early morning reading: unease

first I myself must find the right pattern, my own pattern

“4 July. [1941]. I am full of unease, a strange, infernal agitation, which might be productive if only I knew what to do with it. A ‘creative’ unease. Not of the body – not even a dozen passionate nights of love could assuage it. It is almost a ‘sacred’ unease. ‘Oh God, take me into Your great hands and turn me into Your instrument, let me write.’ This all came about because of red-haired Lenie and philosophical Joop. S. reached straight into their hearts with his analysis, but I still think people can’t be reduced to psychological formulate, that only the artist can render human beings down to their last irrational elements.

“I don’t know how to settle down to my writing. Everything is still much too chaotic and I lack self-confidence, or perhaps the urgent need to speak out. I am still waiting for things to come out and find form of their own accord. But first I myself must find the right pattern, my own pattern.”

cited: Trans: Arno Pomerans, An Interrupted Life The Diary of Etty Hillesum 1941-1943. pg. 26

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