January 1, 1981       Well, actually January 2, 1981

It’s well past midnight – must be 3:00 or 4:00. The year turned last night unnoticed by me – I was making copy #7 of “School Starts and Tangren Has a Dream” and “Oct 13 or ‘A Theory’” I now have made through copy 14! And written accompanying letters to send out to Thyme, Butterfly, Adrienne Rich, SW, Lesbian Archives and Sue. Oh, sweet release. Only thing is, tomorrow’s my last day, I still need to write through “January 1980” one more time, letter to Julia P. and Sarah H.  and I need to put something on the other side of those seven tapes – 2:00 AM Valentine’s Morning, I think, though, for real strangers would not Fantasy letter to D.K.  be better? And what? That path is complicated.

Have not smoked today. Got up at 12:00. After breakfast went right to work making tapes. Took a walk at 2:30 as the sun went down. Worked – till 6:00 – to big “New Year’s Supper” at Mom and Dad’s – even Roland and Evern {?} and their kids were there. I could barely make myself go, but it turned out all right. I didn’t go early or stay afterwards. Came home and slept – up at 10:00 – worked all night.


Sunday January 4 {1981}

Well, my ‘week’ of ‘solitude’ is over and I must gear myself back around to a daytime existence. Have to be at school tomorrow at 8:00 for registration – there till noon, then begin classes the next day. Not at all sure what we will talk about – thought of possibly “honesty” “lying:” “honor” etc. read through A. Rich’s article, hoping for some ideas – not much I can use with the people I will have.

I’ve had several dreams about teaching –usually a matter of trying to generate a topic of interest. Even had one the second night I slept with Hannah – woke up from being in the classroom where there were two men in suits “observing”; trying two or three different topics, not generating any interest, finally asked the students what they wanted to talk about. No suggestions. Made it very clear to me, even if it was not evident to Hannah, the kinds of pressures I live under. Today woke up from another similar dream – made myself lie there and think about things. How inspirited I can feel from my work there sometimes; how classes often do go well, how the days always go by if you wait; how in ten weeks it will be over.


Feeling depressed today and that my life isn’t worth much – that maybe after all I am “missing it” by being so introspective rather than seeking fulfillment with other people. Kirsten was here last night with Marcella. She’d never seen Deborah Kerr so we went to watch “:An
Affair to remember” on the videotape at my parents. (Kirsten saw what I saw about how D.K. was like Connie Guilland)

I admired her in pants, watched her face, and felt, not mystical identification, but a sense of her being something of a stranger, one small woman who looked like that. (Her voice seemed more real to me, more moving.) Well, anyway, I’m having some dumb inarticulate thoughts about how imaginary is my love for Deborah Kerr. If I actually were with her, wouldn’t there as likely as not be this sense of her being a stranger, someone I don’t know and don’t particularly feel anything for? And she isn’t always open, and when she’s not, there’s nothing particularly magical about her.

And it I were to have an actual relationship with her, could I bear it if it were to turn bad? Where then would I turn for comfort? Who would I love?

Lots of self-doubt this past day or two about the value of my writing. Partly because of sending it out …

A lot, it has to do with sending things to both Adrienne Rich and Elsa Gidlow yesterday, even though I was having doubts about both things – Sent A. Rich a manuscript – of “Oct 13 or “A Theory” recommending it as a comment on the issue Julia Penelope had raised in the latest issue of S.W. – on the validity and importance of sexually focused lesbian art. Wondering if it is that, or just a review of Tee Corinne’s slide show or just a bit from my personal life. The first thing I’ve sent out to be published that I’ve felt that much doubt about. Finding myself reading thru Rich’s  ‘Lies, Secrets, and Silences” finding in there all kinds of things that make me feel de-valued, that make me think she will not like my work.

Anne Sexton’s death. “…recalling the effect on so many young women poets of Sylvia Plath’s suicide  (…unfair to Plath herself and her own struggle for survival). “We have had enough suicidal women poets, enough suicidal women..” “…because of her work she’s still a presence, and as Tillie Olsen has said: ‘Every woman who writes is a survivor.’ So … would it matter to her that Tee’s art enabled me to mourn/remember her, just another of the too many women who took that way? Well, why not? I enabled a very beautiful moment in her life to live on – Wouldn’t it matter to her that Tee’s art enabled me to write something? Still, it’s so self-absorbed – A.R. obviously does not live in huge amounts of solitude, probably considers it unfeminist to do so.

Well, so, what if she rejects it – she may. What if she doesn’t understand it, can’t use it? So what? Don’t you know she’s not the Ultimate Validator? There is no U.V. , you’ve known that for a while. Yes, but in another compartment I’ve said to myself – ‘Success in writing. What would it be? Well, it would have something to do with Adrienne Rich reading my writing. (This comes, perhaps, from a time of seeing her writing in Amazon Quarterly, Sinister Wisdom, letters to Ruth and Jean, and feeling reassured that these were not second rate publications but were where the action was. “If she writes in them she must read them.” “If I publish in there she may read it .” a little thought. a long time ago. And it wasn’t just Adrienne Rich you had such thoughts about, but Elsa Gidlow, Tee Corinne and lots of others. Adrienne was important to you as the first feminist poet who spoke in that way to you. (“She’s awfully angry.” I said to myself sometimes. But then it would come to me, “She’s angry about what’s happened to me.”) it’s a wanting to speak back when one has been spoken to, I guess.

But anyway, “if there is no Ultimate Validator…” That felt like a dangerous thing to say, a slippery slope, to begin upon.

If there is no Ultimate Validator, there is just your writing, variously interesting, variously speaking and variously vapid to various people then … perhaps there is no such thing as literary ‘success’ … Maybe I have already what I seek – the creation itself, the openness, the intouchness, the exultant witnessing, the finding of words, – surely this is what “being a writer” is all about for me. Surely this is what’s of value. But – slippery – something is missing now. What am I taking time off to do then, quitting my job over?

Susan Griffin: “it’s in the nature of a work of art that it wants to be shared.”

So Julia Penelope can pan it? So I can be pointed out to be “white solipsist” (if not actually racist). No. so it can be shared, enjoyed, so it can bring healing, as it did for you.


Beaver calls – it’s foggy down there. Earlier it had been so here, but it had become bright and disappeared at noon. The fire in my kitchen stove was suddenly too hot – I’d let it die out. Anyway, we decide to latihan separately. I decide upon the bedroom first time. A chair in the sunshine, a beautiful room, I begin to see – with its pinks and purples and whites and greens – “Like paradise!” Kirsten had exclaimed.

I had a good latihan – singing and talking very loud, moving the energy through my chest and throat.

Then started out for a walk, but, tired of roads, ended up wandering around on the time-change hill”, as Libré calls it, watching the mists rise and clear, come and go beyond the near trees, patches of blue, so soft and intense, the colors of the weeds. Sometimes, often, when  wonder what the reasons are to be alive,  I am answered. “The colors.” Visiting various bushes, trees, places, watching a patch of miniature fern and other tiny plants wandering through granite pebble-boulders. The footprint where a deer has stopped becomes a dell, a grotto; and in it, spiderwebs hung with tiny liquid pearls coil down in spiral staircase, or interlace like laps of pearl in the hair of Boticelli maidens.

All on only cookies. How could you risk it all to smoke? Well, I haven’t in 3 or 4 days now – and though I thought my lungs were much better, couldn’t really feel anything of that ‘pain’, still, when I shook things loose in latihan, I could. Still in one place in my right lung. Well, so, you’d hoped for possibly being allowed one pipeful on this last day, but I guess you’d better not. Anyway, latihan is clearly good, for it all. And yoga, as you have experienced lately – finding the tight places holding the toxins, the places you don’t even feel when you are concentrating elsewhere, finding them, loosening them, letting things flow again.


Think of that – I’ve written 88 pages since vacation started. None of it very good writing, but I have no doubt it’s worth doing anyway,


…Then that letter and poem I sent off to Elsa Gidlow – too long?  And with two bits of poetry I probably wouldn’t ever put out as poetry – “Chaste Dianna”, indeed; and “flametouch” – how hackneyed – Well, that’s too strong a word – I don’t actually dislike either of them – it’s just that they’re not very original … not something I would put forth as my best work. And “each cell is bright with burning” – I’m becoming self-conscious as well I might over using “cells” here and in “wakened, naked, cell to cell” – Isn’t it true that the reason you tend to use that image in those descriptions is Elsa’s “no cell of self unexploded.” And what a dull image mine is compare to that… Though just a moment ago I was thinking how “cell to cell” describes an adjacency of cells which is the condition of a single body – thus, two bodies “cell to cell” images a closeness like that of a single body – to spell it out. That is actually an extraordinary good and complex bit of writing – though no one seems to have realized yet how good – except – perhaps Thyme.


Yellow delicious apple and Camembert cheese – what a treat. Important to have real treats and not just furtive pleasures (eg. Chocolate chip cookies) when alone.


I called Beaver after laitihan to tell her what a good one it had been. We had a good, reminding talk. About asking and about keeping an eye out for answers.

Afterwards, on the toilet, I decided to “cast” a book – the first that came to hand was A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh – Mom had given it to me. With my luck lately, I’ll probably get the ‘double sunrise’ or something equally useless, but I trusted enough to try it anyway. The first sentence I saw was, “new ground has been opened up, revealing the  undiscovered depths of woman’s emotional life, through the pioneering literature of brilliant writers such as  Florida Scott Maxwell, Anais Nin, Simone deBeauvoir, Doris Lessing, and in our own country, writers as diverse as Elizabeth Janeway and May Sarton.”

So I did end up doing it anyway – in the last minute. It’s about 2:00 AM now, and I have to get up at six to do registration until noon. Classes the next day. But tonight, oh, finally, I let myself copy through what needed redoing of “January 980” – Changing Libré’s name to ‘Lingua’. Making a few improvements, getting reacquainted with the work. Now it’s ready, replicate with a letter, for the copiers tomorrow; then to send it off to Julia and Sarah. Take by the tape recorder which all too soon broke down under me – but not before I recorded 7 copies (#’s 7-14)  of “School Starts … a Theory”. Wrote several letters, too, which I will send with tapes when I can do other side and send them: Thyme, Butterfly, Sue, Lesbian Archives.

Also wrote to Elsa Gidlow. Also sent the copy of “Oct 13” to  Sinister Wisdom.  Also wrote a first draft anyway of a letter to Hannah. So I did accomplish quite a bit this week. Plus: straightened, cleaned, chopped wood, washed clothes plus: some, anyway, yoga walking latihan, a lot of sleeping, if not much remembered dreaming. Ninety pages of writing in here (no wonder my right arm gets tight), no one murdered this year, a relative feeling of safety in the days and nights. Stayed up all night till 5 or 6 several times – the good, productive long velvet nights. About this time, if I go out to get another armful of wood for the fire I will see

Orion              Taurus                       and the Pleiades

lined up over the western ridge.

The noise of the creek and the crackling of the fire and the scratching of my pen the only sounds. And the tickings and groans any house makes at night as it heats and cools.


Send in “May Bee” poem to Womanspirit for spring

Monday evening, Jan 5, 1981

Stayed up last night till 4:30, got two hours light sleep then up again to do the morning’s registration at the gym. Mostly copied out a letter to Uncle Henry and read Jane Eyre – Rochester has just become a presence.

At one point today, idly watching the parade of students and the various styles of jeans, the few in skirts or suits,  the older women and men, the wide-eyed babies in back-packs – I noticed a women with her back to me – who looked so like Dianne. The fitted jacket, the size, the stance and way of moving, the dark curls cut just the same. She stood turned from me for a long time, while a part of me hugged this vision to myself – the sense that she was there. Wondered to myself at the power of such things, that just this size and form, just this kind of hair, should be so terribly dear to me. Finally she turned, revealing a face that of course didn’t fit at all, and moved off, a student bent on registration at SOSC. .. A silly little moment – but one I imagine many of us have lived.

Ran a few errands – my tape player to the repairman, copies made at the copiers – the aftermath of creative endeavor. Then home and to bed for another couple hour’s sleep. Up, leftover pizza, coffee and cookies, reading more Jane Eyre waiting for the cookies to work. Suppressing the strongest need to smoke. .. Knowing it was silly to think of smoking now when I was so far from myself; I must let some other remedies try themselves first, and if smoke is to be used, let it be used in reaching for the heights. (You can tell I’ve been reading Charlotte Brontë; oh well, what’s wrong with expressing oneself that way?) Obviously I’m not at the brink of the heights so to speak at the moment – wait for the cookies to work. And while you’re waiting if you need to do something, listen to the breathing tape or do yoga. But, no, I dare not put down this book or it will get me. What? The unhappiness, the depression, the panic, that my classes start tomorrow and I can’t seem to think of a good way to start off, an interesting topic. That the whole term stretches before me to invent again. Well, why not take the bull by the horns. Sit down and think about it? Look over your notes, read and think a little. You know it would probably help. You’d probably think of a plan if you let yourself. But, no, I have manuscripts to collate, letters to send. I will not let that reality of SOSC take over one minute earlier than needed. Besides, if I think it all out now, it may just be warmed over by tomorrow . morning. Though it would allay my anxieties tonight. Well, now that the cookies have begun and I have put down J.E. and taken up my pen – maybe I should get going. I have at least to do some reading for ethics. Would be wonderful if I could come up with three good questions / considerations about honesty for tomorrow. Or something just more revealing about our backgrounds and who we are. Also, need a suggestion re: topic for next time. Oh, well, this belongs in my “preparation musings”, not my journal. Guess I must spend some time tonight preparing.

But whence is this sudden hatred of my life. I hate having to be out there with all those other people. I know that to them what’s good in life lies in basketball or concerts or skiing or romance or children or friends. No one would understand the point of sitting in the quiet in the semi-dark alone. So why does that damage you so? No one asked you to make a common world with them today – and yet you did a little bit anyway – and felt de-validated in it. Why? So if anyone did speak to you you would not seem mad or incompetent.  Actually, the 3 or 4 short conversations were all right and when asked how my holiday was I spoke of the writing I had done. So why this pain now? Could it have something to do with tomorrow? Oh, Tangren, you want it to all go away – so much. Wish I could make it go, but only Time can do that. I am even afraid to put down this book for the comfortlessness I feel in facing the evening. Well, dread is always darkest before the dawn. I wish there were some chocolate chip cookies left.


Jan 6, Tuesday {1981}

First day of school this term, not nearly so traumatic a usual. The morning class has lots of women – though all young. People seemed light and friendly – the afternoon class was the usual mix – three older women, the usual un-counted compliment  of vacant-seeming young men who signed up either because they couldn’t get anything else or because they don’t want early classes interfering with their partying. Well, maybe some will surprise me – that certainly can happen. One black person in each class – both from Africa.

Didn’t smoke beforehand, though I was sorely tempted – especially before the afternoon class. But, I don’t know, I just knew I couldn’t I guess. … Also I knew some of the students already, was friends with them; had some real friends in each class. That helped. …And then, perhaps, ethical issues are not as hard to get in touch with as metaphysical ones. Everyone has thought and experiences around most of these issues. …Well, I know Ethics is not always easy  to teach, and I’ve been devastated by students and classes in there before – but somehow I don’t feel so worried. Maybe I’m learning how to do it. Maybe I’m just “short.”

After school, cashed in my December paycheck $700.04 – not bad for the amount of work I did in December, huh? ‘Course it wouldn’t go far on doctor bills…. And mailed: letters to Ruth & Henry, to Nelly & Cedar, a tape to Butterfly, copies of the final version of ‘January 1980’ to Julia Penelope and Sue, and a letter to Hannah. I’m down to describing the minutest detail in here – my life is getting very simple indeed. Oh, well, errand and study tomorrow – no inspiration hitting tonight, maybe I’ll read Jane Eyre.


Friday morning, the 9th of January {1981}

Friday morning blues have got me bad – One real day of teaching and I’m already so full of discouragement and self-contempt. After my afternoon class yesterday I had an appointment to have my teeth cleaned, asked for the gas, a good thing, too, as she fairly chewed up my gums. … maybe my lungs are clearer than they usually were before – anyway, the nitrous seemed very strong; and yet it took me nowhere – I stayed thee in that office with my eyes closed and mulled around in my own thoughts – mostly ideas about dying and suicide. Picked up Marcella at John’s, we came home, started a fire, ate vienna sausage sandwiches and milk, read Oversoul Seven – a couple of chapters, then sat and read our own books until we went to bed… I’m reading I’m Jane Eyre; she, ManOWar. Then we made our bed in her loft, snuggled down, put on the tape and went to sleep. This morning I awoke shortly before seven from the first dream in a long time that I can recall anything of – Julia Penelope and Sarah Hoagland were turning down the Ms. of ‘January 1980’. They explained to me three things they found wrong – the dream at the end they didn’t understand- I can’t remember the second now though I did recall it – maybe it was that I didn’t identify myself clearly as a lesbian, the third was that it was not well-written enough – One of them was showing me a sentence from which many words could be eliminated, with gain in clarity. I wanted to protest that with my job I hadn’t had the time to work the writing though as I would have liked, but I know that had nothing to do with the decision. It all seemed so clear that it was quite a while into the morning before I remembered that I had worked over ‘January 1980’ a lot and that it was, if nothing else, powerfully and well written.

