The First World War and the Civil War 1914-1918

In the evening, working on the symphony. This important task which strangely enchants me. As if God the Father had thrown down pieces of a mosaic from the floor of heaven and asked me to work out the pattern. Perhaps a good definition of "composing". Perhaps not. How should I know!"
(Diary, 9th April 1915)

I'll soon be 50 years old. I'm poor, so poor that I'm forced to write small pieces [to earn a living].
(Diary, 15th August 1915)
"I have symphonies VI and VII in my head. And the revision of the fifth symphony. In case I get sick and unable to work, let this be said.
(Diary, 18th December 1917)

I haven't heard an orchestra for nearly a year. Nor have I really met a single person. But – how else could it be. And Aino is more uncommunicative than ever. Isn't it strange that she, whom I love, does not utter a word about the things that are tormenting her. No smile, no laughter for weeks. Everything is greyer than grey. - My whole life has been wasted.
(Diary, 31st December 1917)

The reds are raging like wild beasts. All civilized people fear for their lives. One murder after another. Soon it may be my turn, for they surely have a special hatred of me as the composer of the Jäger March.
(Diary, 2nd February 1918)

If I had stayed in Järvenpää until the night before the arrival of the Germans, I would have been murdered, says the local telephone lady.
(JS to Axel Carpelan, 20th May 1918, after the Red Guard had been defeated. The telephone lady was Mimmi Holm, who was to give an alarm signal to the Sibeliuses at moments of danger.)