1977 – Part One

Jan 2 (1977)

I’m not afraid of being insane – but I am afraid of getting to know myself to the point where it becomes harder and harder to communicate with others. To become like Marcia [a schizophrenic woman who sought refuge at OWL the prior year] where the multi-dimensionality of the symbolism is understandable only to oneself. Of interest only to oneself.

It seems I have to choose between killing off most of me or not communicating with people – my writing as an attempt to bridge that – yet also a cause. If no one else will even care about these words, how can I?

Maybe, says Connie (Guilland, a Montessori teacher I was in love with), we make those many selves so we can have company in here.


Schedule a reading at Mother Kali’s of Review of Concert – start with PMD article



What do you know now that makes it all all right? One’s life? Is it only your life? Or are you enlightened?

So much I wanted to say to you, ask you. Just turning on the lights to get the phone makes it mostly disappear. And to actually call you –

I mean, how can you call somebody up on the phone and ask – what secret did your death teach you?



Connie –






Several people have remarked how I look like EK-R.  When Dad saw her picture in the paper, he thought for a second it was a picture of me. Here she is, the winner of the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross look-alike contest.


We don’t actually resemble each other – but I can see it.



Dear Mom,

I almost wish I had another way to start this letter: I thought of “Dear Jessie” just because “Dear Mom” invites us right into that set where you are “Mom” which carries with it so much I have to dump.

I want to come to the point where you are first of all a co-equal person whose gifts I can appreciate freshly and whose failings I can view with compassion – and still all the while never for a moment deny that you are my mother – for there is no relationship more sacred than that.

And yet the facts are that that twenty-three year old girl who all so unpreparedly became a mother – prey to the vices and advices of ancestors and “experts” I see her with compassion

from now, my thirty-six-year-old self can hear her tell me how it was then to be that mother, in 1940, and I hear you, and I know you then, and, retroactively, I befriend you there, Mother

But it still is true that

you are the one who smiled “Mom’s smile.”


And you are that first and greatest


whose shocks have resounded

through the rest of my life

losing you to David

then Pearl to Don

then Connie to John

and lately, Dianne to God,

the unbeatable Sibling Rival


I am so alone,

but, oh, I can almost remember

a time when I was not alone


When I was the fulfillment of someone’s dream.

All those treasured china baby dolls

magically come alive

in this beautiful, wise

real live baby at your breast,

at peace as she heard again our heartbeat


I have been the miracle come true for someone, and it was for a woman,

And I have loved a woman

and we have been one and we have been sacred to one another and it was you, Mother.

And it is because at a deep and dancing part of my being that I remember who we were


, Mom,

it is because I remember this that now I know

that life is for loving each other

and I study how to love

my best resemblance of deepest and most solemn love

is with a woman

molded into me at an ancient level,

is the memory of how to love as we have loved, the memory of

how same and same have blessed each other.

And somehow, Mom, they’ve made it so that you were ashamed and afraid when I remembered this. And began to love our kind….


And it is a lost paradise, and if you had been wiser, Mom, it would have meant less pain for me –

it is no power to give a 23-year-old-girl – to be someone’s mother – I knew that when Marcella and I began to break upon each other,

and we mothers try ourselves endlessly

because we understand how important we have been

what we need, then, is

compassion for ourselves –


But I don’t even know whether you want me to tell you any of this or not. At Bandon when we all ate the mushrooms I put on this music and fell into your arms crying       you patted me, a little bemused at the materialization of a 34-year-old-baby, and you and Marcella and I sat and I cried and cried about how I had come out of you, and Marcella had come from me.Well, your considered reaction was not positive. So I don’t know how much you want to know me.

Because we are different people. And that has to be OK.

It’s just that it’s hard not to need it from you, because of all the people there have ever been in the world and will ever be,

it was you,

Jessie, fall of ‘40

it was you

who once did know me – did know me all.

We had been so recently one, anyway –

and I was the star of your movie ..

And you looked me love.



401 Terrace St.




With every toke you take say,

Mother Mary Juanna, woman-weed,

I toke to you

for remembrance

that now is now

and all we really wanted

was to know each other and to be kind.

Or something similar


Make some copies for R&J Mountaingrove


Give Ruth M.G. To Syl for trade 1




Call Syl.


Send Ruth MG to Dianne & Sue.


One would like so much to teach some of these to children




Connie – I would just like little girls to know that this is an alternative. I would like them to have heard of it.


Present for Lucy Treelight:

tape and a dried flower

and a piece of

pearly everlasting

& letter


I was a trippist nun

with you and Sue

now I’d like to offer my assistance,

I’d like to be your wife

and sister

I’d like to be your wife.