Oh, well, votes of no-confidence all around.

The morning class didn’t go very well – Talking about “class” is hard for me; I was a little inarticulate and also managed a few times to put some students a little uptight. Several said things later that indicated that I was making too big a deal out of ‘class’, the very best thing to do was not to think about it at all. As for Billie’s article, I think the majority of students felt that she shouldn’t be so ‘self-pitying’ – that she shouldn’t be so hung up on what her middle class friends think of her.

When I got to my office between classes my student evaluations were there. My morning class had rated me ‘outstanding’; the afternoon class, who I would not normally have polled, but did, this time, out of curiosity, rated me as just ‘average’ – There were some good comments and several such a that I was ‘too lib’, that there was no need for me to “knock philosophy all the time”, many that I should control the class more.

Teresa had said she’d come by shortly before office hours were over – I thought that might cheer me up – but instead she related to me two conversations she’d heard between youths in the class that were just contemptuous … How easy it is to get a grade, how all that’s required is a little bullshit.

I held off smoking at home – determined not to break my good record, but in the end I just couldn’t go back to face the afternoon class without some sense of purchase on the world, and had a few puffs, knowing that that was about the dumbest of al things to sacrifice my health for. In the afternoon discussion one man was talking about his life – how he’d worked so very hard on a job, he’d gotten very sick, saying sometimes your body will force you to quit if you won’t. Yes. Or is it just that I keep smoking so I’ll have that as an excuse to quit?


… Yet I do feel the afternoon class’s evaluation was in some ways justified – I didn’t do a good job; it was the best I could do, but it didn’t work, and I don’t know if I will do well this time – I feel there’s been better chances other years. I feel I am losing heart.


Saturday noon –                   Jan 10 {1981}

The depression continues. 2 dreams last night – in one I broke an expensive antique lampshade; in the other, a friend was missing from her house; I was terrified she was being raped and tortured.  Finally she showed up; I was holding her and crying and saying “I can’t go on this way.” Traceable, perhaps, respectively, to breaking a lightbulb last night and reading the New Women’s Times.

Yesterday afternoon went for about an hour’s walk up into the woods along the Loop Road – thinking of Charlotte Brontë walking over the moors. But here, today, instead of the “thousand things to bring the eye delight” one sees or averts one’s eyes from garbage and beer bottles, plastic straws and broken glass, junked cars shot full of bullet holes, tire marks everywhere a motorcycle can possibly try to go. Thinking about how many of my students would see these – as harmless high spirits”, I suppose; and how it seems t me – violent, hateful. Feeling over and over how hard it is to talk to them, knowing what different meanings the same words have to them and to me, how different are our sensibilities, our perceptions. It seems so hopeless – I just really don’t see how to get through to them.

Thinking a lot about suicide. Not in terms of immediateness – certainly I will get through this term somehow or other. And then, luckily, I do have some money to live for  few years. But then? Am I unfit for work in the world, being part of society?

Even my writing – comes from such an unusual sort of experience – will it be worth anything to anyone? What right have I have to simplify so now – and is it the right direction?

Smoked one pipeful just before afternoon class Thurs and had 3 puffs yesterday before the walk. Both times it really helped – but yet this morning the pain in my chest is much more noticeable.

About the job – this awful feeling of having nothing to give, really, nothing to teach, needing to somehow create the illusion that this is class.


Kali Phosphoricum  take 4X day

On Strike Against God Joanna Russ


Wednesday Morning:

Had a good day teaching yesterday – surprising. I have been in such  slump these past few days… Watching things relevant to the ethics class on TV – Monday saw three things – a bit in the morning on the spate of movies recently showing “extreme violence” against women … Came home in the bright morning sunshine to my house even then unable to hold down the feelings of horror and fear – the few short scenes they had showed, the women trapped and crying in hysterical fear as the camera stalked them. Libré and I did a latihan in the evening – it helped, but I was not through crying when the time was up. Also talking to her helped – just remembering with her that we are souls – that we are only temporarily here – and for a purpose. But what purpose? I say I want to be a writer – yet I don’t have any novels in my head or anything… Well, I’m far from myself these days. In the later evening saw 2 documentaries – one on Mother Teresa and one on nerve gas and chemical warfare.

I’d planned to talk on aging – had dutifully walked down to the library and taken out some books on the subject and begun to read around to them – But knew many of the young students would feel it didn’t apply to them – and it would be hard to get them beyond generalizations such as that it’s good to be nicer to old people… Anyway, decided in the morning to talk about Mother Teresa and the questions as to what are our obligations and where do we draw the line? Especially the afternoon class was good. Hmm. 2 pipefuls, though.

After class noticed that Deborah was leaking oil onto the street – I’d hit her bottom with a sharp little rock on my way out from Rootworks Sunday night (I’d gone up to visit Ruth and  Jean in their solitary time for a reality check – it did help.) Anyway, a punctured oil pan. The oil light didn’t come on, though I couldn’t measure any oil – so I drove he to the garage, hauled out my bag of books on war and pacifism and walked home. Supper and the news – a nice talk with a new prospective renter for the Beach St. house, a lesbian with a ten year old boy – not really enough time to do anything, feeling a little tired – read? There’s a TV movie on on a death and dying nurse – went down to David’s to watch it. Good. Home. Bed. Up, breakfast, now. A strange life – streamlined down this way – seems a little empty sometimes but certainly handleable. Sometimes my job fills my life in a pleasant way – as yesterday afternoon when I felt and some real satisfaction – and felt what a good job it is for the $, and wondered again about the  advisability of quitting – but then thought about the day’s 2 pipefuls and how very far I was (and am) from myself – thinking about all this external stuff. But what right have I to create a sheltered internal life and then expect others to be interested in it? Final answers to all such questions to be delayed until free time has commenced this summer.


Sunday morning January 17 {1981}

Well, several nice things happened in the last little bit, so I thought I should write them down even if the writer is not in ascendance right now.

I walked downtown from School – having talked about war and the draft in both classes and not even having bothered to get stoned for that – first day this year. “Good for you.”

Anyway, stopped by the library and found  “Charlotte Sometimes” for M & me to read – Libré recommended it.

On to the garage where Deborah’s bill was less than expected – they’d not had to get an new oil pain – only epoxied the ( I hope that’s its name) was their fault, so N.C. for that. $39 – coulda been worse. Praise be.

Then to pick up Marcella. John and M. weren’t back from the school skating party yet. I went in the back door – the animals, when they saw me, seemed to expect to be fed, and I didn’t see any reason not to. Then I sat in the living room and looked at an atlas that had caught my eye – looking up Haworth (not on the map) and Lahore. And wondering a little why I’d ever left. Thinking how nice it would be for them if the were coming home to a warm house and supper cooking and Cathy have come back. / When M. and I come back here, this, too, seems a nice house – but, well, superfluous, really. It could be just a good a life, in its own way, being a family together down at 710 Penn, it seems to me just then.

Well, that’s how far from myself I get when I spend the day giving the pros and cons on war and the draft, when I spend the day in ‘their’ world. Or else, there’s just another self, another world, another reality, that surfaced.

  1. and I came home and made salmon cakes, then put on our warm matching bright-red monk’s bathrobes Mom had given us for Christmas, pulled our chairs together in front of the fire, propped our feet up beside each other and read, each from our own books. We got sleep pretty early even though I’d had some expresso after supper. Went to bed in her cozy loft in the light of the moon filling towards full.

We slept twelve hours, it was so cozy in the morning up in that loft just to doze and dream. I had several dreams – I remember once knowing that I could either wake up  or go on with the dream – choosing to dive back into the dream, as one goes ahead with another chapter of a good book. The only dream I remember had to do with Libré. It was, indeed, the morning of her birthday today, and we had planned a latihan. But not only was L. there to latihan in the dream, but her mother, one of her other sisters, and Reenie (sp?). I was explaining to her mother just what latihan was. Two men appeared outside, making themselves at home on the deck. I went out to talk to them; they were friendly enough but didn’t really see when they weren’t wanted. … In a somewhat aggressive way, I’d say. I explained to them that we were going to latihan, there would be lots of sounds they probably wouldn’t enjoy hearing. Finally they leave.

Now. Reenie and Marcella are in the back part of the house – in her room – only it’s not finished yet. There are only studs between the walls. R. & M. decide to go down on the trails to the park to get ice cream cones while we latihan.

I am a little afraid of those men being somewhere in those woods. I want to give Marcella the ‘tear gas’ squirter  ask her “come here”. “Why?” “I want to talk to you” “Just a minute” … it has something to do with being with R.; it’s making her a little sullen and resentful. Finally she comes through the wall to see what I want.

Anyway, somehow in the end we all are on the trails together in the woods. I can only remember now a bend in the trail, and green light filtering down through summer leaves, and some discussion about how to proceed.

Spent the day working on Libré’s birthday present. Finishing up the tapes, making her birthday card. She’s 21, and I want to give her something special. At first I thought ‘a tape recorder” – but it would be an awful lot of money, and with her needs for money, I felt I should let her choose how to spend it. So I gave her an old tape recorder of mine – one I never use. It will last for a while. And as for money, gave her 15040¢ Marcella and I made a card – on the front it said in gold letters                        Happy Birthday!

21 years Old!

I was a little worried about that; but she took it kindly.

Inside was a certificate from the ‘Health to All Manifestations of Deborah Kerr’ Research Branch of the Life-As-Art Supply Store

In celebration of her having made it for


in this incarnation.


Well, I had to run an errand, so I barely got it together – in fact, not quite, when Libré came to latihan.

Latihan was wonderful – my voice just took off – doing everything. Today I am rather hoarse.


Oh, forgot to mention: running errand, with Marcella, stopped at mailbox: two letters

A lovely long letter from Elsa Gidlow in reply to one I’d just sent her. Very sweet, made me happy.

And a check from Nellie for $35 for “the box” – My first dollar earned for writing! She also enclosed a little note saying she did think it was right for me to accept it, which was nice.

So … many gifts and happiness that day.


A strange dream in the early morning: Telling some people how Marcella had perished in a theater fire, it begins to hit me again, the reality of it, and I begin to sob violently.

So nice to wake up to feel her shoulder breathing gently next to me.



Tuesday Night, late {1/20/81}

Well, I’ve been sick the last couple of days – Sunday and Monday – with a fairly high fever and sore throat. When I got home today my temp was still 102˚ but I had felt well enough to go to my classes – as long as they did the talking. I could not have gone the two days before – spent the time lying in bed sweating, being too hot, too cold, sleeping, waking myself up with my own groaning. Woke up this morning from a dream in which a man was being roasted over a fire on a spit – thinking, yes, that’s the trouble with death, going off into that other world with no morning bed/normal life to call one back. Lots of images of death – listening to “A Summer to Die” on the tapes – one of the few stories I have recorded that I don’t know by heart. Today in class we talked about war and the military and the draft – by the end of my two classes I almost felt that it would be a good thing – something I might/ought to do to join the Armed forces for a couple of years, if I were younger, anyway. Home to catch the double news of the day, Regan’s inauguration (his wife in an $18,000 mink coat) and the freeing of the hostages from Iran (after 444 days). Then to listen to the tape of the “other discussion” in class, and try to get sleepy reading. Finished the last of Wuthering Heights – Heathcliff’s death at last; then read the last half of “Last Letter to the Pebble People” about the finally triumphant death of a man from lung cancer. Still not sleepy – went outside a minute, light clouds veil a full moon, light, soft rainfall.

Trying not to breathe so as to make myself cough – my throat has never hurt more, feels like razors. Both Marcella & Libré are sick with the same thing, so it’s only the flu. But lying in bed the last two days I’ve thought about what it would be like if it were lung cancer – dying is not so terrible, certainly. But illness, pain, .fever rob life of any redeeming qualities.

Very far from myself. At least I have these words to name this feeling. But then where is “myself”? Explaining lesbianism to a few sympathetic ears … Mother Teresa touches more hearts in one day than your writing will do in a lifetime. Finally broke it to Mom the other day that I’m taking off 2 years and maybe more. Seems crazy to her – even to me now. Today I much doubted that I would quit. John very sweetly holding down the job full time for two years.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll have the strength to chop some wood. Being sick feels lonely  – I was sorry when M. had to go home –it felt good being sick together here … though later I was so sick I couldn’t have cared for her. I’d like to do yoga, my body feels very light, but I’m afraid it would start me coughing again. So few burdens, and I seem to find them so hard to bear. Well, I have appreciated the evening, sipping sherry or orange juice by the fire, just reading and asking nothing of myself.

My period came Thursday, flowed strong for 3 days, then stopped when I got sick.


Friday Morning Jan 23 {1981}

Grinding depression continues. Still unable to use my voice or to summon any energy, I showed a videotape to my class yesterday – on eating meat. The afternoon class somehow had enough time left to discuss, so we did – there was a lot of anger – attacking, etc. People don’t like to see where their hamburger comes from, I think. Anyway, it brought down a lot of contempt from several quarters. Afterwards I did some library work looking for material for the next day’s  discussion – and was just leaving for M. & home when an old student who is now at Mills college came by, talked for a while. Writing, Ursula LeGuinn workshop, etc – then, drop her off downtown, pick up M., home. Mail – a rejection – my first, in a way – from Sinster Wisdom, Adrienne Rich – of “Oct 13” – It “objectifies” Tee – they said – I don’t see that at all – and is “lacking in a more than personal perspective”, about what I thought she’d say. Came home fiercely unhappy. No wood chopped, the wind has pitched the garbage cans over the bank.

We eat a little super and in desperation decide to go to a Movie in Medford – “9 to 5” . altogether it cost about $7, admission and gas – but it did take me out of myself for a bit, distracted me, changed my mood,  took the edge off this pornography of suicide that calls in the back (and the front) of my mind. It’s here again this morning – a gun? Razor blades? The only real comfort in life seems to be the thought that one can end it.

I did have some good dreams towards morning, being with Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas in the downstairs part of a pastry shop / coffee house. Cakes were brought in, and chocolate confections, with candy letters on the  side involving elaborate, funny puns.

But, oh, this morning it’s back again. The tiredness, the weepy sense of uselessness of everything. Maybe I can sleep some more.

No m.j. of any kind for a week. No anything else, either. Yoga, meditating, walking. I’m too tired, but anyway, nothing seems worth it. Nothing but distraction – with anything.



Monday night – {January 26, 1981}

Tomorrow I have to do a class on animals for ethics. This is so hard – students get so contemptuous. Sometimes I have to turn my attention to whales and baby seals, dolphins and tuna, cats and dogs and starving children, to sentient suffering and why? And whether sausages have pigs. Sometime … but I delay the moment … begrudging that job any more of my time than the minimum even I can’t put the rescued time to creative use.

Talked to Libré yesterday on the phone – me complaining about being sick and lost from myself, my thoughts of suicide…. “You’re so close, Tangren, you’re so close.” She said. I’ll be over soon. I’ll be over soon.” I’d like to have the chance you’re going to have now,” she said. And not to feel bad about Adrienne Rich’s not liking my stuff – “When I think about what she does write – they’re worlds apart, what you write and what she does, worlds apart. I can see that she might not understand about Deborah Kerr, might call it “objectifying” her – and just not get it about the spiritual, magical, funny stuff. Adrienne just wouldn’t get it, to her detriment, I think” she said. She said “Of course you aren’t feeling so great right now. You’re just hanging on through this last of it.” “If only I had some heart.” “I just don’t have the heart to do it anymore, to open up with my classes,” I moaned.

“That’s because it’s so not worth it.” she said.. ‘It’s not worth it, it’s so not worth it.”

I even mentioned to Mom last weekend that this “year off” may be more than that, will be at least two and maybe more. It was hard, saying that to her. I’d just told her the same day how my first check for money for writing had come – $35. She seemed shocked that it was so small. She wants to know how I intend to support myself – a fair question, under the circumstances.

I speak of reducing my wants, simplifying. But admit inflation.

I try to explain how the job is hard for me. About my two personalities and how the one barely knows about and doesn’t really honor what the one I believe in is trying to do. Well, actually, I just say that self-love, caring about and understanding myself are hard to come by. The self that gets reflected back to me by that world is not a good one.

“Well,” she said “I guess I’ve never in my life really known what it was to know myself.”

Gertrude Stein Helps Out.

“Gertrude Stein once said ‘a genius needs a lot of time to just sit around and be a genius.’”

She seemed to like that. So why do I feel like she won?

Well, this weekend to myself, Saturday night, Sunday night Monday night has been very good for me. Soup started, sprouts started, groceries bought, three bags full of fresh green oatmeal cookies cooked and enjoyed yesterday and today and even at moments it has been known by me that I’m trying to be a writer and that that’s what’s wrong with selling my mind.

TWO               YEARS                      That is indeed riches.

