘life’ page 190 in the air—a resilience, a sparkle. For days the weather has been the same. One wakes to see the trees outside bathed in green-gold light. It's fresh—not cold. It's clear. The sky is a light pure blue. During the morning the sun gets hot. There is a haze over the mountains. Occasionally a squirrel appears, runs up the mast of a pine-tree, seizes a cone and sits in the crook of a branch, holding it like a banana. Now and again a little bird, hanging upside-down, pecks at the seed. There is a constant sound of bells from the valley. It keeps on all day, from early to late.
Midday—with long shadows. Hot and still. And yet there's always that taste of a berry rather than scent of a flower in the air. But what can one say of the afternoons? Of the evening? The rose, the gold on the mountains, the quick mounting shadows? But it's soon cold—Beautifully cold, however.