[to myself]


Hint: if you’re inclined to lose things, remember about the watch, how you watched to see when you’d lose it. Watch to see yourself losing things.


I’d like to give you some wedding presents.

A pair of soft-warm yoga pants – I’d like to make them for you, but if I don’t have time, I’ll just buy them for you.

A running suit when/if you decide you want one.




If this life is all a dream, then who are you all?


And if I’m God and God is everything then how come I don’t know/experience everything. Or maybe I do, eventually and therefore eternally.

Only here and now are being here and now

and I am being this one here and now.

But who is I?






Dear Meg,

It would be a very nice thing for me if you would listen to this – it’s

17 minutes long.

It’s “A Letter to Paid My Dues” – I’d sent them my manuscript on the Women-on-Wheels concert.

PMD replied they loved the review of the concert, but they’d already done so much on the four of you…. And would I review records and tapes for them?

And this is a sort of reply to them. It names a reality I would like to feel women-singers were conscious of. It is a place of a great deal of pain. … I may be putting my worst foot forward to introduce myself to you this way … However what I say at the beginning is true: “In not all of the versions of my life is the following a dominant theme…”

Note: the place I left is Ashland, “here” is Eugene.

Note: the wish at the end is not a request to you. It is a wish I wrote to PMD. I recorded this a while ago without intent to give it to you.

Note: this tape is not necessarily private from anyone who might be around where you are staying.

j.t.p. Time’schild

ie, “tangren”


P.S. I’ve decided to fill up the rest of the tape with stuff I’ve done that might interest you. This is

strictly optional, as it may be too much to ask you to listen to it all. I know how much people need to be seen by you.

On the other hand, maybe you want to know me more. If you do, here’s a private radio show for you to be listened to at your convenience. I don’t know if it’s your kind of thing or not.




Sample poem read with you in the background.  It was written in September on the beach when I braided and cut off my long hair and made a ritual under the full moon and the writing began to pour through me. I have no idea if it’s to your taste or not. Sorry about the singing. I need to do a better reading, but the aforementioned pain makes it unfeasible right now.

  1. “Thyme” is often spelled “time” –

“Alice” is Alice in Wonderland

and Alice Toklas

and Alice my 94-year-old grandmother

and, oddly, one of my closest friends.

Who all love to puzzle with words.

“Alice” is sometimes me.


Tape label said:

Oh, my gosh! This is really a tape for Meg

from jean tangren pearl Time’schild

PLAYING TIME: 17 min + 3 min (optional)



do see it some: Lots of Holly’s songs – “Tender Lady”, esp. Margie’s new one “Do you hate yourself, lovable lady” etc.  But nothing really addressed to the pain of risking so much and being so open and so alone in this way. I suspect there

are others like me – tho I’d sure like to meet them. Fan club, anyone?


Sue: Margie is Imagee is Mirage is an ex-college professor trippist who could be neo-Dianne* if she weren’t straight.

Forest is also an ex-c.p. – she’s probably in her late forties, is a lesbian, has a 24-year-old lover. I love her. Sometimes she reminds me of a 10-year-old Campfire Girl.

These are sessions 2 and 3 of the ∂ level workshop near Santa Rosa that I attended this summer, the place where I met the Mu circle.



*The voice should partly show why.



(I taught one course for the philosophy department for free, winter term.. I wanted to develop a course on Death and Dying” to teach at SOSC when I returned to Ashland.  The Philosophy Department, from which I had obtained a PhD in 1975, granted me the use of the office of a colleague who was on leave.)


Jan 24 (1977)

How long have I been wandering in that madness up there at the philosophy department?

They aren’t trying to understand. They’re trying to not understand. You have to wipe their noses in it – that’s what my thesis did.

I stay inside my office listening to their voices – Ebersole – no matter how badly I have to go to the bathroom I wait until he’s out of the hall – Arney, Don, Herbert. I feel totally undercut by that reality. I don’t buy it – my considered judgement is that I can’t buy it, don’t, won’t. Yet there they’re all holding it up. And I am a pretty ridiculous figure – I’m sure my class is the laughing stock of the department.

The articles I’m reading don’t interest me very much. Yet somehow I’m supposed to answer them, …. “Another world?” “Another space?” says Herbert. There’s no need to make such an extravagant assumption…. In fact, he really has a terrible time figuring out what it means – “Another space, like the space of dreams … Well, maybe you’ll make some sense of it for me….”

Is this oppression or am I stupid or what?