Wednesday morning:

Went to school yesterday morning feeling I could barely do it – to talk to students about animals and their rights – knowing how silly such concerns seem to many of them. However. Both classes were moderately good – there were vegetarians in both classes who talked about how they felt about eating flesh. – the things I said seemed to touch people – all of us have at times some sympathy with animals – somehow I was able to remind them of that. An easy day – came home to an early supper and an even earlier bed – couldn’t stay awake even for Margaret Atwood. Finished the book this morning “Life before Man”; I enjoyed it; she has an ear for how we are with each other.

I am beginning to have some terrible doubts about myself as a writer. Perhaps Adrienne Rich is right – it’s too self-absorbed, doesn’t make it beyond the personal. Who am I to … what was it I really want to do with those two years? Publish what? For whom? A few volumes for a few friends? More?  I can see how A.R. thought


Jan 31, 1981             Women’s Writing Workshop

Just after the Holly near Concert

Suggested topics

The strongest emotion you are now feeling.

A time that I was oppressed and knew it/got out of it.

This weekend so far/the women’s press celebration.


So many of us coming up from Ashland, in from Redmond, from the coast saying

I hope she can do it. I hope she can bring us hope and courage again this winter. Will she show us again how to be of good courage?

Yes. She will stand tall and beautiful her hair falling like two gold waterfalls and that voice will swell from her, that incredible voice that makes your chest expand just to hear it, makes you know the strength a voice can have.

Trading glasses back and forth with Libré – shifting from the visual to the audio – like the three sisters with their one eye between them.  But when she has our single eye then I see Holly’s body wide, white shimmering full of light recycling and recycling out power..

Afterwards she was in the lobby but I put off breaking in to talk to her for too long till she left. Still Marcella and I ended up at the front door at the same time a Holly and her sister – Marcella and I went out through the door first – but it sounded as if maybe they were behind us. When we turned at the sidewalk I somehow turned right in front of – yes, it was Holly. Looking up right into that face looking back into mine – not long enough for any expressions to register –


That’s as far as I got at the Writer’s Workshop – certainly didn’t read it – or anything else – but loved to hear what Thyme brought to read. So anyway


How old it was – to glance as if into a stranger’s face to look up into here I mean her eyes that woman who makes appearances in my dreams and in my life as a symbol of hope, the person I feel most open to, nearest to, in the whole world at this moment.

To know she sees only a stranger, a body moving in awkward traffic pattern to hers, a face of a stranger looking up in surprise into her eyes –  Or did she feel it, too, even for a second, how much that small look from two feet away mattered? Sank deep into the pupils of that stranger crossing awkwardly.

Well, anyway, the concert had raised my spirits considerably – and being given this strange little meeting by fate – well, it felt like a likely little reminder, a very thoughtful gift from the universe.

As Marcella and I drove to Butterfly’s we talked about the concert:

Well, I’m afraid I’ve got to admit it, Holly Near is really probably a better person than Deborah Kerr.”

Really? You think so?”

Well, Holly really cares about the world and right and wrong. Deborah Kerr at least used to be a Republican.”

Well, maybe she is a better person,” Marcella said, “But not a better actress.”

(I don’t know. I’d never say Holly is not an actress. She enacts her songs – she projects feelings with her voice – in a way, that’s what she’s all about.)


I’ve gotta admit it. I’m in love with Holly near.”

You said that.”


Krystal Butterfly, Z, the woman she is now partners with, their trailer home out in the country – the poor person’s version of country – an absolutely bare yard the size of a large lot in town – white board fence around, horses wandering by the windows, huge arc-light in the yard, power pylons and wires next door – but still, the relative quiet, the stars not too far away. Butterfly and I talk a while, she goes to bed soon, I am rather happy and awake, so stay up for a while thinking.
Morning visit with Z – she reminds me quite a lot of myself – just physically – hair, skin, coloring. And a little bit of Dianne – somehow.

A nice visit –

The writing workshop is mentioned – I decide to stay for it.

Butterfly ended up not appearing at the workshop, but Thyme was there. Her hair was longer and she looks so beautiful – the years just seem to make her more beautiful. It was a wonderful surprise to see her – and I loved hearing her writing – diary writing, a long sketch of Luna – such an enjoyable visit, to hear it. Made me wish so much to hear more – and to feel validated in my own writing.

I’ve told Butterfly and Z about my rejection by Adrienne Rich. “I guess why it bothers me so much is this: She’s someone who’s been inspiring me, who’s been saying ‘Women. Find the words. Give tongue to our experiences of life.’ And now she says, sort of “Well, I didn’t really mean you.”

Journals to read tomorrow – should have been doing it today.


Monday night Feb 2 {1981}                                                “May bee in June” {there is a drawing of a bee and a flower}


Hang on Tangren

Don’t expect to Know thyself right now

Just do your job, have some pleasant experiences

And Hang On.

Do not smoke too much now.

Almost any at all is too much.

For what?

Look what you’re risking.

Believe in the  future

.Noted: failure to believe in the  future

can make there be none

Maybe: Ability to believe in the future

Can bring it about.


feel your body                       yoga               latihan

sing                 dance             read

walk                work                wait

and hang on till June

any way you can




Feb 5, {1981} Thurs             Early evening


I don’t know … most people I know (at school, my family) expect that this is not the last four years of the world.

I have absolutely no wish to be paranoid or to imagine that things are worse than they are – yet an eerie feeling comes over me these days when I listen to the news.

Regean will be on television tonight – the first of many “talks with the nation”. Jimmy Carter by fireside in a cardigan sweater four years ago is remembered; his stumbling mouth-full-of-peanuts voice. I didn’t hate him; I wished him well, wearing his jeans to work. Mostly I was too busy with other things to pay attention to politics.

What will Reagan wear? They wonder

One remembers the two inaugurations.

Reagan tonight will tell us all ‘The government is going to stop cushioning inflation for you.’ Some businesses will fail. That’s capitalism.’

Nancy Reagan wore a fur coat worth $18,000 and a new dress made just for this special occasion that cost $4000.

Carter walked to his inauguration wearing a plain suit; Reagan insisted everyone wear full morning dress (or is it mourning dress)

And I ask myself, what is this man a symbol of?

If this were a novel, I try to imagine how would it look? In that theoretical country of some novelist’s imagination. Imagine: In the age of television, an actor becomes the president. He has an alter-ego who hasn’t been mentioned since the election (Ed Mus, I can remember still). He puts a general to head the state department. Casper Weinberger to head ”defense”. His  first flash in the news is to urge consideration of deploying neutron bombs. An anti-environmentalist lawyer to oversee the manage of the land. Our new foreign policy is announced; we will “reward our friends” and not worry so much about the “human rights issue”, it is speculated public broadcasting money will be cut back.

Now would you say that the people living at that time in that country ought or ought not to be become alarmed? That somewhere else not here. Our life is continuing on the same as ever, “nothing has changed”, we tell ourselves. “The trees; Even in January, the willows are making their new leaves, and the manzanitas have pink blossoms opening already again, and our jobs go on, and our personal problems. We are all crossing our fingers a little more these days.

But I get so frightened if I do listen to the news. It’s what I hear – and what I don’t. what isn’t happening as well a what is. For instance, why isn’t there a rage for old Ronald Reagan movies? Surely that would be something of more than average interest just now. Yet I don’t see them listed, I hear nothing from All Things Considered of such a ‘trend”. Why not? That’s obvious; how would President Reagan be seen cavorting with Bonzo the chimp or portraying a crook? “Not good.”

And it’s not happening, you’ll notice. … Or is becoming alarmed ever the right thing to do?

Being married to John and talking things through about what happened in Germany – coming for the first time to an understanding of what had happened there,

I have thought to myself “There was a time when it was right to leave Germany, especially if you were a Jew. There was a time, perhaps, when the warning was seen. Some left, some artists, thinkers we know of, perhaps, got out in time. In time before the ghettos closed us in, down into the sewers, into the box, cars, into the showers. There was a time before all that when escape was still possible. It meant leaving friends, family, possessions, the lands one was born on and lived on, it was not easy to leave. It was not easy to know when one must leave, now, before it is too late. There was a time, I learned, there was a time when a Jew should leave. Or an intellectual. Or a homosexual. Or an artist. There was a time to flee; the trick was, to know it in time. I have always remembered this.

But what is flight? ‘There ain’t no where you can run from the nuclear rain.” Holly Near


If “All Things Considered”  did a piece on the Neutron Bomb, I didn’t catch it. I did catch their interview with a gold-fish-promoter in Southern California. The big news of the day seems to be Poland and the President’s economic plan, topic of his first television appearance tonight. But, but, the neutron bomb … I want to stammer.

I know. If they did mount their news productions as they deserve these days, messengers staggering in from the wings with news of collapse on yet another front, the horrified chorus pacing, murmuring “the land, the children, the animals, the planet”

Well, how long would public radio be funded at all, and how much money for “unrestricted events coverage” would the Mobil corporation give? (or does it give?) I do not want to be more afraid than necessary.

(Is any fear ever necessary?)

(But there was a time to leave.)

(“But there ain’t no where you can hide.”)

(So  what is radiation poisoning like and oughtn’t I to know what to expect and to have the means to ease us out more easily than that if the time should come. Or how bad is it to die of radiation poisoning? I mean, compared to other deaths. Compared to a shot in the heart, say? Or, almost everyone has razor blades, even I, have razor blades …. I remember in my bath, thinking of Petronius and of Marcella.

I need some information I do not have.)


Friday Morning {Feb 6, 1981}

Had a long talk with John last night when he brought M. up just after I finished writing this last. We talked about Reagan; he dislikes him also, but he’s not so afraid; especially, he’s not so afraid of nuclear war. He thinks a “strong military” is the best prevention; I disagree; I don’t trust their minds. But maybe he’s right; at least, maybe there won’t be nuclear holocaust in the next few years. It was good to talk, get out some of my worries and feelings. Also, it was good to feel the growth in my own strength in talking to him about politics – some of the things he used to do that implied I really don’t know as much as he does and that used to intimidate me now have less power in making me give up my own grasp of things. Also, though, the opposite – it was good to talk to someone who is more conservative than I am with some hope that he may be right, that we may make it through.

Anyway, ventilating things felt good; and after he left I actually felt really happy – had a short, nice rest of the evening with M., went to bed at nine. M and I talked a bit rather seriously about war and politics and death. And about whether it’s right to put them out of our minds or not. Usually she is not so serious and doesn’t want to talk about such things. We talked about radiation; she said if the holocaust happened she didn’t want to survive; she said she’d just take a bottle of sleeping pills; I had to tell her I didn’t have any,.


Wed Feb 11 {1981}

Writing for the sake of writing. For the sake of hoping to find out who I am  without smoking. Such a damped-down time. Such a waiting time. School teaching is fairly easy these days. A guest speaker last Thursday, a movie last time. The movie was Word is Out, it’s that time of the year again.. Tomorrow.  I plan to come out. There’s one dyke in each class, both plan to say so; I couldn’t let them do it alone. So. I don’t feel open enough to read Valentine’s Morning, but I guess I don’t have to. In fact, I can’t. Libré has The Autobiography of Deborah Carr right now. Told me yesterday how much she was enjoying it, and my exchange of letters with Elsa Gidlow. It made me feel so good, able to think back over what was in those writings and enjoy it again myself. Such a good friend Libré is; I really thought about that last night and gave the universe thanks for her.

+                                  +                                  +                                  +

“So far from myself” at least I have the words. Trying to be content with this low-key existence; trying to believe it will change once school is over. Trying not to smoke too much; but I still smoke all I can.

Lavinnia is back from her travels. She and Beaver came up here this morning for breakfast and latihan. I fired up the woodstove and put on a hand-embroidered tablecloth of grandma’s and gave them mint tea and french toast. In latihan I felt  little tired and sleepy – seldom able to have any sense of the transcendent a all. Well, the word “latihan” means ‘exercise”, sometimes exercise is like that.

After the left I went to Mom and Dad’s to hear about their trip to Hawaii. Then I worked on taxes and financial matters; cleared off the central portion of my desk and took care of several obnoxious matters in the process. Supper. Agnes McCarty returns my call, offers her support tomorrow. Mushrooms, green pepper, onions and rice. Coffee and green cookies. Dishes done. Now the fire is going, the cookies have arrived, Mahler is on the radio and I am comfortable and in good health; tomorrow Marcella. (Not to mention The Day in Ethics classes. Somehow I just don’t care – though I have wished I had a Qualude for the occasion – here’s no calling it ahead of time – and I’m just not as internal about anything just now.)



Zarod                           – the people – the economy – so vivid

The earth

The light                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Buried Root

Would keep them from having to live out the months ahead                                                   Judy – the straight woman



The skeptic                                                                                            Belief “the stakes”            unscared



Ruth – the mental image

That phrase when one must pursue


Amy                                               the Rosalee stories to feel the reality of the destruction


Marilyn: Elaine                                      the hurts                                     feminism dates            lumpy thrift store couch



Next writing workshop Friday March 6 – Womanshare  11-4\

Mother/Daughter workshop $12    bring food to share, sleeping equipment

“Rosemary Dalton”

bring pictures                                                                         Sat March 7 – 10:00- 5:00

Sun March 8 – 9:00 – 12:00

3502 Coyote Creek Rd.

Wolf Creek                                            866-2520



Hannah’s tea

Boil 10 min:                         2 t dandelion root (unroasted)

2 t burdock root

1/2 t bayberry bark

1 1/2 t coltsfoot

1 T anise seed

Then  take off heat and add 1 1/2 T peppermint


Sprout mixture

For 1/2 gallon jar:                    1/4 c mung beans} soak

1/2 c lentils}                                                 7 – 12 hours

1 c sunflower seeds } add last 2 – 2 1/2 hours

rinse 2 X day


Monday, Feb 16 {1981}

Valentine’s Day, Saturday, went to a women writers workshop at the house where Hannah is now living – near Grants Pass on the Applegate River  (the workshop had come together as a result of Martha Cortot’s reading in early December. I guess we will try meeting every three weeks.) I planned to stay afterwards to spend the night with Hannah; it was the first time we’d seen each other since just before Christmas. Ruth and Caroline also came to the workshop; it was the first time I’d seen Caroline since she left here over two month ago. We didn’t even try to talk; just set a time to get together to talk. She’d read something she’d written on violence, violence in ourselves, in herself. It began “The first time I hit a woman…” it frightened me some; I really expect not to be treated like that by people I am close to. And having two friends I know involved in a sometimes physically violent relationship right now , hearing, just the day before, my friend’s fear and pain and asking even for help and knowing I must choose not to get involved.

I try to think of that kind of violence  in myself; I have never been angry in that way with women lovers. (Perhaps I’ve never been that involved.) the nearest I can remember is with Marcella as a baby. I don’t think I ever hit her (except when she hit me; to “show her what it felt like”) but I remember being as angry as I ever have been, stuffing her arms into her sleeves jerkily, picking her up abruptly, as I ground my teeth, setting her down hard, almost throwing her at her father “Here”, stalking out of the room. It was partly her incessant needing, and the absolute unreasonableness of a baby; it was partly, also, that she was someone little over whom I had total power. “I thought no one had ever been violent with me, now I realize I suffered psychic violence”: Caroline wrote. It’s something I shy from thinking about.

Afterwards Hannah and I talked a bit; went for a walk along the feathery February riverlands as the light drained form the sky. Coming back we fixed supper together, then crawled into bed. We talked for a while, then boy, I am articulate about all this – just about how I was with her. Then she read me the first four chapters of the fantasy she’s writing. It was very … interesting … at several levels. One is the metaphysics involved in the Valley of the Vision’s existence; a matriarchal idyll, a valley safe from pollution, semi-attached to the rest of the world as it falls into chaos (after all, you get there by starting from where you live and walking over a mountain or hill –  but you can get there equally from Idaho or Massachusetts.) The Valley of the Vision is maintained in existence by the will, belief and imagination of the women who are there; and that of the women back in “madness”, as this outside world is called, who are just beginning to dream of such a place.

Well, it’s wish-fulfillment, right? A place free from the mad slide to self-destruction of this planet. So why not wish big, while we’re at it, wish completely. So, yes. All the women one loves are there. And there is finally, oh, goddess, finally enough sex. After the group’s power-raising called ‘thram” the women come together and “love in threes.” Even the children (parthenogenesis, of course) have enough sex. Much else. It’s a delightful fantasy – and more, it’s one of those that makes you want so much to believe in it that in a way you do.

The writing seemed to me to be awkward at times yet – in ways I’ve seen before in women new to writing :”After doing this we did that.” ; words I would take out, things I would change.  But that’s my standards; still, I’d like to go over it with her for those – it’s too good to not be put into the best possible shape.

But I don’t know if I can, things being how they are between us. You’d think that the woman who wrote something like that would just open me right up, wouldn’t you?

After we parted just before Christmas she called to say she thought we ought not to be lovers. That felt like something of a relief just then to me, wishing myself not involved with anyone, feeling I’d been unclear to get involved. Then later she wrote saying she was willing to explore being lovers as a high-intensity now-and-then artistic and maybe sexual exchange. I didn’t know how I felt; felt I couldn’t know until we had some more time together. But now that we were together I was finding myself still pretty held and defensive. The week has been a hard one; I still haven’t had any time to work through the awful afternoon class on gay-lesbian issues Summer and I had suffered through Thursday.

