It is bright sunshine and everything glitters with hoar frost. There are such moonlight nights, it must be ideal on the hills. But my poor unfortunates can only pace up and down the narrow yard. How I long to take Communion.
We took it last on October 22, but now it is so awkward, one has to ask permission before doing the least thing. Some thoughts one is obliged to drive away, they are too poignant, too fresh in one's memory. All things for us are in the past, and what the future holds I cannot guess, but God knows, and I have given everything into His keeping.
Where is your poor old Grandmamma? I often think of her in her loneliness, and of your stories, after you had been to see her. Who will wish you a happy Christmas on the telephone? Is it true that Protopopoff has creeping paralysis? Poor old man, I understand
that he has not been able to write anything yet, his experiences being too near. Strange are our lives, are they not? One could write volumes.
I am knitting stockings for the small one (Alexei). He asked for a pair as all his are in holes. Mine are warm and thick like the ones I gave the wounded, do you remember? I make everything now. Father's trousers are torn and darned, the girls' under-linen in rags. Dreadful, is it not? I have grown quite gray. Anastasie, to her despair, is now very fat, as Marie was, round and fat to the waist, with short legs. I do hope she will grow. Olga and Tatiana are both thin, but their hair grows beautifully so that they can go without scarfs.
The latest news. Armed guards have been introduced on the banks, yesterday in Petrograd and today in Moscow; what the result of this will be, no-one can say; but the panic is felt everywhere. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archive declassified. See more
I was impressed by the German note regarding the peace talks: it's almost genius when you take into account that "Russian" fools are sitting against Kulman and Dernin. I'm waiting for the trap with which they will slam their comrades.
I haven't written anything in a while, but what is there to write? The peace treaty is not signed yet, some secrecy surrounds peace talks, and the "inner" war continues. There's nothing positive to look forward to. The Constituent Assembly has still not begun its session. See more
There is overall hunger and unemployment. Factories are putting locks on their doors, banks have been completely closed this week. Manufacturers, bank directors are being arrested, city employees are on strike. There are thefts and robberies everywhere. If someone still hasn't been robbed, it's not because he has undertaken some preventive measures, but because his turn hadn't come yet. "Robbers can't be everywhere at once!"
It's now true winter in Moscow: 10-15 degrees below zero. It makes for a great sleigh ride.
Berliner Zeitung has published an article today headlined "The final results of Brest-Litovsk": "Peace is mainly achieved with Russia, and the treaty was signed on favorable terms for us. Separation of Poland, Lithuania, Kurland, as well as some parts of Estonia and Latvia from Russia." See more
The deciding question is whether Russia would agree on the separation of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Kurland. A vote should decide who will these lands belong to. The form of the vote should be established by a commission from Germany and Russia. The difference in the positions is that Germany agrees with the existing borders of the countries, while Russia is only willing to accept a result of the vote that would take place "given a full absence of any foreign troops in the place of the vote."
When on the squares and in solitary silence
We slowly go out of our minds,
Brutal winter will offer us
Cold and clear Rhine wine. See more
The frost offers us in a silver pail
The white wine of Valhalla,
And for us it recalls
A clear image of a northern man.
But northern skalds are rude,
Don't know the joy of the game,
And to northern troops are dear
Amber, feasts and flames.
They only dream of the southern air,
The magic of a foreign sky.
-- Nevertheless the stubborn friend
Still refuses to try.