As soon as I saw how much it meant to Paul, I tried to. But it was too late.... We sat there arguing until three in the morning. An orgy of tears and self-immolation for us both.... I suppose he might have explained to the director afterward and arranged another concert, but those things are never the same the second time. Well, I forced myself to get rid of that feeling about his bad luck. How I ever succeeded I don’t know, for Paul caught my mood and began to believe it himself. But somehow I did. And then I made him give up his violin and begin composing. Of course we had to have money for that. I wrote a relative and demanded, point blank, shamelessly, two thousand dollars. I felt it was my restitution to Paul. I received the money. What the relative thought, I don’t know. I suppose he paid it to avoid getting another such letter from me. I don’t blame him.
So we came over here and Paul started at work. I was fighting for him and with him every moment. How he worked! Six months, like a coal heaver. Then he finished and played it over. He tore it all up. Every note.
He said it was written in an old-fashioned style. It was curious—in his playing he appreciated the most advanced technic, but when be came to compose he found himself imitating the things he had admired when he was eighteen. It had to be worked out of his mind. Well, he did it all through again. This time he said he was only about two years behind. Tore it up again. But now he was convinced he could succeed. And he was magnificent! I would have shared him with the world gladly, but I knew it was best for him to do this work. The hours this room has seen! Well, he made a few notes, stopped a few days to take breath, and then caught the cold that wore him out. Over there, in that drawer, are the notes, a few scraps of paper. The rest of it—the experience of a strong life, a visioning life, are with the mind that is dumb. Sometimes when I sit here I hear it all played, an orchestra ... new harmonies, pure emotion.... The wonder and then the pain of it are almost unbearable.
Ah, Jean, I begin to understand.
Over in London there are half a dozen men and women who caught a glimpse of Paul as he really was. In Munich there are half a dozen more. He was at his best in a studio among friends with a congenial atmosphere. They knew... but what is that?
I tell you, Vera, the only way I can explain it all is by seeing two forces, two moralities; the morality of God and the morality of nature. Perhaps in some people they both work together for the same end, but they don’t always.... In the sight of heaven, Paul was an apostle of harmony. In the sight of nature, he was the seed too many on the tree, the bird wrongly colored in the forest. I sit among these things, the fast-ebbing beats of his memory, thinking of what he might have been for others as he was to me, and my heart breaks. Our unhappiness? A cloud passing before the sun—nothing more. And during this past year I have come to love him all over again, not as mate but as mother.