A day of being with women, hearing their writing, hearing something near one’s point of view and concerns as being validated, voiced – Zarod’s writing, especially had touched me. And Sarah’s poem of working out of a winter depression “From the Woods”, working out by chopping wood where simple action itself is warmth enough. It had been good. And to share my little piece on chopping wood and the worms and having Zarod say, and other women “I’ve done that exact same thing. I’ve had just those thoughts.” (When I’d read it to my ethics class it had been the occasion for a lot of scorn.) All that, and Caroline’s writing and now Hannah’s writing had been good. And probably, thinking about it now, what I needed most was some time to sit and absorb it all; but I had no idea of that then. I knew myself not at all, only knew that there were some things to talk through with my friend and that we both hoped we would get through them and make love.

But the talking was hard, trying to be honest about my own questions and reservations, trying to convey my benumbed state of mind these days, defending myself against her doubts as to the wisdom with which I guide my life. It was not making me feel close, so in the end I smoked a couple of pipefuls, saying, “After all, it’s not as if I never smoke otherwise. I smoke as much as I can, even if that’s not a lot.”

And I did begin to relax and feel my face smiling and how good it is to laugh. When she said  “Your face – your eyes and nose are still the college professor, but your mouth is going off on its own.” And that made me angry and depressed – angry to be reminded of the existence of the college professor, and to be reminded that I look like anything.. I remember my face in pictures, how awful I look when I am laughing. “I hate to be reminded that I look like anything at all! I often wish I were invisible.” I say. And, after a minute “I’m sorry. I seem to be awfully touchy tonight.” And, after a minute “There’s a lot of self-hatred involved in that job. That’s about the hardest thing.”

Yet, still there were other sorts of moments…

Remembering  that marijuana can make her paranoid I ask her if she’s having those feelings. “I alternate …” she smiles. “Between that and what?” I laugh. And in the end we did make love and some of it was lovely, but we couldn’t sustain it; too much, I suppose, was strange. * (*Afterwards as we lay curled together I began to cry – for that woman in Ashland doing that job – Day after day going in to face a bunch of people to whom showing feelings is a sign of weakness; and trying to encourage them to feel something. I remember how during the summer when I listened to ‘2:00 AM Valentine’s Morning” I was struck then by how much pain there was there; at the time it had been less obvious. I feel less pain this year, I feel less everything – I am benumbed. Crying, now, I feel somehow that I should “give myself credit” for that, for what I am going through. What those words mean, I’m not even sure, but they are the right ones.

As I cried, I felt the increased “pain” in  my chest that smoking two pipefuls had brought on, and was afraid again for my body. and for that poor woman whose only access to some of her better selves is so dangerous.) And in the morning I felt increasingly withdrawn. Obviously, from here I see I needed to be alone. All I knew was that I was becoming  stiffer and colder. I couldn’t sort out what it was that was bothering me about H. and about our relationship and what was my own negativity.

As I was leaving, we talked. I seemed easier here, standing half in the car door, leaning on Deborah, the car door between us, H. against the hood. She said she saw it was being too hard for me to see her. She’d hoped it would be restorative, but it seems to be a drain. On the other hand, it hurts her, of course, for me to be so closed to her. She suggests we not try to see each  other for a while – it will happen whenever we both have energy for it – or not. I don’t want to come to full estranged, and yet it seems to me there is much truth in what she says. We agree and hug goodbye.

On the way home I stopped by Beaver’s for Sunday afternoon latihan, I had a rather good one – my vice creating energetic patterns of sound and feeling. I was saying, among other profundities, “uppity cup ‘a tea” and so we had tea afterwards, and while she was on the phone I read an article on fasting as the cure for schizophrenia and another one called “Fasting; a Path to Ultimate Reality” Well, it’s a thought…

Came home, had a bath, ate supper, went to bed at 6:30 and slept till after eight. Breakfast, wrote this. Have to go down, check out, clean, repair 441 Beach St. this dark afternoon. Too bad.

The Thursday afternoon class had been such an ordeal… sitting there listening to the various shadings of homophobia “I could accept it in my child. I could go on loving him without having to love what they were doing….” “It is unnatural.” Only three or four out of the twenty-five or so who talked questioned the assumption that homosexuality was in and of itself a bad thing. “I have some gay friends. I’m straight, but…” People I’d expected to be enlightened weren’t. the assumption that gay people have had bad relationships with the opposite sex, so turn to their own as a poor second best. I  got into the argument from time to time, as did Summer, but the orange didn’t get to either of us. Afterwards my head hurt, my stomach hurt. When Summer and I got to the edge of the campus I found myself saying, “I’m so mad, I just feel like screaming. In fact, I think I will.” And there it came if the Dean saw me, I’m dead. But it sure felt good. Summer came up here and we talked a while, which was good. Then I picked up Marcella, we made tuna sandwiches and I went to bed in the grips of an exhaustion-tension  headache. Luckily, it was gone 13 hours later when the alarm rang.



Sunday Evening / Feb 23 {1981}              at Lavinnia’s

Just finished latihan with Beaver and Lavinnia – took me about 10 minutes to write that sentence – Lavinnia and Beaver keep beginning conversations – Now I’ve come into the front entry room by the fireplace – I’ll try again./ Now it feels useless to try to write – I can’t remember what I was thinking or feeling – How hard it is to always be around other people. Though actually we have had a lovely day – driving over here in the morning – a lovely meal of polish sausage and sauerkraut, fried potatoes and white wine – a nap – a long walk through the woods to the river together in the late light of the afternoon of warm warm late February – cake and coffee, latihan. I’d been pretty good and appreciative of this life, so I was surprise to find a lot of anger coming up in latihan – I had asked beforehand, to feel something – I certainly did – I could have gone on with more anger and it might have turned to tears, felt it would, and some resolution then but everyone else had been quiet for a while, so I damped it down and ended.  During and after latihan I could feel more the ‘pain’ in my chest. Thinking about how the work had been and the anger, remembered what Holly Near had said about ‘round green bullets’. Don’t seem to be able to write, or think.

3 more weeks to go of teaching ethics. Lent starts in 1 1/2 weeks – Wonder what I should give up? Isn’t it obvious?

This past couple weeks has been pretty much total route so far a smoking is concerned. It hasn’t seemed to do too much harm so I‘ve let myself do it – but my body is beginning to complain lately again.

I have so many bad habits just now. I’ve gained a lot of weight since school started – few of my clothes will fit anymore. And coffee got up to one potfull plus  a potfull of expresso at night (and still sometimes I could go right to sleep when M.& I went to bed early.) – Well, at least I’ve maintained my addiction to writing, also. Unbelievable I’ve filled 3/4 of a journal since the beginning of the last vacation. And with nothing. The most boring journal – no great writing – but at least my fingers still work. Does my heart? Does my mind? Tune in next June or maybe it’s September. I think I will do a fast in June when school is over – seems like a good way to purify/significate/ask for vision. Or have I really lost it?

Right now I am teacher and landlady and sometime mother. If I had to be a writer just now I absolutely couldn’t do it. But I do feel so lost and desolate not connected with anything deep.


Oh, it’s got stereoscopic vision

In both color and black-and-white

It’s got a cozy little kitchen

and maybe magic sight



It’s got a transportation system

legs and feet and wheels and keys

and even gasoline



The 27th of February          {1981}            Friday morning

Marcella off to school. Morning sun in window corner climbing into blue sky, puffy clouds slowly shifting, morning moon hot-footing it towards the western ridge.

Marijuana. Again. Even though it has been too much for quite a while now. (Each day I think “Tomorrow I won’t have any.”) But at least I am writing. It’s been a long time. Much has been happening but all on an external level. Teaching; coming out in my classes; cleaning and fixing at 441 Beach for a new renter; talking to friends; being with Marcella; yesterday, teaching, seeing “rape culture” and then not knowing how to discuss it. Between classes, lunch with John and some new teacher we were interviewing. I was glad I was there; I think I helped to humanize the thing and make us all friends. But what has all this to do with me?


Moving a little closer in:

Tuesday night I was rather wishing there was a good show on – something to take me out of myself – when at suppertime a woman called, a stranger, Sandra Pastorious – or, well, not quite a stranger; she had given me a hug the night I  did the reading, she said, but I probably don’t remember her. Anyway, she is an astrologer, and wants to give me the birth chart for Deborah Kerr!

So she came up here and guess what she looks more than a little like Dianne. She’s nearly my age, was married 14 years, been a dyke for 4, has two early teenage children. And is moving in two weeks. Well, we ended up spending the evening smoking and talking and smiling to each other and ourselves.


Deborah Kerr’s chart is very interesting. She has a grand trine in water signs. Sandra also noted that she as been going through her second Saturn return these couple of years, so there may have been some big changes going on within her lately. And almost everything is in one quarter of the chart, centering on Virgo and Libra. There are a lot of parallels to my own chart. Libra sun, Venus in Virgo Mercury in Scorpio. All these I understand; how we are Libras is easy to see

I sometimes gladly suffer fools rather then lose the chance for contact / so necessary for work and art.” Understanding many sides. And, yes, a certain tendency towards “princessness” –

femininity in its curls and skirts and loveliness. And Venus in Virgo – “discrimination” in loving, “I suppose a certain fastidiousness is an essential element in my lesbianism.

Mercury in Scorpio: communication power having to do with sexuality, me writing ‘The Box’, Deborah in Tea and Sympathy, From Here to Eternity.


Mom and Marcella were both interested that our charts were so much alike, but didn’t seem astonished, as I have been. Maybe it’s somehow hard for me to imagine that I am like Deborah Kerr; and knocking on my mind comes a little memory of Ruth Mountaingrove in lamplight saying “It’s the Deborah Kerr you are that you love. It’s the compassion, the understanding, the feeling in you.”


This morning I woke up from a long dream; I can only remember the last bit:

Someone has handed me a magazine or newspaper, saying that it says there that Deborah Kerr has died. It is a summary of celebrity deaths in the past year. My eye flies down the column seeking her name… And there it is ‘…choosing to end her own life, Deborah Kerr swam out into the ocean too far to get back.” There was no feeling just then, as I read it, only that first moment of coming to understand a fact. And then I was awake.


To prioritize:              work at 441 Beach

Make cookies (or at least butter)

Find the paint for 441 Beach

Read journals

Add up grades

Enter grades in book

Make final grades


Chop wood





Help S. move?


More than two weeks later March 15, Sunday noon {1981}

half-moon in Cancer for one more hour. I’ve told myself I’ll let myself have this hour, then Leo into the journals I have to read before tomorrow. Well, tomorrow at noon. I could probably do it all tomorrow if I got up early – there’s an inspiring thought – just the kind m.j. is useful for.

Beaver and Lavinnia just left – They spent the night here, we went to a play (Death of a Salesman), had supper and breakfasted together and did two latihans. My period is in its third day – but feels like the first – I’ve had no chance to sit down and surrender to the flow. Before that, yesterday, I was working with Libré at 441 Beach – tearing off the wallpaper and texturing the walls to paint them, and having a good talk. Before that Marcella was here on Friday night. Before that on Friday I bought some Kahlua for Summer and spent a couple of hours with her at her place observing her 30th birthday, looking at pictures from her life and drinking Kahlua and brandy and cream. Before that, a couple of hours by myself while Sandra did a reading with Summer because before all that I’d spent the night (and not the first) sleeping with her here in the front corner window in the moonlight.


Every one of those things could be a few pages. But before that I’d gone to an astrology workshop on the Moon watching that woman being an astrologer and a teacher and wearing lavender and black, her shirt covered with blossoms that looked like flame and trying to think “That woman is someone I know. That woman is my lover.”

It was a transit because before that


March 18, Wednesday {1981} first day of Vacation –

Woke up with Sandra, after breakfast knew I needed to be alone. She’s out in her camper, nesting in. I did the dishes and eased into the bath when Mom called – they’re just home from Australia. Spent an hour or so with them and now it’s 3:15. Outside, the intermittent sounds of a motorcycle, like a loud angry hornet as he tries mindlessly, day after day to climb the gravel pit opposite. Just past where the new housing development will be going in. Mom and Dad report how much like America in the 30’s and 40’s it was over there; Dave and Mike were delighted with how friendly and unsuspicious the girls were there and I’m so glad I didn’t go. My chest hurts a little, my neck is stiff, I feel lost and sad.

I am too full of everyone else’s life. All those journals, all those trusts and confidences, all those lives and minds. I need my mind back!

Yet I sat down to write because I found I had some things to say about teaching ethics – Some of the ways in which it was good. Damned if I can remember now though … I wish I wanted to be with Sandra just now; it can be so good to be with her. But I need to be sad, I guess, and lost, I guess, until I find myself.

We saw a good movie last night “Resurrection”. I found it very healing. Maybe I should think about it.


March 30, Monday afternoon {1981}

I’m reduced to writing at registration…

Such a long vacation – so much happening with Sandra. Such long days sometimes, so many rebirths – reminds me of how things often felt the year I had off … Wonder how many rebirths and world changes I’ll go thru next year.

…I wasn’t expecting a lover. There was no reason to be ready for a beautiful intelligent imaginative woman to walk into my life, slip into my bed, my vagina, my senses, my mind. There’s  been no chance to catch up, to notice what’s happened, to assess where we are, what this means for our lives, no chance to check in with myself. Sitting here at registration watching the crowd pass and repass, seeing no one as interesting looking and lovely as my lover, drifting upon images floating through: my tongue circling tiny circles into the tip of her clitoris, her loving, sparkling brown eyes, the color of her hair, its curls of mixed browns, blacks, greys, her fragile little smile, the feel of her touch, her hands on my cheeks, her tongue and lips on mine, her fingers searching me out. … So many things she’s said, we’ve said I wanted to write down. Time only now for tumbling in the experience – poetry is distilled later, I guess.  Strange to be known to someone; strange to talk so much. Strange to have my life so permeated with another presence.


April Fool’s Day 1981

Mirrors – looking into mirrors –

how hard I am on myself

What she sees

is so much more than what I see

when I look in the mirror,

when I look to see “what I look like”

What she sees is a whole person,

someone with thoughts and moments.

What I see is “How I look” which

means something like “What would a stranger

who didn’t know me at all see if seeing

me in this moment for the first time?”

What would show in a photograph?” I said.

Yes” she said “and besides I learned from watching myself do pantomime in the mirror how usually when we look in the mirror we aren’t projecting anything, any feeling, and so the thing is lacking that’s necessary to the experience of beauty, really.”


Re: “being weird”: “Well, I think you should just give yourself the benefit of the doubt and consider yourself ahead of your time.”


April 7 Tuesday afternoon {1981} – 4:30

Just home from teaching ‘logic’ – the informal fallacies today – Now that there’s a little more “meat” it’s easier to teach – or maybe I’m remembering the feel of teaching logic. The first few days have been strange – I’m sure I’ve seemed a little at a loss sometimes in class. The night before I was to start teaching I opened the logic book and just thought “oh, no, I can’t do it! I can’t make myself care enough about that stuff to do it!” I was saved from calling John and Resigning On The Spot only by the thought that it would be stupid to pay $2,100 for the privilege of not learning logic over again after I’d done it so often for free.

It was hard to walk into class, tell them to unform their circle and all face forward, speak of exams and assignments and see the disappointment on the faces of those who were expecting to be touched again in some personal spaces. If I’d been more aware I could at least have been personal about that, but I was only able to get through it, and my impersonation … well, I was gong to write “impersonization” and then stopped myself but I think I will anyway, and my impersonization of a college professor of logic may have lacked finesse but I was just trying any way I could to look bona fide

because so much else is happening in my life at such rich and complex levels. The two weeks before, the two weeks of (relative) vacation had brought me so much…

… that a little pocket of memory was opening up again.

Eugene. My year off, my year for living my life. Spring. Standing in the shower thinking, “Can one really live through this? When the world changes so frequently. When so much happens, when it’s so intense, can’t you die from this?” the joy of all that intensity.

At the beginning of that vacation, we left our heroine watching Sandra in yet another of her color-plays pink and black this time, in a shirt of pink flames, and trying to think to herself “This woman is my lover” with moderate success. She seems caught in a sort of time-lag, self-image trailing way behind events, a state that has persisted since.

{Notice 2 present tenses in that sentence. I like it. It’s not confusing, or is it?

Editor : {} yes

{} no

{} other

and now Sandra is leading a little meditation through the cycles of the moon, and speaking of a seed vision that happens at the new moon, asking us to remember any dream or strong image

and Tangren is remembering … when she first began to know Sandra, the time of the new moon, the same weekend she dreamed of reading that Deborah Kerr had died, on a different night she had a dream, just an image, really …

…There was a fire

a house on fire

and the fire was you.

I know it seems strange, but it was, it was the feeling of you, of who you are, your presence to me. And it wasn’t a bad feeling, it was a good feeling. I was in the house, or I was the house, and you were burning.”

