The road to Petrograd from Halifax went unnoticed, as if in a tunnel. It was the tunnel to revolution. The only thing I remember from Sweden was the ration cards for bread: it was the first time I’d seen this… At Finland station in Petrograd a huge crowd was waiting for us. When they suddenly lifted me in the air, I immediately remembered Halifax, where I found myself in a similar position.
But this time, the hands were friendly.
The face is light. It really lights up and fades.
Dearest Anna Vasilyevna, I have left Petrograd with absolute certainty that disaster for the state is inevitable, and with the recognition that the military-political objectives which determined the entire meaning and content of my work were a failure. I’m at sea again; it’s been two days already, and, as before, I’m sitting down to write to you, but what I have written seems redundant. But I can’t think of anything else to say. It’s all the same, basically. See more
My astronomical passion for spring has increased. Of course, with the eternally cloudy sky of Petrograd, you only get to see the stars as a special gift, but nevertheless, by the time I left for the dacha I knew the most important stars so well that I recognised them not by their mutual arrangement, but just like that; each separately, as though “in person”.
It’s bitterly cold in the room; they’re saying that there’s no firewood. The ministry still hasn’t been established. They’ve unanimously decided to continue the war, while our soldiers go and explain our signalling to the enemy. What heinousness! See more
I left power because there simply wasn’t any; the disease lies in the strange separation between power and responsibility. There are some who have complete power, but without a shadow of responsibility, while those who are in visible positions of power carry full responsibility, but without a shadow of actual power… See more
The revolution is expanding in breadth and depth, capturing new spheres, invading industry, agriculture and distribution, raising the question of whether it can take complete power. The province is at the head of the movement. If Petrograd was ahead in the beginning of the revolution, now it is starting to lag behind. This creates the impression that Executive Committee of Petrograd have already reached a certain point and now they are trying to stop. See more
It wasn’t long ago that we considered ourselves to be the faithful servants of the Russian Tsar. Now that there is no Tsar, we are not servants - we are free citizens. The title of “citizen”, which we have earned as a result of a long and bitter fight at the cost of countless casualties, has given us immense rights, but it has also bestowed upon us more responsibilities. See more
It would seem that certain phrases uttered by you are being used by the radical socialists (probably under German influence) to force the Provisional Government to declare a policy which will remove the chief incentive to Russian offensive operations, namely control to the Dardanelles and possession of Constantinople. It is an adroit scheme to advance argument of what is the use of Russia continuing the war and why should she not make a separate peace, if neither in territory nor in indemnity she can be compensated for the enormous expenditure of life and money which a vigorous prosecution of the war will entail.
We spent the whole of yesterday crossing Finland "of the thousand lakes."
The moment the frontier was passed, how far we felt from Russia! In every town, and even the smallest village, the appearance of the houses with their clean windows, spotless shutters, shiny tiled floors and straight fences, indicated decency, order, domestic economy, a sense of comfort and home. Under the grey sky, the landscape was deliciously pretty and varied, particularly towards evening, when we were between Tavastehus and Tammerfors. See more