It amazes and puzzles me how a few back and forth words .... can set me on my way toward rediscovery of past pleasures in life.
Those are words I wrote a few days ago, and the same thing has happened to me again -- all ready -- only in a slightly different manner. I read a post about letters written during World War II by a well-known writer, Iris Murdock. The first thing -- or, rather, the first person -- who entered my mind was a not-so-well-known writer, Mildred Aldrich. She wrote letters, too, mostly of a different sort than those by Iris, during World War I.
Mildred was a school teacher, a newspaper reporter and a woman who began her own literary magazine dedicated to photography, music, acting, books and other arts. She left the United States in 1898 to take up residency in France for the remainder of her life.
In France, Mildred worked as a translator, made friends with literary types such as Gertrude Stein and wrote a few books of her own. I encountered her, I am almost hesitant to say, because of her association with World War I and my own interest in the study of warfare -- warfare then, now and forevermore.
Here, for you, if you are at all interested, is a brief moment with Mildred, while I take leave to quietly slip away into the mist of Neverland:
A Hilltop on the Marne
By Mildred Aldrich
Being Letters Written
June 3-September 8, 1914
June 3, 1914
Well, the deed is done. I have not wanted to talk with you much about it until I was here. I know all your objections. You remember that you did not spare me when, a year ago, I told you that this was my plan. I realize that you -- more active, younger, more interested in life, less burdened with your past -- feel that it is cowardly on my part to seek a quiet refuge and settle myself into it, to turn my face peacefully to the exit, feeling that the end is the most interesting event ahead of me -- the one truly interesting experience left to me in this incarnation.
I am not proposing to ask you to see it from my point of view. You cannot, no matter how willing you are to try. No two people ever see life from the same angle. There is a law which decrees that two objects may not occupy the same place at the same time -- result: two people cannot see things from the same point of view, and the slightest difference in angle changes the thing seen.