Well, that’ not very poetic but give me a chance cause one of the things that happened is that I haven’t been writing. My seed vision for this next month I think is “picking though the rubble to see what remains.”

Well, Sandra comes in an hour or so to spend our last night together for a while – a month. After nearly a month of early living together – yes. And we’ll nearly live together for a month again in May but don’t worry solitude is my primary relationship in the long run, I tell myself.


Well, after I thought of that seed vision I did tell her to be sure to check the stove and heaters just in case that might happen to be what it meant. And I’ve also thought of my chest and throat and how very very too much I’ve smoked this month under the pressure/opportunity to be open so much with another person. Well, I hope that it not its meaning either. “This relationship is worth a lot, but not my life,” I tell myself sometimes, naming a fear. There are many fears, there is much change. That is what this vision means to me,

burning away – old images – old selves –

burning away old parts of my life. A frightening happening, except for the fire is She, is Sandra, “is You” I wanted to write but I will not write my journal to you.

Letting another person in   so        far

No one has known me like that in years and years

No one has loved me like that in years and years

And it’s so scary….

Maybe it’s Venus in Virgo, the reason

that love must be for me two whole, intact women each a whole and one unto herself, not two parts of anything, but whole in myself and finding glad reflection in another who is whole in herself.


And so it’s frightening to say words like “primary relationship” with each other, or even “lover”. And yet to say them is only to acknowledge what has actually happened ,,, already.


But any definition frightens tangren, not because she wants to leap into other primary relationships but because of all the peripheral meanings “Tangren and Sandra” “jealousy” – and what of my other primary relationships to my writing, my daughter, myself? And what of her breath in my ears, which kissed me just now, before I remembered that she wasn’t here. And what of the friendliness of sleeping together and waking together? And what of sexuality, what of the sweet pleasure of each other’s pleasure? What of intimacy and understanding?


So they decide not to define anything and give no words or categories but only to try to remember it all as it has been and is.


It’s odd. After so many years of its being denied suddenly the Goddess gives me a lover who is in so many ways “just perfect.” So now it’s a whole new set of questions: What is the place of a lover in my life?


{Typist’s Note: there is a small drawing here of two stick figures, each with speech bubbles. Figure 1: “There’s always something, isn’t there?”

Figure 2: “Pardon me, I have to go chop some kindling.”}


(During all this I just got Holly Near’s new album: It’s called “Fire in the Rain”)


April 8 {1981} Sandra left at noon

Told her I was too confused to know what I was feeling, then found how hard it was to make some kiss the last one, found myself crying. “I don’t know why I’m crying. I don’t cry when people leave. I can only remember crying when I was a little girl when Pearl used to leave on the Greyhound bus.”  But all tears are good

And some kiss is the last one.

I have felt, not devastated, but enriched. Savoring her faces, her touches.

Cleaning house and nesting, happy to awaken in this house, my beautiful house of light and solitude remembering and finding myself making it all into a music tape: “An Unusual fire” or “Sandra’s Tape” and feeling relaxed and really happier in the transition to solitude, slipping in more gently, with more assurance of where I’ll land.

And now at 10:35 PM all that’s done and I’ve thought of several things I wanted to write down but I have to get up at 4:00 AM in order to prepare for the logic day ahead. (And only 5 hours’ sleep last night) (But lots, for once, the night before.)

So maybe I’ll just have to put that writing on the mental shelf and hope it’s retrievable when I have some time  write

–     or –

know that it’s tucked into a little pocket in the music

–     or –

How precious these images of her are that are with me now! By tomorrow they will have diminished –

I am so lucky to catch brief internal images of Deborah, once I used to see Dianne. I spent all last night in images of Sandra – I am so loth to surrender them to the considerations of the Fallacies of Ambiguity.


I could stay up and write a bit, but would I really be able to teach tomorrow?

,she said. For one of the last times.


{Typist’s Note: There follows four pages of photographs, most of Sandra. Also one of the Deborah Kerr altar, one of a bed, one of an assemblage of shells, newspaper, book, beads …}


Notes for what I want to write in here about the beginnings of my love affair with Sandra.


The alternative cause for the gunshot sounds. – We were sitting out on the deck. Gunshots came ringing up from the police firing range in the valley below. “What an awful sound!” she said. “it brings up such awful associations. …How can one change that?”

“Well,’  said, “We could pretend that it’s some sort of Zen soundmaking device, one slab of wood that hits another, to be a reminder of the awesome sound of when the world splits open in some enlightenment experiments.”


Crying about the macrocosm and the microcosm


Meanwhile, outside.

The sun comes up and the sun goes down… making love, spending the nights, the days making love. Looking up to see that the sky has lightened. “Oh, look! It’s morning.” We blow out the candle. “Look, it’s evening already.” We light it again.


How it happened was …

Sandra’s call                         Telling Marcella

I just got asked out on a date!” in astonishment. She lived in the closed-up Columbia Hotel, caretaking, cooking on a hotplate. As we became interested in each other, the excitement of downtown Ashland, knowing that at any moment she could appear on the streets.


Once I said “I feel so open to you. I know it’s a lot because you remind me of Dianne. And maybe that’s not a good reason to be open to someone. But sometimes I think, well, I got involved with Dianne in part because she reminded me of someone else. “Realizing as I say these words that a certain kind of implication is terribly implicit. But suddenly knowing that’s all right, too.” “I’d like to hold you” she smiles wistfully and hold out her arms. Then we are embracing and I can feel it, how my chest is open to hers, how my lungs cry to her, how our heart-chakras open and flow together.             Our first embrace.


Now she does not remind me so much of Dianne; she is Sandra, herself. But at first it opened me up to her so much, that she should have the perfect eyebrows, the most beloved mouth, the best color hair, the dearest ways of moving.

Once, though, early on, studying her face in a kind of bemused wonder I was so reminded of Dianne that I remembered her, saw, for a moment, her eye, her cheekbone, and was shot through by the pain of it. But that too proved to be something Sandra could hear and love me for.


Wanting to say “I love you”



I’d love to make love to you all night long.” She said


The attention


What turns you on?’


Integrating     integrating


My own snobism

(1) her son plays electronic TV games and she has been known to go into that world with him.

(2)       I refuse to call her “honey” even in jest  so strong is the prohibition. … that’s an interesting little story in itself. re first being married to John.


*Coming home after the first day of teaching to find an absolute stranger in my house, a woman of startling coloring. Someone I do not recognize, do not know. Someone with whom in some crazy forgotten reality I have somehow said words like “primary relationship”


*We had slept together two weeks, without making love, waiting until I was through teaching classes for the term. I wanted t wait until I could concentrate. Then, for spring break we made love for two weeks, danced, loved. When the next term began:


Did I do unkind perceptions of her? And did the Virgo in me get irritated?                Yes.

More so when less in touch with the other things, the things that happen that make these little matters trivial in comparison. But still one must live at times at the 30% levels and from there it was most irritating to think of driving a several ton vehicle all the way to town to buy cigarettes pack by pack

And though at first when I noticed how she tends to leave bits of sandwiches, little pieces of toast crumb uneaten I did manage to find in that yet another endearing resemblance to Dianne, in the long run it was hard not to think it shockingly wasteful,

I who never waste food like that and who am afraid to be naked with her because my belly at this time looks rather too much like a third breast, round and pendulous there beneath the other two, blinking its navel/nipple/eye … and other facts much more unflattering than that occasionally glimpsed in the mirror

And fattist though I certainly am, one of the things I love about her is the slim shape of her body now. “I’m usually rather heavier than this,” she says, “I tend to be pudgy sometimes.” Old photos bear witness. Not wanting her to change then why do I want her to finish her oatmeal? And what all business of mine is it anyway?

But my 30% selves tend to be hypercritical when it comes to sharing space with someone and want to warn not to chip the pottery and it’s hard to let anyone know them.

“Well, I think it’s interesting to know your 30$% selves, too. I can see when you become different people. They all have nice things to know about them. They all have their own little charms. I love you, “ she said. “I just want to be with you. However you are.” “Well,” I said, for the first time that day. And, for the first time, “It’s hard to let anyone see my blackheads up so close.” Then I had to dive under the covers to recover. “Well,” her voice came through the blankets, “I think it’s just a matter of overlooking those little imperfections when we open up to the great beauty we can see in the person we love.” Her arm came around me then, and at the edge of the blankets her dear face smiled down a tunnel of light.

The pleasantness of coming home from work to find the house clean, the dishes done, supper cooking – wonderful, except for sometimes the uneasy feeling that I’ve somehow just acqui red a wife.

Ah, the traps that lie waiting in the simplest gesture of love, the silly tapes in our minds .

Well, I just felt like cleaning the house for you.” Yes, I know that feeling – I remember cleaning Amy’s house when I’d stayed there – and how much love one could feel in the friendliness of doing this for another woman.


Traps, yes, but also, so often, green vine ladders out. Over and over she reminds me. She doesn’t get threatened. She says “Well, I just think you’re working very hard to be honest, and I appreciate that. You’re just being authentic.”

So often, when I don’t understand something she’s said or that I am doing a bad tape on it, she will sense my trouble and say something to clarify, to reassure.



Wondering what the end will be. And why.

Or the “first fight”

Those eyes that look at me now with so much trust and openness

What will it be like to see them looking at me afraid and mistrusting?
Does it have to happen?


These glimpses of each other’s beauty so easily replaced by glimpses colored by contempt or anger when we are not taking care of our own needs.

Not wanting to see her like that

Not wanting her to see me like that.


In the beginning we marvel over and over at how easy it all seems with each other, how easy not to stumble, how easy to open up to love.



Remembering to her Elizabeth Barret’s poem, the invalid woman poet who wrote of someone’s coming behind her, gripping her by the hair. “Who’s there?” she calls. “is it death?” “Not death,” the answer comes, “Not death, but love.”


Things that were hard to share


Marijuana when it got low

Marijuana cookies when they got low      I asked not to.


Air space: twice she put on records while I was in the bath, times I needed to take some solitude. The first time I endured Odetta singing the blues to brass accompaniment but talked about it afterwards with her / the second time when she put on Woody Simmons’ loud new album I asked her to turn it off, even thought I knew there was some song or other she wanted to share.



It early came to a point where I had to talk with her about that. “I’ve been thinking about that,” she said. “I just won’t ask you for money, that’s all.” I know it’s not so simple. You come to care about a person, you just can’t ignore them as a financial being. Yet how often have I said to myself “I just can’t afford another poor lover.” They all seem to be, the women I’ve loved. Women living on the edge of the system, women refusing to sell their lives, they’re the ones who have the time to think about how to live their lives. And absolutely poor.

But how many women are there by now who would turn to me if in desperate need? And how could I refuse? As my life opens up the odds rise. And I’ve just barely got this thing together now with many years of work and maneuvering. I want now, I demand now, the time to reap the fruits of my labors, to do whatever it is I am to do now. And no friendship and no love that costs me that is worth it.


And here I am all defended again and it’s time for someone to say:

“Tangren. I just want to be good for you. I love you. I want you to get your chance. I know you need to do it. I just want to be good for you.”

and she has.


Easily integrating latihan into our lives. Latihaning before the rock slide show. Latihaning before making love, silently, naked before the fire. Speaking to the goddess with my body. When I turned, a little self-consciously, back to Sandra and slipped again into bed, she said, “That was a very beautiful prayer.”


One thing that’s hard about being present with another person is that I need every so often to be present to … the  … Presence … and especially when intense and important things are happening.


And, by the way, thank you for paper….


Going to that very intimate opening to each other just 30 minutes before I had to pick up Marcella from school. Wonderful to go there – but such a stretch.

No time to integrate.


Speaking of which, it’s a quarter to three already this Friday – Marcella soon.


Nice to center in with her again. It’s much easier to touch her now, and she seems to like the hugging and holding and footrubs. A lovely little spillover, Sandra.




The thing about getting so involved with another person is that you tend to forget lots of other important realities. You get monofocused if you don’t surface pretty often.

Like, when near the end I could feel how hard it was letting her go, and got into some sadness or other, she said “Well, I have no doubt that are going to enjoy your time alone a whole lot.” How can a Libra resist?


Sandra: Late one night – tripping by the fire: “I feel as if I’ve become a part of Tangren’s dream.”


Myself, thinking, over and over “Oh, how could anybody be heterosexual?!”


Strange coming back to a sense of myself as a sexual being, a person for whom sexuality with someone is a reality. It’s been such a long time since there was anything like enough sexuality in my life – maybe six years ago, with John – and less and less – Strange sharing something that private. It’s always been so hard for me to open up to a woman, to feel that sexuality between us is a possibility… It’s just something I’ve had to steel myself against wanting for so long – for most of my life because most of the women I’ve loved in my life have not been lesbians.


Picking up Marcella one afternoon, heading for the grocery store, then to try combining all three of us for the evening. “You know, Marcella” I said as we headed for the grocery store, “you know, I really do feel sort of ‘in love’” “Well,” she said, “that’s why you have affairs, isn’t it?”

It wasn’t easy combining us – not sleeping with Marcella. My own guilt may have been the biggest factor – I felt uneasy and guilty, Marcella seemed self-conscious. When Kirsten was here it had been fine; Marcella kept reassuring me things were fine with her, she didn’t feel left  out – yet she did tend to burst into tears more easily and got a stiff neck … Well, she is being understanding and supportive, and really, it’s not much different from when she has Kirsten here…

Anyway, it was strange to know myself as a sexual being, to let her open me up to that … She just having come from a four-year relationship (with a woman named Diane), sexuality is much more of a reality to her, and more integrated into daily reality. I tend to conceive of it only in its most rarified and spiritual forms – But it’s nice to integrate it into life even at times when those states aren’t so accessible – To enjoy sexuality, too, at the level of a comforting, a fun, to be lusty or funny or sleepy and make love from those spaces, too.

…Finding myself walking into the grocery unable not to know of the soft skin underneath the clothing of every person I pass.

Yes, I begin to remember a little. It’s hard to remember it now when it’s gone again and the much more normal state of celibacy has returned. I feel somewhat healed in my being sexual with myself … My fantasies are better.

There was a fantasy that occurred when she was making love to me – one that I like a lot and could share with her … I often imagine in my fantasies – usually, in fact, that I am a child. A part of my sexuality seems to have been left back there in my childhood – an innocence before the conventional overlay of the culture’s takes of sexuality … Well, anyway, I imagined that this was in a nursery around the turn of the century in France – Before that, right at the beginning of making love with her, I so often had images of … very beautiful things, pieces of lace, beautiful combinations of materials, combinations of color and fabric, sewn together in a honeycomb design, pieces of furniture or windows, old fashioned, French and feminine. Maybe it’s because she looks a little like Sarah Bernhart.

Well, anyway, a French nursery and there is old wood and lace firelight and it is my bedtime, and she is my nurse … And in this country they believe that it’s very important that children have enough sexual touching, right from the beginning

Or perhaps it is a place children are brought when they need healing, and taken loving care of…


Sometimes there was another fantasy – Women,  in a midwifely sort of way, preparing women to give birth, in a ritual of love-making, teaching them the pleasure of their bodies, their vaginas, their wombs, the opening relaxation that makes giving birth and making love such joy…..



We are in a sort of dance hall; Holly Near is practicing her songs before the concert. She sings a new one: “I’m looking over a four-petalled flower….”

“You know,” I say, as we head down the stairs toward the stage, “when I was a little girl we sang it a little differently, and faster; like this..” I demonstrate…

“Is that so?” she grins, holding me amiably mid-rump as we lope down the stairs.

Then I am in the dark in the wings, and she is onstage. She smiles and begins: in an uptempo.

I’m looking over a four-leafed clover

that I overlooked before

One leaf is sunshine, another is rain,

the third is the roses that bloom in the lane

No need explaining the one remaining

It’s somebody I adore, Oh   (slowing)

I’m looking over a four-lipped lover

That I’ve overlooked before.”



Have cut down on the strength of both m.j. and coffee – mixing one half and half with decaffeinated coffee, the other, sensimilla, mixed half with green leaves.

I hope I do get a purchase on this before long – I need to walk, yoga, etc. There seems to be such little time, and I do feel the need to be able to write to you, Tangren, to feel my way to who we are together, writing self; I miss you. But the sign on my door says “Remember the future.”


{Typist’s Note: affixed to this page in the journal is a photograph, “taken at Rootworks, probably by Ruth Mountaingrove.” In it are Sara Heslip, Zarod, Hannah Blue Heron, Tangren, Caroline Overman, Amy who lived at Golden, and one unidentified woman.}



Friday Morning April 17 {1981}

What a strange week it’s been. Tuesday, school seemed rather easy – though I’d only had 4 hours sleep the night before. I often do get a sleep deprivation high. Came home feeling good, enjoying the solitude, enjoying missing Sandra, fixing supper, listening to the news, enjoying the simple feeling of being able to do exactly what I feel like doing at any moment, without ever having to think about how it’s affecting someone else. Yet … missing her. She called that evening, “Nobody ever kissed me the way you do, either” she said. “I got the tape.”