And no other reality to check in with. Actually, tonight I have one. Trish arrived last night – moving here from LA – staying here till she finds a place.

Spent the day feeling totally confused and off-balance, reading about death, thinking about the three floors to the cement outside my window, wanting nothing but for death to come, trying to write something, a beginning for the textbook, unable … Trying to read – compiling bibliographies – measuring the distance from the top of the art museum to the cement below – wanting only to be through with this nagging problem of this life, wanting only to go somewhere home, finally – to be through – reading about reincarnation – wondering if it’s really true you have to come back – maybe being a little baby again would be better –

is there any way to die without pain? (Where is the button I can push to vanish?)


Marcella – the one person who really loves me – But that doesn’t solve my life – Certainly from the top of Prince Lucien Campbell would insure

out and not just  dismemberment. … I don’t really think I might … But it goes through my mind constantly.

Trish says I’m in a bad environment. How nice to have a reminder – it

could be that. Anyway, this doesn’t feel at all like a path with a heart.

But … It was supposed to distract me from the horrible lonely emptiness of my life – since looking directly at it wouldn’t get me anywhere.

What am I to do?


Marcella, I love you.


Night of the Black Dot Quest

get a group together from this class of ones who liked it.


  1. Kerr will


Forgiving yourself –


finding that your life


seems right, on the whole –


that you approve of it.


Exploding always with

projections, expectations into

the future, I return here

always with – wouldn’t it

be nice if … if I were

going to actually



by this weekend to see

R&J once more – or

see my class again to

ask questions questions questions


How was it for you?

Did you


it? Why or why not?

Do you think it was irresponsible?

Does it touch your fears?


Do you understand more

about a vision quest –

you have just been on

a vision quest ….


She says, right across the

hall from Phil Dept office –


vision quest – the naughty word –

philosophy and wonder?

Now there’s a typical example of a mistake

if there ever was one –

what’s there to wonder?

No! We may have to resort to exorbitant measures –

but wonder, never


Write article for


on 2 women in religious movement – Annie D. and E K-R

Who are the women behind Psychic Disc Behind the Iron Curtain.


Otter search on jus mine

course in vision questing …

Who were these LCC women?


Why are people executed in the morning? The next watch … Is it our pornography to envy the chance to keep watch? And our horror. … But the deaths of martyrs are interestinger  still. So make him a martyr? No.

Look for saints.


Fields of specialization

Experimental Theology

Metaphysics, Theoretical and Applied

History of Leaps

Feminist Existentialism

Pythagoreanism as an alternate reality.

Instead of seeing if you can find your way clear not to understand; see if you

do understand.


Prayer before class:

May my acts not harm anyone; let only those hear who the hearing will do good, keep safe the vision I offer, may I violate no one’s free will or use no one as an object.– But give thanks for the chance to give my gift.


Write an article on EKR now – this weekend. – How she’s changing {typist’s note: may be charging the existentialist tonal a word from Carlos Casteneda’s “Don Juan” series} – radically altering the world picture – because of her credentials – the battle I wage with phil dept. consciousness – is there absence of pain?

That is not the way to buy it….


Absence of pain = presence of pain in the religious state of mind?

Only in the Mahlerian sense. Mahler and Ken Russell –

Fuck the book on life after death right now –


Write what you wanna write! Think what you wanna think! It’s not as if we have all the time in the world to fuck around.


It is what it is.

It is what it has been.

All the good was truly good –

and I have been kinder –

by my own truest lights, kinder than I usually admitted to myself.




The tireder I get, the more standard reality takes over –


brain it teems with cosmic

schemes and fantasies brought

about by realizing of value –

no job, that, that makes you

contemplate death with despairing

longing, pornography of the

jump from the top of the art

museum across the quad


–forbidden pleasure –

by my own fears and circumstances – and my common sense to hold on – but the

pornography are there, the longing is there as outside Ebersole and Zweig stalk the halls and everything intimates how disappointed at best they are with me….

But I see it, the Emperor has no clothes! I win. I might as well. Then I don’t want to kill myself at all – I like myself and know I’m just a little ahead of my time

like Camelot


and anger?

Well, that’s a waste of energy, I believe …

Said Alice

who often surprised herself at her own when cross-examining herself.


Don [my brother] –

It makes me glad that there is someone as high as you in the world. You really seek to serve a high vision.

So do I – in my own way.    Different ways –

yet I know and see constantly how our visions overlap.


You’re the only person I know who gets as totally excited about and impassioned by and made gleeful by the vision of things.


Sorry, … I’m tired.


