Had my concert in Saratov. I almost didn’t leave Petrograd: central Russia is now enveloped in the most frightful snowstorms, and the drains are facing delays of up to 24 hours while the lines are cleared of snowdrifts. To make matters worse, all the most convenient trains have been reassigned for the delivery of supplies to the capital. It took us 48 hours, instead of the usual 36, to get to Saratov; I slept almost the entire way, which was a merciful relief from the exhaustion of life in Petrograd. In Saratov I walked along the frozen Volga, practiced some under-rehearsed passages and played through some of Rachmaninov’s news romances, which are very fine indeed.
Workers strike at a rifle factory in Tula. To buy anything they must queue in long lines, yet they are fined when late for work. Where is the justice?
The present holders of power are evil men, and the present manner of life is doomed. To make the transition with a minimum of bloodshed, with a maximum of preservation of whatever has value in our existing civilization, is a difficult problem.
The party shall proclaim the socialist transformation of Switzerland. This revolution is the only, and really effective, way of liberating the working class from the horror of high prices and hunger, and is essential for the complete elimination of militarism and war.
I work like elephant. Have caught a cold, lost my voice and I sneeze. But nothing of it!
Children should always be with their mothers. I took my Kyra to America. Stravinsky saw me off at the station, and I gave him my hand very coldly. I did not like him then, and therefore wanted to show him this, bit he did not feel it because he kissed me. I had a nasty feeling. We stayed in America for a year and a half. Thinking that travelling with the child would be bad for her. I left her in New York. Stravinsky did not write to me, nor I to him. Already almost a year and a half I have heard nothing of him.
I now prefer to work on my paintings of a morning instead of preparing for lectures. Come Easter, a Suprematist exhibition is slated to take place in a private house. If I have enough time, I’ll produce some paintings featuring “transfigured colouration” for this event. You do, of course, wish me success?
There is nothing, nothing except stasis, inertia, withdrawal, and, at best, a suffocating sense of expectation. In ten days at the surgery I have spoken with only two patients, neither of them new. My days, consequently, are almost entirely void of activity. Two weeks of cold and darkness have forced me to abandon my habit of never working in the evening.
I was in a pitch-black, earth-covered trench when I really began to apprehend the objects surrounding me for the first time. I would handle them in an effort to fathom out their inner essence.
Finally, on February 2nd, Countess Mathilde Ivanovna Witte organised, with the Tsar's approval, a charity performance in aid of
the Disabled Soldiers' Work-house, which was run by a special Commission of the Supreme Council and was under the patronage of Her Majesty the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.
Сountess Witte, with whom I was on excellent terms, had asked me to help her organise the performance, and I secured the services of our leading artists.
M. N. Kousnetzova sang the second act of Manon and danced Spanish dances. Lidia Lipkovska sang the lesson scene from the third act of The Barber of Seville. D. A. Smirnov sang Lensky's aria from the duel scene of Eugene Onegin. Finally, Fokine and I appeared as Harlequin and Columbine in his ballet Le Carnaval. Next we danced the first act of Don Quixote, and Tamara Karsavina performed the waltz from the same ballet.
The evening was a triumphant success. It was a very elegant and select audience, and Fokine was delighted with my interpretation of the role of Columbine, which he had wanted me to dance. It was my first performance in this ballet in St. Petersburg.
After the performance Countess Witte gave a supper party to which the leading artists and various members of high society were invited. It was served at little tables, and I remember that my neighbour was Stanislas Poklevsky, Russian Minister in Roumania. I was on excellent terms with Countess Witte, who was a woman of high intelligence, and Andre, who had closely followed the lectures on political economy given by the Count, held them both in very high esteem.
At around 4 I went for a walk with father. It is cold, -12 degrees, and it is snowing. At 5 we four went together to Anna’s for her name day.