At supper I’d called Mom, thinking of what a strain she’s been under lately, a lot of travelling, a lot of illnesses, a lot of hard work in between. Feeling – feeling myself in that non-stoned (not really true) outward-functioning mode, feeling tonight I could enjoy touching in with her, giving her a massage.  Know she’s had a hard time handling Sandra; anyway, we haven’t connected for a while.

Took a rest after supper – up in time to go over there by nine – spent two hours in her apricot bathroom (that’s not exactly what it is, it’s a room with a tub, a basin and closets – a room for taking care of yourself, a golden pink womb room. “No man would have ever designed a room like this,” she says proudly. (“And every woman who comes in understands it immediately.”)

Marcella called to remind me – “An Affair to Remember” is on at 11:30.  Had forgotten – More coffee.  (I’d been keeping going on expresso.) Instead there’s a program on the space shuttle, the first flight just completed today; the first space ship, they say, and that is a kinda neat thought and it is impressive what they did – still, they’re living in their own little world like I am.

Marcella and I had a tape of “An Affair to Remember” but it’s cut quite a bit – some of our favorite scenes are gone. So I’d decided to tape it over again on that same tape. I watched the tape for a while, then found the movie in progress. At the commercials I tried to catch the tape up to that point in the movie – only to find the movie started on ahead again. It was fun to watch the drama at triple speed, the characters dancing through their parts in swirls and turns and rapid bursts of feeling. But I couldn’t help but stop it now and then to watch some of my favorite Deborahs over again and again – Her first scene, her talk with Cary Grant’s grandmother and their embrace as they part –

I still saw new things in the movie – this time I found myself noticing how effectively she touches herself, touches her face, then rests her cheek in her hand during her talk with the Grandmother, pulls her coat close around her, plays with her clothes, puts her hand to her forehead, nearly covers her eyes sometimes when it’s too intense – at the end – hard to describe. I’ve notice that before – in stills, she often touches herself – the famous gesture in Tea and Sympathy, one hand to her own breast, one reaching to the boy. Saying – maybe – that she is a woman who has herself to give – (and that she is in the undefended place where we can touch ourselves.) …

The lines are funny – their humor plays together throughout  – and yet how soft she is, how vulnerable in her eyes from the first moment.

Noticing this time how when she embraces the Grandmother, there is a moment at the end where she has released her, moved back, just enough to look into her face, when her arms still reach out, encircling the old woman, in a gesture of embrace without touching, pure ballet – (and so much like Connie in those moments)

Well, by the time the movie was over and I had watched little bits of Deborah 15 years older in The Arrangement – being another woman altogether – and then watched her charm Cary Grant once more, and then came home, it was 3:30 or so in the morning.

Slept until 10:00 AM when Deirdre  called – She’s finished a small electrical job at 441 beach . We decide at meet at lunch when I can pay her – As usual we talk about “being an artist.” Her place is wonderful – A tiny, impossible space she’s converted from a burnt-out attic to a tiny apartment. The rafters just clear our heads. Her sink and toilet are both extra small sized. Her bed is a pink-wallpapered womb closet, with a tiny paned window that looks out into a tree. She pantomimes Cinderella waking up, stretching.

By 2:00 my energy was bottoming out so I came home and slept. Got up at suppertime but decided to keep on sleeping, set the alarm for 3:00 at which time I got up and did several hours of logic.

Still had time to smoke 2 pipefuls and to walk to school (2nd time running, as it were) By last night I was headachy tired – it came on at school yesterday. Marcella and I went to bed right after supper and slept for nearly 12 hours, drifting off to An Affair to Remember. I enjoyed my dreams, but couldn’t remember them in the morning. But sleeping in the loft with Marcella and all my three pillows cured my headache.

It’s true marijuana consumption is still high – 2-3 pipefuls a day is common – even more. My chest feels pretty good, but my throat is always sore. My energy feels fragile today – mj. Cookies can make me pretty tired – caffeine consumption also high, to compensate. For too long – it’s no wonder I’m feeling tired. Well, this is my day to rest. Tomorrow the writers’ group meets at Rootworks – and I may stay to talk to Caroline. The next day is Easter Sunday and Marcella’s birthday too –  her thirteenth. I am trying to think less about “becoming a teenager” and more about witches and such. Next day – write logic exam, make phone calls, etc.


Sunday Night very late – April 19 {1981}

Saturday – Writers’ Workshop – Rootworks

Home with Hannah to her cabin – enjoyable close work on the writing on her last 3 chapters. In the morning – ready to leave by 10:00 to be home in plenty of time for Easter/family dinner/ Marcella’s thirteenth birthday. The keys are missing, After a long hunt and much confusion we decided – Hannah will drive me down here, bathe and relax while I attend the dinner and birthday and get other keys. It all worked – I even got a bath and presents wrapped.

Afterwards I read H. some stuff – Celestial Mechanics, the D.K. entry from just this time next {? last?} year, then the tape – School Dreams/Tee’s Visit.  She said some lovely things, was so glad for the close input on her writing. She drove me back with my spare keys – They worked!

A gentle happy drive home with Deborah, the delicate flower of appreciation opening again my heart. Safely home, safely stopped for the mail…a letter from Sarah Hoagland … after all this time. The anthology is happening; and it sure sounds as if they plan to use my piece. So wonderful! It’s the perfect place for it – (the only place, really; it’s too long for a piece in a magazine.) And it seems to be happening!

As usual, such news arrives at a significant and propitious time.

*                      *                       *                       *                       *                       *

Oh, also, exciting news – Tee Corinne is moving out here. Immediately. Caroline is glowing – I am happy for her. I don’t need her to be to be to be {Typist’s Note: the repetition appears in the journal.}  my lover; and I can understand why she is happy. It’s exciting to think of Tee Corinne being around here.

Caroline is becoming an editor … Interesting.  I had great fun working through H.’s  story last night – voicing my own sensibilities re writing.

I do love the actual fussing with the writing, taking out extra words, thoughts, clarifying ideas and form – fun to be verbal about it.


Friday morning , April 24 {1981}

I was thinking about repairing the sidewalk today, down at 441 Beach – the city is asking me to do it, I talked with the engineer yesterday – it’s nothing, really, that I can’t do. But I felt so tired when I got up with Marcella that I decided to go back to sleep for a couple more hours. Then Libré called, wanting to borrow Deborah – she and Holly have a date to climb Table Rock, and the car they planned to use won’t work… so I guess I’ll take it as a message from the universe to be internal today.

Today is warm and cloudy – the last few days have been warm and sunny. Monday I had a huge bulk of errands, phone calls, etc to do – but got stoned and wrote in here instead. But the things did really need doing and I felt tired from the m.j. And depressed that I wasn’t doing them. However, I was dimly apprehending that it had been an intense weekend and that probably I did need a day to absorb. (I didn’t stop to think that my tiredness, too, might b due to the events of the past while.) but I did have to write a logic test for the next day. In the end I didn’t, though –

By 9:00 in the evening I was feeling a little panicked at still not having it done – unable to switch into that mode – that defended, thinking-of-all-the-angles place – unable to make myself do it.

But a little panic-ed  that it was not yet done and the exam was tomorrow morning at 9:30. And just feeling a little desperate. And not ready to let go of feelings yet. I thought of Sandra’s sweet little poem playing on the lines of the poem I’d sent her, Maybe, and on lines from the tape I’d sent her, “An Unusual Fire”

“Maybe that can happen once

definitely will happen twice.”

So I put on the tape to listen to it and think about her, and my desperation and my thinking about her combined themselves into a call to her: “Sandra, you could call now. Sandra, oh, save me! Help me! Call me!” The phone rang.

Yes. It was.

Well, she was feeling a little shaky and depressed herself and couldn’t really pull me out of mine, but it was nice to talk to a fellow sufferer. And if I hadn’t been so depressed I might have taken more heart from noticing that … what shall I call it …  that little kiss from the Goddess.

Afterwards I walked into the bedroom, held a pillow and Raggedy Ann to my breast, and let myself just feel the pain, holding the pillow to my breasts and pretending it was her head, letting myself know of the times when we have done this, when it was all right to cry, with her.

Then, needing to go to sleep, not wanting to break the feeling of connection with her, I thought of the tape of the chart-reading she’d done (or 1/2 done, Marcella called in the middle) for me, put it on; to hear her voice, its particular accent – another Sandra, another me, not deeply touching, but being strangers, a little, to each other in these roles, astrology teacher/reader and learner/listener. Of course I thought that was the real us, being depressed, as I say; thinking “it’s good to have a tape to listen to, for a reality-check.” But also finding my mind balancing between astrological flights and skepticism (down! down!) until I felt a little sleepy set the alarm for 3:00, six hours hence, and fell to sleep listening to “Kim”

The next morning I woke up transformed into a logic professor and though there wasn’t a moment to spare it did all come together and by 9:30, and not even rushing, really, there was a good exam to give. I did feel obligated to try to watch that they didn’t look at each other’s papers, and that was probably the cause of the headache. But it went away when I came home and took a couple of Exedrin. I knew I wouldn’t be cosmic that night, so I left the marijuana well enough alone.

As I did the next day. All that deskwork and calls and things really did need doing. I let myself sleep until 9:30, up, bath, breakfast, meet engineer at 441 Beach at 11:00, downtown for cement and bonder so I’ll have it when I need it, back to school to give Patricia (a woman from Sierra Leone who is becoming a friend of mine) her exam. Brought along the rest of the exams, so I stayed there and finished correcting them. Lunch at home, read through enough logic to make a decision about what to cover and what to skip, get clear about what I needed  to study for tomorrow.

Then desk work – nearly $75 worth of donations and orders – Greenpeace, Rape Crisis Council, NGTF, orders, subscriptions to Women’s Press, of Eugene and new women’s Times, book orders; Sapphistry, Gingerlox (?) Cytherea’s Breath; For Earthly Survival with Ellen Bass, and record orders, Kay Gardner’s latest, and on unknown that sounds soothing. Well, it was fun to do, really, and nice to have the money to do it. There’s just nothing better it could be spent on. (And that does bother me some – when I get critical of the spending habits of women I know, how they will spend money for eating out and going to bars (things I just won’t do because they cost too much) and yet never have e money to buy women’s records and books and support good causes.)

Several phone calls of various natures – all accomplished.

B y about 4:30 it was all done. And I still had so much energy and the day was so beautiful that I put on my shoes and went running around the hill – I actually ran the first half of the way (the downhill part, I admit), ran, just from feeling good and bouncy enough to do it.) when I came home I didn’t really feel hungry yet, and got to thinking how easy it would be, really, to make myself a pair of pants – the pattern and material are here, and they’re ultra-simple, and I need another pair so badly – so I did it. About 8:00 everything was done but the hems on the legs – but it was getting dark and I was needing to eat. After supper I read a little of ‘The Black Cloud”, set the alarm for six, and dosed off. Woke up in the light at 5:30.


As a logic teacher. Rather awed by what I’d accomplished the day before on no marijuana, I took a bath, studied logic, are breakfast, dressed, and, finding there was plenty of time still, walked out into the beautiful morning, the moon already gone, the sun already high, gold and silver in the blue sky, the tulips open, and everything else so green below the blue. I found a latihan sort of singing coming from me, and felt, as I walked and sang, how my song seemed to lay a sort of blessing on the morning. Even occasionally seeing in the people I passed, not threats to my freedom, but other aspects of God.


My, my, tangren, and you weren’t even stoned? (Notice how you almost forgot it, too.)

In class we went through the exams and started on deduction, but it went faster than I expected; there was no point in going on, though – they obviously couldn’t absorb anymore, nor could I; so we quit a bit early, the students pouring gladly back out into the sunlight. … spring and logic, always an unfelicitous combination. Though I wonder if anything would be better. I remember many springs as a student – and I felt just a they do.

After class I bought some paper and a couple of pens – including this lovely new lavender one. I spent a good deal of the rest of the time breaking it in by writing a letter (@40%) to Sandra. Both Summer and Teresa came by to talk. One thing I mentioned in the letter was the timing of her phone call… A few minutes later Lynda  called to tell me she’d found that piece on synchronicity by Jung (that she’d mentioned to me a few days ago.) Lynda is an interesting woman, in my afternoon logic class. Probably the best student in there, she’s in her thirties and has an English accent. We talked in the sun a few days ago. She was a grammar school teacher in England, went to Spain on a holiday, met her husband and cashed in her return ticket. I felt a little wary, she likes logic so much. And loves chess, but had to give it up “for the sake of my marriage” she laughs. But it went from there to synchronicity and the occult; so I was reassured.

The afternoon class are a much more interested and intelligent group –  we had a rather enjoyable class. They wouldn’t take it lying down that the predicate is distributed in O propositions, and together we put our finger on what had been subliminally bothering me about Copi’s explanation.; it was sorta fun sharpening our brains together. Stayed after class reading Jung and talking to a student about biology. Talked to John about how to see how the predicate is distributed in O propositions and about teaching Aristotle, about that maybe there are interesting questions about the different kinds of causation, whether giving a causal explanation obviates the need for an interest in a teleological one. It seemed a distant question at the moment. – at 4;30 walked home. By that time the sky was full of every kind of cloud. Herb and Nell drove past, waving. Nell, who had an uncanny knack for finding four leafed clovers, always enough for all of us on Herb’s high school debate team. (Whether it was the clovers in our shoes or Herb’s coaching, we did win a lot.) funny, they are almost ‘old people’ now, I reflected, waving back.

Then pick up Marcella, get groceries. Find I’m suddenly tired, read the Black Cloud while M. does homework, then to bed together up in her loft. And stars shining in the black spaces between the cloud in the skylight.

And what do you know, maybe it was those three days without Marijuana, but anyway, Holly Near paid me a visit. This morning I heard Marcella stir, looking at her watch and woke up remembering:

We are in a sort of dance hall; Holly is practicing her songs before the concert. She sings a new one: “I’m looking over a four-petaled flower…”

“You know,” I tell her as we head down the stairs towards the stage, ‘when I was a little girl we sang it differently, and faster. Like this …” I demonstrate.  “is that so?” she grins, touching me amiably mid-rump as we lope down the stairs.

Then I am in the dark in the wings, and she is onstage. She smiles and sings:

“I’m looking over a four leafed clover

that I overlooked before.

One leaf is sunshine, the other is rain,

The third is the roses that bloom in the lane.

No need explaining the one remaining,

It’s somebody                       I adore            ,           Oh (slowing)

I’m looking over a four lipped flower

That I’ve overlooked before”


“Well,” said Marcella, when I told her at breakfast, “I bet that happened because, remember last night how we were playing around with “Fire in the Rain” and “Singing in the Rain”?

“Yeah, that must be it all right,” I said, remembering, a little disappointed to find a causal connection , a link with something that made even more sense – that must be why that song.

But writing it now, I begin to see the other reasons for the song, the “teleological causes”, one might say. The reasons it was such a perfect speaking.

Because of the words, of course, becoming blushingly plain as I write them down. and then, well, “Four Leafed Clover” was the first “popular song” I’d even known of. I was six, home with the measles, and listening to the radio with my mother; we liked to sing along. There was a show in the morning where you could write in a postcard and request a song to be played for somebody. A friend of mine was home sick, too; so Mom wrote in, in my name. She read me the words and explained them, and we sent it in. and they actually played our song, and read our words on the radio, “For a fellow sufferer.”



Well, when marijuana can mean the difference  between repairing the sidewalk and noticing something like that, it seems fairly important.


Yes, but notice the balance. Notice the temperance, too. And joy in times of unstonedness and visitation earned. And a high worth waiting for. And a “Hi” worth waiting for.

Monday night, midnight  {April 27? 1981}

Spent the day today planting the remaining four Deodora cedars… I bought six, picked them up and planted 2 yesterday. They are 7 feet tall or so now – and they are very fast growers. Was out before the moon set this morning, watched her ponderous descent over the ridge, felt her weight, and watched her beside Eunice, the third Deodar. (Yesterday I put in Acte and Poppiea, today, Eunice, Miriam and Pomponia, and, of course, Lygia. Watching where the new subdivision is going in, thinking about lines of sight, feeling uncomfortable that 28 houses and all these people walking and driving can look over here and see that I am alone, that I’m up late at night.

Well, anyway, it was a lovely day and I enjoyed the tree planting, and I think my sacroiliac feels if anything better than this morning, though it was a lot of hard labor.

Anyway, spent an energetic day planting, 4 trees, a lilac bush, potting tomatoes, etc, fussing with an indoor plant – finally about 7;30 ate supper. I had two important letters to write/type this evening – one about the new subdivision, one to the Tarot people to ask for permission to reprint some stuff. 2 addresses needed – an errand to Mom & Dad’s to check the paper to try to find out if that subdivision is mentioned – to whom it’s been repealed –

The subdivision isn’t mentioned. But – my God! – what the paper does say: the front page: a seventeen year old girl has been found murdered under the bleachers of a football stadium in Medford. ‘Nude”, “she had been beaten” they say. Item 2: a woman was kidnapped and raped in “upper Lithia park” & then again at Emigrant Lake. She had been “driving him home.” Police describe a “Mexican or Indian” man. An article on the murdered nuns in El Salvador; it seems they had been raped, too. Conflicting reports on whether the CIA has evidence to arrest someone. Oh, and a 27th possible victim in Atlanta.

