Thursday, October 28, 2010
In 1965 Scribners published Miss MacIntosh, My Darling, a novel by Marguerite Young. This book changed my life, and my mode of experiencing reality. When I was teaching at Montana State University I thought how wonderful it would be if the students could have the benefit of her warm, loving, kind, exuberant genius. She journeyed from New York City to Bozeman Montana by train. When she disembarked all the porters aboard the train gathered round her and bid her the sort of goodbye you would expect them to extend only to a beloved friend. A great and gifted listener, she could tell each of their stories at the end of her journey.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Anais wrote of editing our letters for a book - "perhaps later" did not come - Mortality came - the final knock upon the door - and these purple postcards which she once characterized as "snowflakes in the blizzard of our correspondence" - and a precious children's book which she created from plain white paper cut into sections and which she entitled "It Looks Like Snow" -
From the Kindergarten Of The Stars where each and every child-mind is recognized as dwelling in the assembly hall of the Supreme Intelligence comes this Gift of Color.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Being watchful of your own awareness will pay dividends in your music-making.
One of the greatest adventures for the musician is simply following the sound-current.
All the world is making a mantra for our listening.
Trains, birds, traffic, alarms, swooping wind, falling rain and plashing fountains, dogbark, cicada roar, all conspire to chant the sublime harmony of the aural tapestry which I call the sound-current.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
In the early 1970s I began communications with the Government of India to allow me to stay for one year - It was not an easy thing to do at that time - I had secured a grant from the American Institute of Indian Studies funded by the U.S. State Department to research musical dimensions of ancient Sanskrit texts and was at work on an essay with the working title "A Map Of Music - Strange Dimensions Of Politics and War" - it was more of a surrealistic manifesto than a scholarly paper - This is a page from my Notebooks of that time - c. 1972 "No abrogation" (is that really a word?) "..to a ready-made system designed to clone types." I believe that must have meant I was questioning the necessity to take into account the "authority" of Swamis, pandits, and others who knew much more about the subject than myself. Over the past few decades I have learned that the only authorities I need trust are resident within my own heart. Wayne
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I believe prayer is our one recourse here as we journey from out of the thought of the Divine Mind and go through the “strange eventful history” of life on earth. I believe we can pray anywhere, and anytime, to the God of our understanding. I also know that prayer is not the same as a petition or wish-list, but the true desire of our hearts, and that it is always granted. It is of things bigger than we can conceive, and has nothing to do with whether or not a ball goes through a hoop or we win or lose an election-God’s will for us is always for our good and harmonious unfolding-It’s always o.k. to pray for his will to be done on earth, as it is in Heaven-and as we are so constructed as to mirror this “Heaven-Earth” pattern, if we listen, his will is being done. I don’t claim to know what it is I just said, but it’s what I have in my heart at this moment about “prayer.” Wayne
Friday, October 15, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
When Anais was unable to fulfill her speaking and other assignments she often suggested that I go as a substitute. Some, of course, were understandably reluctant to accept this, but others listened to her, as when I stepped in to conduct a writing workshop at the Mann Ranch in California - I began recording tapes especially for her during this time - she loved Bach most - and Rupert built her a "music room" - he later let me know that it was as if I was in the room playing for her. I would like to hear these recordings again sometime-They are not in the archives at the UCLA Library since all that material is prior to 1965 - If anyone knows where they are, I would appreciate knowing.
The handwritten manuscript mentioned in this letter was a large portion of my "Chinese In Montana" novel, pages I never received back, and they, too, exist in some archive as yet unknown to me-at one point they were in the Brooklyn bank vault where the Diaries were stored, but that is all I know at this point. I'll have to re-construct them from memory, perhaps...."Ah life! It exceeded imagination." Thanks to Marguerite Young for that expressive summation.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I believe in Libraries. I believe in Music. And I believe in bringing the two together.I believe that our Public Libraries are the best possible venues for the realization of the master composers' intent that their music be heard by everyone - When you read the words of Bach, Mozart, & Beethoven they make this unmistakably clear - Whether it is Bach telling us that his Preludes & Fugues are meant to bring us spiritual refreshment, or Mozart taking such delight in hearing his 7th Sonata being whistled & hummed by a gardener, or Beethoven using the words of the poet to convey his intent - "Here's a kiss for all the world."
