May 23 (1923)*

My dear Emilian,

As I expect you have already guessed, every ship is going to depart without me, because I am not going to leave this country again. When I went away from you I thought it would be my last absence, as I promised to return, and believed I would be capable to do so. Please imagine that during our prolonged separation I happened to die. And actually that is what happens to me with regard to you.

Every death is involuntary, even the self-provoked death.

I am thinking of those lines of Alfred de Vigny over which we have had reflected together: “You cannot love an absent being. What does the one whom you love mean for you? A daily letter, a more or less cold advice. You don’t love an advice, you love a human being; and if that absent being stopped living, she wouldn’t become more absent than before and you’d stop crying for her…” I was away, now I am not at all. Don’t cry for me. The earth incorporated me, as it had to happen one day. I tried to be myself; I became one with the other things, I melted with nature.

In complete solitude I came to this deserted shore to examine my consciousness, in the rhythmic uproar of a sea without ebb and without flow, which always hits the same coasts.

I asked myself if my heart could submit to the rhythm of this incredibly beautiful sea, which never rises and never lowers its level. And right here, I found out that my perseverance had quitted me, and together with my perseverance quitted as well my force to concentrate on a sole human being that incomprehensible infinite love, that divine impetus that takes me away from you.

My conversion became reality; the transformation that occurred in me is a transformation of being, it is what revelation means for mystics. And I don’t know exactly how this happened to me… through the slow action of the climate, through the unanimous forces that surround me. It is like I took the veil, after I verified the strength and counted the ties created between things and me, between beings and me …

In your last letter you drew my attention to the disappointment that the love for a people would bring me, as sort of a sentimental generalization that brought only hopelessness and aversion to those who lived it. Do not worry! If I love the people of Izvor and those who are alike, it is because I consider them creatures gifted with the quality of being loved, as I love the tree bearing fruit on the side of the road; it is not mine, yet I wish it would bloom.

As for you, my dear Emilian, I know that you’ll stay loyal to the other love of yours, which is the main principle of your being. I do abdicate in favor of your new love, as an unwilling usurer, as every loved woman is a double usurer: first, prevailing over the woman who was before her, and then over the woman who would come after her and who is made inpatient by the state of waiting.

Soon you will see the rays of the past and the rays of the future combining, crossing, and
raveling me out - like a meaningless ghost! As long as you would like to believe it though, remember that I love you and… it will be true.

*Letter included in the ethnography of the Izvor village in the Carpathian Mountains, Romania - Bibescu, Martha. 2000. Izvor, tara salciilor. Anca-Maria Christodorescu (Romanian transl.) Isvor, le pays des saules [Paris 1923]. Bucuresti: Compania. pp.334-335