Every time that Marcella is camping out with her sixth grade for outdoor school at Dead Indian Soda Springs – I have to fight down fear and send her safety.

I came home but could not relax. Got out Libré’s empty gun – called her. She offered to come up to stay the night – I really was spooked by it all, and accepted her offer. (She’s been wanting to sleep in the loft we built in the room she had anyway.) So I feel pretty safe and am having interesting thoughts about curtains, at the moment, but I can’t do much but sit and think. – I can’t turn my mind to those letters, or much of anything else at the moment. (L. brought some bullets – the gun is loaded.)


Friday   {No date indicated.} – pack, prepare, and up to Fly Away Home for a May-eve circle – an all night peyote-less peyote circle.  With Hannah, Helen, Bethroot, Hawk, Izetta, Bonnie, Kristen Aspen (also of Izquierda), Amy, who changed her name to Arl, Thyme, and Bea, two German women, two Danish women, Debra Shanti and enough other women to be thirty altogether. I can’t say it was a peak experience for me – the circle was a little big to sustain energy… But I’ve never been to an all night singing circle, and it was fun to let my voice sing out all night long. I never felt totally relaxed – I wonder if I ever will have peak experiences in large groups – well, I do remember the Women on Wheels concert, but it was quite a while ago. When my turn finally came I latihaned sort of, then sang 4-Leaf clover – with small success – then “Peace I ask of Thee, Oh, River” ,,, Next time I sang “white coral bells” with everyone, and “All will be well.” Other women did every sort of imaginative thing – and it was wonderful to be singing together again these songs from Mu Beach …. “One bright morning when my work is over, gonna fly away home. Fly away home to Lesbos, fly away home…”

And new songs to me

We are the infinite within ourselves”

and Holly Near songs

and Izetta sang a song about mothering, returning over and over to singing

the leaving, the faring well

must be done with loving.”

With so much feeling in her voice that I cried and cried. The candles in the center around the altar looked like a beautiful birthday cake, and it was a lovely night.

After food in the morning I drove home with Hannah and Helen to Golden and took Debra to Womanshare, then home, unpack, still on my feet at 3:00 – Marcella and I watch an old movie on TV – “The Secret of the Incas” – I had remembered Yuma Sumac’s voice and the scenes of Machu Pichu , but it was a pretty dumb movie.

Home, supper, to bed even though it’s still light. We are both tired. (Marcella was at the outdoor school camp all week.) Read a few chapters of Mistress Masham’s Repose with Marcella, sleep 13 hours.

French toast in the morning – expect Libré to call – we plan to work today … but she never does. I can’t get ahold of her … a rather at sea feeling, not knowing whether to undertake anything , not feeling any footing. Know I should go for a walk or do something besides sit and smoke – I almost go at one point before dusk, but remember that the murderer of the Medford girl has not been caught yet, and chicken out. Call Beaver and we latihan. Then my stomach hurts from too much coffee and marijuana, so I lay down to rest and recover for a bit and ended up sleeping till 6:30 this morning. Libré just called, we decide not to work together today so I can write.

Right: the last final write-through of January 1980 and of to the editors.


Hawk: A 42-year-old woman who used to be a philosophy professor. Seeing her looking nearly like a young ballerina, dressed in white, conducting the preparations for this circle I wonder if she ever really could have taught logic.

But then, when Hannah volunteered to be drummer woman and someone else volunteered to help, Hawk said, “Well, I really don’t see how a second drummer woman would function … except in the possible case where the woman sitting to the right of the drummer woman didn’t want to drum when drummer-woman was singing.”  Well, I didn’t quite catch it, but enough to laugh to myself that I was sure she had taught logic.

Imagine my surprise when I found myself in that precise position in the circle, and wanting very much not to drum when Hannah sang.


Thyme couldn’t get over how much Hannah and I look alike. “She could be you at 55.” “She could be your mother.” “She looks more like you than you do.”


May 24, 1981

Tonight I couldn’t sleep – After a couple of hours of sleep I woke up; decided to sit and think, smoke and write. Things with Sandra are being kinda hard just now. Nothing wrong, really, in terms of what has happened between us … and that’s a little scary … Do I have an automatic self-destruct mechanism built into my love affairs? Well, there’s no need to leap to any such conclusions; obviously I am in a somewhat low place just now. It’s so hard, though, having to be responsible for what my moods do to another person; it’s so much easier to be in a funk by oneself – just suffer through it and after a while it’s over. No harm done, or, at least, I’ve got no choice but to stick with me.

Funny … Irene did a concert last night of South American Music. Her first song was “Gracias a la Vida” by Violetta Para. I’ve been using that song as a sort of mantra to remind myself not to smoke too much, not to kill myself. Now I find that Violetta Para committed suicide just after she wrote that song. … A little unnerving. (One wonders why… in Chile there may be political reasons, too.) But somehow also a little comforting … that such a statement of love for life, of gratitude for life is compatible with ending one’s life.

Well, in the middle of this, Sandra came in. In a pretty good space. I’d been feeling very guilty, having told her a few hours ago, in an effort to stay honest, that I was having trouble being together this much with another person, that I was missing solitude. But I was not able to be graceful about it, was unable to reassure her that I loved her, being so much more in touch with other selves.

… Oh, I feel so inarticulate trying to explain … But anyway when she came in just now she was not in a resentful space about it and I was able to be much more articulate and kind talking about my needs for space. … “It’s hard not to choose being with you when I have a choice. Like now, a part of me says, ‘oh, go to bed with her now. It would be wonderful.’ But I’ve got to choose myself sometimes.

“I’m very lonely for myself. It’s not something you can give me. You love me wonderfully, and with kindness and caring. But this isn’t something anyone can give me; I have to do it myself.”

“It must be hard relating to me.”

“I do seem to chose the complex ones all right. … Well, I find you wonderful and complex.”

I do think that’s at the bottom of what’s happening. I have been alternatingly finding myself having a hard time being loving with her these past few days…

… It’s fine when we’re tripping together, spending long hours focusing in on each other, doing exactly what we need to do each minute. Visiting and coming to a sense of  who each other is, the worlds and depths we share with each other.

But Sandra’s starting to get tired of that word “schizophrenic” already, but how else can I put it? That logic teachers don’t know what to do with hugs. That when I’m cleaning the refrigerator french kisses are not in order. I don’t seem to be able to do both at once

And lots of times I have to/need to nest, settle, pay bills, be efficient, commune with my house, etc. as well as be who I am with Marcella.

And when I’m not in touch with who Sandra is  then it’s hard to have her around. I just don’t seem to know what to do with another person. I’m sure it’s much less strange for her sharing day to day life with someone; I’m very unused to it. And for a good reason; freedom is too important.

Well, I think it’s kind of interesting – my worries – have I blown it? – have I really sent away the one chance at love? – when will it begin, the turning away? – (This isn’t too clear) // the actual event; my guilt my fear my relief


It’s too hard to write about relationships!


Besides the whole thing you started out to say was how it has been hard to share with her – your house, your space, your 2X4’s. And you know yourself well enough to guess that the material is metaphor for something else –

Your need for yourself.

Of course there’s only two more weeks of teaching left – I don’t expect myself to be real centered. Just hanging on thru the curves. Remember the future

Soon to be.

It’s OK that you haven’t written in your journal for 2 weeks – since S. came all my communication energy – and there hasn’t been a lot sometimes – has gone to her. But mostly I’m more externally focused than even that. Today horticulture occupied my time. Friday it was defrosting the refrigerator, 4 loads of laundry and carpentry – finishing up the shed – making a table for Sandra. Saturday – communicating with S. around a little of the hard stuff – having a Helpful Talk. 12:00, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison. Afterwards, sleep, Irene’s concert, sleep – but before sleep we did try centering in a little with each other. I put on some music I wanted that had my letter to Deborah on it. (One thing I miss is being able to play that whenever I want.) Afterwards S. said that she had no doubt that Deborah was “deeply touched” by it. Such a relief to think maybe she doesn’t hate me. “Then why didn’t she write to me, then” “Oh, I can imagine that easily. Any response she would make would have so much power; I ca see why she might not want to wield that much power.”

So you don’t think she was offended?”

“I think she was very moved by it. (Anyway, I think it’s a good idea to imagine that reality and energize it.)”

You’re very understanding about my feelings for Deborah.”

“Oh, if I could give it to you, I’d arrange it for you and Deborah to live happily ever after. It would be a perfect parting love-gift; you and Deborah ride off into the clouds and I turn back to the common everyday reality.”

Have you ever imagined her saying your name? Can you hear her voice say “tangren”?”




Monday, June 8 {1981} , about noon


Had my last day of teaching on Thursday. Friday, though, spent the day at school preparing the logic exam, gave it once this morning. One more day of work; I give the other exam at 7:30 on Thursday, then spend the rest of the day grading and probably moving out of my office. Then on Saturday Lavinnia and Beaver came over for our “slumber party.” Libré was suppose to come but never did. Marcella and Sandra and I all enjoyed cooking for it, but the get together itself was rather a strain. Sunday, yesterday, after everyone had gone Sandra and I tried to center in with each other, but I was needing to be alone / or was so tired I needed to sleep / or so depressed, and needing to just let that be and not necessarily take someone else along through all those curves. In the end I slept the afternoon and then stayed up until late reading a novel. (“Cytherea’s Breath” by Sarah Aldridge.) It was not great writing but it was an enjoyable story and in the end the girl got the girl. Came to where S. lay asleep in her clothes on the bed in the living room we share. She was depressed and full of self-doubt – really the first time I’ve seen her like that. I had not wanted to make love – but I guess it wasn’t that that had depressed her so much as, failing that, she was thrown back into the other realities that depress her.

Well, anyway, we are both awaiting the onset of bleeding momentarily, and, as for myself, I am at a transition point and though lost and depressed, know enough to expect it just now. So, anyway, I’ve nothing great to write; from here it seems absolute insanity to imagine myself a writer; but I know that part of the way home involves just picking up the pen and beginning.

Much to do on the physical plane yet; mundane realities to sort through and prioritize.

And Sandra in my life. This last month we’ve spent together has been so different from the first one. I’ve just not had the energy to put into it just now. We’ve spent two or three good days together, remembering some of who we can be for each other…. A good deal of the rest of the time has been hard; I thirst more and more for solitude. Remembering all these feelings of not having myself to give (remembering from being married). Being so lonely for myself. For the relaxedness and freedom of being totally alone, not having to respond to anyone else or else feel a little estranged from them. Her constant readiness to make love and my own ambivalence – it’s always an attraction at least in theory, and I am always pulled toward it, and yet so often I really am not ready to be that open, and not feeling love. (Not that I do not love her, but that there are other thoughts and feelings that need to be happening right now.) knowing how sexuality often can cut through all that. Ambivalent. Ambivalent messages

While I monitored the exam this morning I read through the new Sinister Wisdom. Some very nice stories / one of a woman thinking back through all her relationships (Seduction Scene by Irene Yarrow) … “one particularly beautiful moment I remember saying ‘Hold on to me, Judith, because I would do anything for you….’ She remembers it too … it seems that’s what really started her running! It was too much, hearing that. Which is, essentially, the thing I can’t understand, the problem that’s killing me: why doesn’t closeness feel good to so many people? Why didn’t it keep feeling good to Judith?”

A good question but I did  understand Judith… The woman in the story wants to get married, find a mate for life. I can remember when that seemed like an inevitable goal, too. I don’t know if I’ve lost something or gained something… Both, certainly. But I have chosen. … I remember, too, the night I married myself. So strange, to be given Dianne back again in another incarnation and to learn from that what Dianne did give me even more – myself myself in solitude. The house that is her house and my house but not place we live in together.

Anyway, come to think of it that was a strange thing to do sitting in that class in that context of being  a logic teacher and read Sinister Wisdom. Perhaps it was symbolic of my readiness to move on. After the exam, going to my office to drop off the papers some young man said “Hi, tangren” in a familiar sounding voice. I looked again, not recognizing him until I realized it was Don Ransom, his hair cut short and his clothes the very camouflage of a nondescript college student. He has just received the first two volumes of his book of poetry on Viet Nam this morning. (When he’d come by to tell me it was going to be published, he said, a he left “I wanted you to know, because it’s due to you that I became a writer, seeing you do it.”

“Why did you cut your hair?”

“Well, I wanted to look just normal for a while, you know, not stand out in a crowd. You’d never notice me now, would you? I got tired of always looking different, and the response it evoked in other people.” I can imagine it. “I’ve been through an intense winter,” he said. “I became very defensive, even took to carrying a gun. There wasn’t anyone I trusted. I was afraid I could kill somebody; I constantly thought of killing myself, only the thought of my children kept me from doing it.” Now he meets once evening a week with a group of other Viet Nam war veterans. “We cry and we rage. We work through so much pain, healing. Healing all that stuff that never got healed, that we’ve all carried around with us since the war. Healing all that pain and learning to love again, loving each other because only we can do it for each other,  understanding because we’ve been through it too. Reaching again for our gentleness. …I’d forgotten, really forgotten this winter about my gentle nature. I was lost in violence and defending myself. I am just again now beginning to remember at I am gentle.” Says the gentlest man I know.

All his wonderful stories about Viet Nam – about playing in the mud in a downpour wearing almost nothing and being busted for “conduct unbecoming a soldier”. “Why can’t I play in the mid?” he’d argued, incredulously, when they took him in….

… Or, in ethics class, his story of the time they were taking over a village. Don, a CO was the medic of the outfit. In one large hut, it was learned, a woman was giving birth; the medic was ordered in to ‘take care of it.’ “I went into the hut with the other men in my team, thinking oh, my God, how do you deliver a baby? trying to remember anything I’d heard about it. There were a lot of people sitting around the walls of the hut; she was lying in the middle, with some old people around her. The people moved back and I got down beside her. I told her I wasn’t going to hurt her, that I would help her. But when I touched her I could feel her whole body stiffen in fear…. And it suddenly hit me, ‘What the hell am I doing here? So I apologized and told the people who were caring for her to go ahead, that we’d stand outside and make sure they weren’t disturbed. …But … our … arrogance … stung me.”

Last year he told me how he’d been up in the mountains fasting and had become friends with a herd of deer. One day as they grazed beside the road a pickup pulled up and some men got out and began shooting. “They shot a doe, and I just lost my head. I started shooting back. Boy, were they surprised. They jumped in their pickup and took off.”

Well, I’m glad he didn’t kill himself or anyone else. I’m glad he’ll be around to tell some more stories of imagination and courage in the living of this life.

But I am also reminded … how cutting loose from this daily reality has its dangers of too much disorientation. The fine line to ‘madness’ …. “Madness”; in Hannah’s world “madness” is the name for what we live in now. And it’s true, I am much more afraid of that madness than of the inner wanderings of the soul.


Night. June 17, Wednesday {1981}

Finally. Some solitude, some leisure. Marcella went home this morning, Sandra is staying down at David’s; I am to have a few days to myself before Saturday – the writers’ workshop  meeting and Sunday the Solstice Celebration at Rootworks. Today so far I have managed not to smoke and have just let myself clean, organize, think, do the watering, walk, and center in. how much good solitude does me. How I’ve missed it lately, missed knowing myself as I do when I can have stretches of time alone.

Just sat down and wrote a two-page list of carpentry-type things yet to do here. Well, I hope I can go at them in a centered and meditative way that will increase my creative flow, not hinder it. … I certainly can’t be writing all the time (Lord give me “the wisdom to know the difference.”) especially this summer. … Should I try  “alternate days” or “alternate weeks” or a few hours each day? I feel very much the need to get my life in financial order. I hope to begin to meditate twice a day; spiritual discipline is something I want very much. Also, I hope to find what it takes to fast before long. – for a couple weeks.


Tuesday June 18 {1981} 9:30 PM

Dear Diary, Well, I have been very moral today, until now. I got up at 10 (after 8 hours sleep), meditated and did yoga before breakfast; after breakfast I listened to my breathing tape, then decided on the day’s work – cutting down the dry grass (and, unfortunately, the bachelor buttons at their height – I worry about what the bees will do – But my father has convinced me the grass is a fire hazard..)

Without benefit of coffee or marijuana I went out into the day and worked for six hours cutting down the grasses, star thistle and bachelor buttons – discovering several little oak trees and beheading one. The day was nice for it, intermittent overcast and clear, changeable clouds, sprays of rain and sunshine and breeze.