Our Public Libraries embody the true significance of the word "inclusive."
I love performing great piano masterworks for library audiences.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Mumbai was still Bombay when the "Vignettes" were recovered there-Here is a continuation of this material published by the Dabholkar Press, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Poona, India
Where there was only water, the firmament laid upon the firmament, I should remember her as the lonely heart of all, even as she had been in that last month where the old values had shifted before my eyes, the old certainties had been broken and like the waves wandering and tossed as the sorrows of the human heart were enlarged beyond nature...Her hands busy or folded at the wound where the breast was missing, she would sit still by the window, wrapped in those memories beyond the province of sense, but then, suddenly bethinking herself of her common sense which had been so lavish, must stir, move, cry out. And there was nothing certain but, at last, her baldness which had ever been hers from the beginning, from the first day to the last and the outgoing of the morning and the outgoing of the evening when she should be seen no more but as the essential loneliness of every mortal heart and soul and body when each must go alone even upon the wings of the wind, even upon the tide which does not return. (885-86)
What motive in this quest but the search for life, for love, for truth that does not fail? I had come because of my own heart's need for an answer. I had come because of the searchings of other souls, the dead, the lost, because of a chance remark overheard on the city streets, because of the encompassing darkness, because of my mind which had been filled with self, because I must find my way from the darkness to the ultimate light. I had come because of a dead girl's love letters scattered on the floor of her empty bedroom, the palm leaves crossed above the marble mantel piece, her rosary hanging on a brass bedpost, because of her suicide, because of a deaf musician, because of a drunkard's celestial dream of childhood, because of the answers not heard, because of a blind man's groping for his coffee cup at an all-night quick-lunch stand on the fog-shrouded waterfront of that great harbor city as he had asked of his companion -- When shall the light, Peter, enter my soul? (MMMD, 8)
These are scraps from the letters of Marguerite Young - When you visited her at home (which was quite rare, a whimsically granted "audience" with her dolls- "And this is Martha Washington & here are Gertrude Stein, and Alice B. Toklas, so, you see, everything turns out just fine after all....") scraps from the alchemist who created the great American novel which the New York Times heralded as a masterwork-saying it made such writers as Norman Mailer look like a motorcycle gang trying to prove a sort of literary masculinity-They were jealous of Marguerite, for they knew she was the great voice of American literature in the 20th century, and the history of literature would bear this out....Truman Capote called her "the cow"-but he knew who she was...a writer of much loftier stature than himself, and by far....So a few pages of my blog dedicated to this modest, Hoosier genius.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Anais says "I love your insight: refusal to despair."
Later she would take this phrase as the theme for her lectures. I remember her quiet entrance onto the stage - Lifting her hands, arms extended, palms up, she seemed to lift the entire audience to their feet as she said, in the quietest of voice -
"WE ARE HERE TO CELEBRATE THE REFUSAL TO DESPAIR"
During her final illness, Anais was not able to meet some of her appointments - Here is a letter she wrote to the director of the Mann Ranch Seminars in Ukiah, California - I was handed the enormous responsibility of being the "substitute guide" in her Workshop For Writers - It turned out to be a magical weekend, just on the eve of my departure for India where I was for a year Senior Fellow of the Institute For Advanced Studies at Deccan College in Pune, under a grant from the U.S. State Department -
Marguerite seldom dated her letters, but this one contains two - note the missing year on both - August 26 is her birthday. There would be a celebration-5 people to celebrate Marguerite's 65th birthday at Anais Nin's Washington Square home in the Village. New Harmony refers to the subject of Marguerite's first book of prose "Angel In The Forest" - I was visiting New Harmony when this letter was written.