Historical Documents – 1949 Luke Warmer Diary Entry

Monday March 14, 1949

I should go to bed but I must write before I lose what I have to say. I knew, from not having any ecstasies of peace like the two I had during the first few school months, that something was wrong. I was still feeling fear, but though I sensed that there must be a difference since the peace would never follow, I couldn’t realize it, wasn’t sure that there was a difference, but rather just thought the reason might be in my trying to change to be ‘normal’ in the friendly sense without ‘throwing myself away”. I wrote Jean that I’d tried and decided it was no use, but I knew as I wrote her that I had not returned, I didn’t [know] where the return was, I was almost at the point of no return, I saw the failure, but didn’t know the way back, or perhaps rather I didn’t have the confidence to go back. Today, last night I experienced the fear that I’d been missing. Under the sun lamp it came on me, yesterday, I was listening to La Mer over the radio, my head was under the hot lamp, my eyes closed, I thought of Debussy, his sex life, his wantonness, the club that he went where all the other artists of Paris, the radical, or his friends, the liberals went down slumming in bad sections of Paris. Suddenly I felt the fear, only I tried to find what I was afraid of. I could think of nothing, perhaps it was from my thought of my future, both in sex and music, not separately but combined, there wasn’t anything to be afraid of in that, but I know there is doubt in both. Anyway, the fear I felt, though it might have begun with that doubt, it went on and flowed away from that doubt and existed without a reason. However even this fear wasn’t “the” fear, but it was strange as I thought of it and found it existing by itself. But today I suddenly saw again, not felt, just saw it, for it quickly passed away, not wanting to let itself be analyzed. Having been waiting and watching for it, having noticed its absence so long, when I saw it I wanted to look at it to see what it was I missed so. It is a fear that is actually wonderful in its pain, for out of that pain rises the ecstasy. The other fear is too on the surface, it brings itself out and attaches itself to its adversary. This surface pain is insipid and disgusting and wrenching. But the greater pain is something that has no adversary, or rather loses it, and goes deep within oneself, drawing him in deeper and deeper; it seems to do so on purpose for, taking you in deeper, it all of a sudden shows God, the ME, way down in the depths and, on doing so, all the fear is vanished and the peace rises in its wake. Oh what a heavenly thrill, what ecstasy, to live for, and I thought I’d lost it. I haven’t regained it, but I know it’s still near, ready and waiting for me to go back for it. But I have so much to answer to myself before I can even begin to start.

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