When I flew cross-country night to day on the edge of the planet I so often heard you – as plain as if you were there, with my right inner ear I heard you exclaim a hundred times “Oh, My God! Jean! Look at that!”


In lots of ways we have troubled Karma, Don. We have had troubled karma, Don – but at its best, you may imagine how glad I am to have you in the world – you know what that is to me that you exist.




[Back to the Black Dot experiment]


Q: Would you be at all inclined to say that in any meaningful way some of you

did die the next noon?


What would you say about this? Now you’ve been thru it live each day as if it were your last.

When I contemplate from the “pretend world” of my execution in the morn –oh, my body, I am really afraid for it – by unknown means – blackwidow spider seems a likely candidate for God, if I read the signs right. Cf. Ingmar Bergman, Black widow spiders and the Fitch family; … And Mom; the spider on Grandpa’s hand….

But, anyway, when I remember it’s probably just pretend and though the chances are higher than usual that I won’t (In case you really do create your own reality in some monkey-paw-horror-story fashion – for one reason) (And plausible scenarios involving a deranged male student who is pushed to the brink of revenge in order not to become conscious decided to give me a final exam instead. .. for another.) (Possible witch trial for negligent homicide –

Are there indeed trans-ethical values and visions worth taking a chance for? Does Willy Unsoldt [a famous mountain climbing guide] get imprisoned when climber dies? “Sure, he could get killed, your son. That’s what it’s all about.”

I reconsecrate myself to insuring as best I can to keep my vision-sharing gentle … but insist I may, after all, be a shamana, a priestess, a vision seeker and a true teacher of philosophy. And that I judge it worth an absolutely minimized risk.


Q: (Answer from your past dead state.) Are you satisfied with your last day. How would you change it, actually?



Did you write any letters?

If not, why not?

Did you stay up all night?

Why not, or why?


Describe the shooting star being formed. Comet breaks up – years, etc. – comes into atmosphere – burns up in a flash – that long – only.

One looked up “Oh, another pretty shooting star,” she thought.

Her description was

(1) Ego centered.

(2) Off by quite a bit.

(3) Both of the above.


What if they’re having to be observationalists in physics.  This may not prove the logical positivists were right all along, at all. But that science presents us with a riddle.

And the answer is “yin.” There’s too much yang in your Weltanschauung. In science/reason as elsewhere.

We climb up the ladder of common sense to kick it to the winds,

we point to a reality for which

we have no concepts or words –

we have equations, but that’s all –

wave/particle – the words cannot say

what there is.

The After-physics prospectus.



Re: Politics, fear of ….

You may be more political than they –

or at least here now and real political

insights – in the Langian sense, even. “Political people

do oppress spiritual people.”

“at least, ‘too’”

Down-focusers oppress joy freaks.

Love is what we came here for.

Nothing matters but how much you have loved ….

Note the referent of “love” is missing

but supplied by:  others  yourself  the universe  A.

proper name  at least all of the above.


Name and address and phone here and permanent

In case I want to publish anything you write

see if you want to give permission


Thoughts coming back too fast, body too tired to try to capture.

Feel I’ve been shown my calling – my path, again.

Remember Margie Anthony [feminist philosopher]

Life may be too short to write the book you’re trying to write now.

Fly! Write what you wanna write. Send it where you want.


This may be more like what you’re supposed to do – and anyway this year’s

primary purpose is to find out what you can and want to do. Wants and don’t wants come first – for mortals, I believe.

Why not do what you’d like to try, Don’t assume it won’t work.

And if it doesn’t, well, if it’s any consolation, they just might not see, and you may yet be right.

Keep on writing.

Write what you wanna write.

Do what you wanna do with it.

Call Stuart (“Little”) beseech his help

Desist from practices that make you feel like jumping off the art building.

& places, too.


Never mistake yourself

never think you have given them the power to define reality/value/meaningfulness

because you haven’t and

that’s what your path with a heart

is all about.


So when you think you have given them the power to pronounce you hopelessly stupid and wickedly irresponsible intellectually and of course dishonest you are naturally confused/asleep

and can’t remember anything.


(Does the word “brain-washing” mean anything to you just now?)


Because if you let them be right

your whole life now is sinking rapidly

and you have delusions of philosophical megalomania.

But you finally did decide

that assuming they were right

pragmatically speaking

made you have tension headaches

and forego magic and be timidified

and, again, pragmatically

it works better to assume

that I am right.

And that I understand

some things I, at least, have wanted to understand –


I like my Weltanschauung. I think it deserves wide circulation as an alternative




Rilian [character in The Silver Chair, in the Narnia series by CS Lewis]