Letter from Anna Teresa Tymieniecka written 23.03.1949

Freiburg 3/23/1949
  V         – 4/20/1949

  b               Dearest Professor,
b     A week ago I have received a letter from Professor and I am still thinking about how to express my profound sympathy to you. I feel so sorry for Professor and I identify with what you are experiencing most deeply, because although Mummy died two years ago, she dies again and again every day, and I would never believe that she is gone if not for the world having changed so much, and life and its meaning, and everything else, and I think it can always happen when you lose someone you love very much and that is why I am so very worried for Professor. Because you cannot change, you must not let it break you and stay like that, Professor cannot change! You must forever remain yourself, the personification of enthusiasm, liveliness and freshness of mind and the same disposition I remember from three years ago. This is the way all your children know and love you, both those of your own and “adopted” ones. (the latter for joy that they were allowed to love).
b     Professor’s letter left such a strong impression on me that I could not get used to its contents.
b     I felt guilty that I was alive.
b     At the same time, I felt unworthy of your kindness.
b     I was so ashamed of myself that I was myself and that I could not think about how good you are to me. And at the same time something was happening inside me and after a few days that small place somewhere inside of me which had felt empty for the longest time I had started to fill with some small warmth at at its very bottom. And now I feel different somehow, more alive, and as if put back together into one whole again.
b     I feel some new energy and a desire to work. So all through Christmas I have worked diligently on Larell and I think I learned a lot.
But it is not even about energy, it is about some sense of responsibility. Before I felt “uprooted” from any whole and suspended in a vacuum without any connection to anything or anyone, and now I feel as if i have been sucked into some sphere of responsibility that made me think that what I do is no longer completely unimportant. I think I feel responsible because of Professor’s kindness. All the more since I feel completely unworthy of it.
b     And I cannot even begin to imagine how I could possibly thank you for it, because it is so precious to me that I can only accept with humility.
b     Yesterday I started to properly read the first volume of the Controversy and finally understood Larell’s concept of pure being well. What L. calls “l’internite de l’être” is his (existential) self-reliance, while other characteristics he lists make up his existential originality.
b     I think that I understand everything in his system except for the way of existence of the idea, I cannot figure it out from the texts, nor can I communicate with Larell, because I ask the wrong questions and receive answers on something else entirely. I think I have a sound understanding of the first volume of the Controversy. I don’t see any problems so far.
b     I will be finishing here to avoid boring Professor for too long. I would love to know how you are doing and what you are working on.
b     Meanwhile, I send my most cordial greetings and deepest respect


It made me really happy that Professor called me simply Teresa.
Beautiful curtsies to Madam
When will you come to Switzerland? this is Krakow and Azory.