At 600 came in, took a bath, had a little supper – collected the weedeater and rewound the cords, took them all over to my folks’. On the way noticed S. in the shed. Asked to check in after a bit –

In a half an hour or so she came up. – what a change came over me; I was not having an easy time of it.
Began with a sense of satisfaction in how I’d lived that day; a strong sense of the goodness of solitude for me. – Remembering my lovely latihan yesterday, and my jumping and skipping walk around the hill afterwards in the last of the light – And catching the moon come up as I return, announcing her imminent arrival over the hill with a pink light in the banded clouds, then climbing the ridge, huge beyond imagining and you could actually see her rise, it seemed. Home to sit outside and contemplate – in to spend a few hours making lists: two packed pages entitled “to do in the house” Other lists: “tapes to copy”, “Errands”, “Beach St”, “Deborah Carr’s Needs”, “Sewing”, “Medford”, and “Possible Ways to Make Money.” The latter runs the gamut from “write a best seller” to “return to teaching” to the manufacture of trippy clocks or window screens.

Well, anyway, I was enjoying my solitude and letting it heal me. And not needing to be with another person to hear about what was on TV (though it happened be a good movie about a lesbian mother and a child custody case) or who was at Cook’s. (the local ‘gay bar’, I guess you’d say.) I found myself feeling very judgmental – and I feel more so now. When I talked to her on the phone a few minutes ago I explained how judgmental I was feeling about those things; not to put them out as judgements, but as a way of looking at myself to see why I was feeling so judgmental. And she said something about having done these things because she was so lonely for me. That scares me so. And makes me feel angry too. (she said, repeating “round green bullets” in the back of her mind.) (But taking another hit anyway.) “God, Woman, don’t you have anything else to do? Can’t you ….” And Libré, suddenly balancing two lovers and a job, trying to do it all on no sleep. My guess is she’ll get too sick to keep the job.  Hope she can pay me back the money she owes me first. It’s obviously impossible/undesirable; why can’t she see that?

I felt so upset by the time S. left that I found myself groping for the pipe. I had planned to possibly smoke and write anyway but I knew this reflex was wrong, this wild clutching for a way out of this pain. After a few tokes I did think to ask myself: Why are you so judgmental? You know perfectly well that you are not them, facing their circumstances, knowing what they know (and don’t know). Why do you need them to live your way?

Well, the financial questions are very real and not to be analyzed away – but, beyond that, why should you care if anyone wants to  watch television or go to bars or anything? Why do you need them to live your kind of life? Well, that was the right question, of course. Because the answer is “I don’t. What I need is for me to live my kind of life.”  That’s what I’m afraid of losing just now. Getting too involved with other people – getting my life tangled up in their values and assumptions – Driving Marcella back and forth to the Horse stables so she can ride her horse – when I try to walk to town if I can save Deborah for only essential trips.

A million things with Sandra – I suppose.
Summer called to talk; told of going to Jo’s to “sit around.”

When I sat down to write this John called to talk over scheduling for the summer – of Marcella, etc. taking a good look at my calendar, facing up to the various plans and commitments I have, seeing my two weeks of precious solitude dwindle to three days and two days and a writer’s workshop. July and August are full. Maybe September? So far it only has the Autumnal Equinox and Deborah Kerr’s birthday on it – the rest is blessed blank space. if it could only stay that way! Well, I have often said to myself: you know how summers are. In September, it will begin. The nights will lengthen, the fires at night will begin. Then, then you can begin to do your writing or whatever this thing is that lies before you.

But I have always envisioned it happening in solitude – It must happen this way. I don’t feel I can have the responsibility of relating to a lover. Tonight I feel I am really unwilling to give that much time away. Marcella will already be here three nights a week (all ‘long weekends’, since John is working full time.

This is the thought I have been afraid to think – How much I lust (or “list”, if you will) for solitude! Where will time for Sandra fit in? is this after all going to go the way of my romances with Caroline and Hannah? Well, I do not believe that I am in a neutral position tonight – gasping as I momentarily am in my first breath of solitude. But at the same time I do find that this is what comes bursting out of me first. How I have missed myself! How I have missed aloneness! It’s not all Sandra, of course. Teaching logic this term, hanging on thru the last of school – there was no reason to try to go internal diving. Might as well be “extremely focused” as Libré would put it. And it was on that premise that I agreed to fit Sandra into my life.

It was not an especially good way to do it – not an especially go thing to do with our relationship, I should say. We are best “tripping together” as I would put it; making love, talking, canceling out any very normal relationship to day and night, doing whatever it is we need to do together… But trying to do that and teach logic and be a mother and watch the world change as my job fades over the horizon is beyond me. I didn’t try, most of the time; there simply weren’t the hours. A few days of the month we connected – and the rest were various degrees of everything. (God, it’s hard to write about relationships!) (I really write that so often I ought to just have a little rubber stamp made of it……) Increasingly  I have felt that I need solitude; been frightened in suddenly feeling overcommitted. Needing maximum freedom and sense of control over my life at this hinge of things. “You were so scared when you started junior high, even. You always do this when you start something new,” Mom has reminded me often enough that I recognize it now when it comes. Still. Feeling the need to know I can do it now. That there will be money enough. That there will be time.

A part of me is ready to say: “This is not up for grabs – that I must do this alone. It’s the only way things can be.”

And then I think of saying that to her and wonder if I ever could. She is so dear and so lovely and loves me so much and loves to make love and looks like Sarah Bernhart and like her mother and father and like herself at five and like a woman of the 17th Century whose picture I’ve looked at for years and looks pink and whose eyes look like chocolate and milk and whose lashes make shadows on her dear cheek in the moonlight. Who makes understanding funny remarks and has the right answers quite often.

To be given all this for which I have longed for so long….

A stunning gift from the universe, to be cherished and appreciated. It is so hard ever to say ‘no’ … And yet that feeling of having been swallowed whole. All those other parts of myself that are crying out for attention. The feeling more and more that I don’t know who I am, when I am with her.

Well, she does have the right answer: “I just want to connect when it is right and for us to share those spaces we do go to; and I don’t want you to feel responsible for me for the rest of the time.”

⒊Masturbating”, I thought last night, “does have its advantages. For one thing, it takes ‘way, ‘way less time.” … Sometimes I wonder if one should ever name one’s journals before they’re done…..

But I also remember how when we last tried to spend intensive time together I could mostly only reiterate my need for space – to the point where it began to get her down and she began to close off, saying “Sometimes I feel like the best thing I could do for you would be to get out of your life altogether.” Well, we processed a lot and reached a good space together before the night was over…..

John called to talk about scheduling for Marcella, as I was saying, and we ended up talking for nearly an hour. Mostly him, his sadness. He saw Kathleen today. She’s getting married in three days. Last summer this time he was so happy, it was the beginning of that beautiful summer that he will so miss this year. In between going to Europe with Marcella and doing some climbing, going to a conference where he “hopes he may meet Someone.”

God, I want to say to them all, why do you need somebody else?

I try to remind him that he’s in transition now, the school year just ended. I encouraged him to go ahead and let himself be glum, not get on his own case just now. I try to remind him of his strengths in solitude. “Yes,” he says. “I do like solitude, too. But not as much a you do. I do like having someone else… Guess that’s just one of the ways we’re different.

Well,” I say, “for me I guess a lot it has to do with being a writer. Because when I’m doing that I’m doing alone what most people only do when they’re with other people… communicating ….so I don’t really feel alone.”

God! Why do you all want to talk to other people? Why don’t you just talk to yourselves?

After all the phone calls I found myself wishing there were a way to introduce Sandra to John. … or John to Lavinnia … Or Sandra to Summer….

I found myself remembering the part about “the angel in the house” as I sat down to pick up my pen, with a distant sense that these were important words to have said.

Yesterday I made tapes of Gaia Laughing bird’s moving reading from her unpublished (to be self-published book) Words Themselves Are Medicine and singing a transfixing song on some lines by the Persian poet, Kabir.

The pieced she read – about taking our visions out of the closet… (You know, she has never been interested in smoking marijuana, and yet she speaks in ways I recognize very much in myself…. And has access to feeling states and inner states and states of creativity I associate very much with marijuana. … {Funny. I do believe that in the bath, about the day before, I’d wished there were just such an example.}

(Also just happening to put that on – “to copy the tape” – in fact, it had run back too far, happening to stop just at the beginning of this piece. Well, I took it as an omen; or as a reminder, knock, knock, this is your friendly Goddess calling to remind you of your calling.”)

By evening I had progressed to taping the second side of the Susan Griffin lecture and listening to it. I was moved again to tears before Libré came to return Deborah and rush off again to “two dates at once” and even after.

So I can see, sitting down and writing that I must be pretty much on course, but it didn’t feel that way when I sat down….

On the phone, Sandra said. “Well, you were a little negative; but I was saying to myself that maybe you needed some tender loving care.”

I felt then that was not what I needed. Wondered if I just wasn’t remembering all the goodness sexuality and loving can bring. … But knew in my body it could not be put first on the list tonight. (Worried about my commitment for tomorrow night of same.)

Now I see what I did need to do.

And sometimes I think, “No, it was wrong, too, to feel that I did not need some tender loving care.” … And that’s just what I’ve been giving myself.”

The kind only I can give me.

Only my wife

Only the writer

Only the one who knows me best.




Table of contents

Good Ideas: Womanspirit Songbook 71  FWG Writers’

Interchange. 72

Women’s Audio network … 73

Good things to write up for Womanspirit … p.91





Possible ways to make money      p.211


Plans concerning the house: when it rains         p. 101

Kinds of trees. P. 101, Garden planning:

Fence plans: p. 105



Lists: p. 194 “Before too long: to do”; “things I need money for”




Good advice: p. 79





Keys … p. 88, 90, 5
























July 1, 1981 near noon


Seed visions and the New Moon


Asking for vision. The answer is: not discounting what comes. Readying for the new moon and from our transition from two months of living together to a month at least apart (She moves into an empty apartment, her children come to be with her – Her son, first, this evening.  Turn to …. The task at hand, taking stock, my life.)

Readying for the new moon we have thought these last few nights of sleeping outside, but, stopped by the fact of known black widows within a few feet we’ve settled for turning the bed so we can see the stars and opening the window wide. Hoping for a dream.

Either last night or the night before, both, I think, I dreamed: (nothing of Deborah or even Holly) nothing, really, but memories of much pleasantness and being with women doing something and a kit, a little pink kit of some sort with everything ready to go, each thing fitted into its own special place.

“Did you have dreams? Said she.

“Something about a kit” I said, disappointed.

( (1)Later in the day  I was inclined to look at it as a seed-idea for a set of “wooden pleasures”” {Sandra’s name}

(2) Kit … Molly … Ruth & jean as cosmic mother-hens, birthing “Eartha”. Someone mentioned wishing for an “Eartha Kit” in the past.)


Well, anyway, today Sandra awoke. Trying to remember  – “…Well, I don’t know if it was me or not… But it was about this young boy. …And he was about to get this important power…” I laughed but it wasn’t until I reminded her of Daniel’s imminent arrival that she thought about all that.

So funny … how dense our own minds are to the meanings of our own dreams, the gifts that pour into us in sleep….

Well, just now we just made it out onto the deck with 13 minutes to center before the new moon in cancer. I set the timer so it would ding just at 12:04 as the moon and the sun were exactly conjunct, and sat down, to meditate.

Turned myself to face the hot, high July sun, the sun in the full of its season, powering the trillions of lives turned toward it, showering down it radiance, the ‘harvest of summer’

And the moon, ancient magical friend of the night, the moon // how good it is to reflect at this time when she seems invisible up there beyond the colors, beyond the high blue dome of day.

She is there

even there.


The important thing is: not to discount what comes. What a lovely seed image, I realized, my kit – my Eartha Kit.

Floundering, these days, wondering who I really am and who I will be now; sometimes the thought has come: why, it’s all there! You’ve got it together now. You have created for yourself time/ money / a beautiful environment

Your house is finished. You have quit your job. There’s money enough for a while. You have a beautiful daughter, a loving, lovely lover, good friends, paper, and, before you, yes I promise, time. (Time’s Child) I promise. Yes. So my next little phase of this earthly journey is admirably and lovingly provided for. I have only to take up my kit and begin.



… I had wondered if it mightn’t be interesting to note where my mid was at the time the bell rang. Trying not to discount anything, I record at by that time I had turned to looking my gift kit in the lid and was wondering if the fatal flaw might not be a fatal dependence on marijuana. And for the millionth time I searched for the key to that. I do hope it will be better as my life slows down and I have long stretches of solitude with nothing to pull me off course.

I thought of Virginia Wolf’s description of the girl who has sat on her bed to write … as she has been now for long, long minutes, the pen poised motionless in the air, her mind wandering long within itself, … and how that description  had filled me with such longing.

The state I know well … but not without marijuana. Why? I asked myself … why don’t you have access to it otherwise? Do you ever try?

I think of how I am, unstoned. Relating to people more. In pain from not knowing who I really am. Unable to solve that in the time available without the help of marijuana, choosing instead to simply endure, reaching for something to read, the radio knob, … something to outwit the “self  hater” …


Time to think.

Meditation is that.

Latihan is that.

Pen in hand is that.

Firelight is that.

Solitude is that.

Simple work is that.


I thought of my mother’s fear of being alone with her thoughts… and how I tend to feel superior. “Why, without marijuana, you’re not much better yourself,” I thought.

Look at that fear,” I was saying. “See that fear itself. Acknowledge it.” I was saying, more or less, when the bell rang, as if a little key had clattered to the floor.

Ashamed a bit to have been caught in a whirlpool of worry, but not discounting, anyway, the importance of a little bell.

Then, turning again up to the sun and hidden moon, I opened my chest and my throat and my fears to the healing of warmth and the healing of reflection and gave thanks again to this mysterious universe for this privilege to be for a while in the colors and the dance.



July 1 {1981} evening         Alone again              Alone at last.

Wondering what it was I wanted to do with some alone time … but able to make a few good guesses…. Long nights alone burning with ideas // my writing – several projects I could name // this house. Hard to realize there is no pressure now about the house.

It’s hard to think what I want to do with my writing. I’m a little terrified by the thought.

Of course, the need for shelter being more common than the need to create a new form of writing and its audience, the task of house building is better defined in the general awareness than is the other task at hand.

(Literature seldom contains sentences this long, but one of the benefits of writing for yourself at the moment is that you can follow your own sentences even when they reflect long thoughts. Also, of course, your letter to William Stafford contains several of those….)

Ah! You haven’t thought of that piece in a while! Hmm! A little polishing and … hmm.


That’s comforting. Because one of the things I wonder about sometimes is what in the heck I plan to do as a writer? I do have a few bits of good writing in my journals, but who ever heard of published your taped journals and acting out your life anyway – maybe publishing the written journal and the tapes but if no one buys them at least you can send them to the Lesbian Archives and if the world lasts and if the Archives aren’t burned then there’s always the hope for  immortality posthumous anyway

And anyway maybe the main thing is just to do what you feel called to do and give thanks for your kit and birth whatever you need to and then see what’s next.

You know now isn’t the time to consider this question but in a way, you know, you’re really chomping at the bit. A bit of your worry is that.

Marcella and Kirsten have gotten up but are being quiet with each other and I’ve kept on writing – for a few minutes anyway. A minor miracle of sorts, a few moments respite from the angel of the house. Now she’s got to get up, though, and see to breakfast and visit with the two children, two angels, two clowns, two budding young girls floating in my twenty year old chiffon nighties in the morning. And check into looking at the old clothes at Mom’s with them. Oh, the delights of the external world … delights, at least, if the inner heart is also being fed. Subtle tortures otherwise.

Feed your heart, love. And yet a little exercise, huh?


Thursday, July 9 {1981}

Do try sending some of your writing about teaching to some semi-academic places.

The Journal of Teaching Philosophy  – 2 AM Val Morn?

With a little note                               the poems

Find out about Women in Philosophy – the Journal of Unfinished Ideas.

What I mean is not that they have any power to validate – Probably TP is too patriarchal  to publish it – but still your natural audience is educated women teaching in the colleges – at least for some of the stuff you want or anyone trying to touch students’ souls or lesbians working in the patriarchy or women afraid for their daughters.


Found myself this morning thinking over some of the lines of “January, 1980” and loving it.


For fun send a copy to Susan Griffin because she writes in that area and her insights have affected yours and you mention her in the writing.                        Yes.    Yes.    Yes.


Anyway, about loving it – loving of the lines – Agnes McCarty said once how I showed so clearly my sense of knowing the place;

thinking over the lines about “the old people are afraid of the ‘kids on drugs’”, my radical women friends see in it the ultimate manifestation of the patriarchy, the women are afraid of the men. Tom relates a recent incident of a strange man being ‘too friendly’. “Probably there’s no connection,” he says, “but you never know.” He says the word “homosexual” with an intonation appropriate to ‘black widow spider.”


That’s really  very good writing, Tangren, But I only wrote down what happened?


  1. Then what happens sometimes happens in very good writing.
  2. Ergo: writing down what happens can be very good writing.


Do you give yourself permission to make logic mistakes in your journal? Do you want to?


Bee: some cases of writing down what happens are instances of very good writing.


Now the point of having smoked this morning was to unfit myself for ditch-digging and self-taught plumbing lessons. Because after all with little fanfare around five last night on the day of the first quarter moon I began to bleed.

I was lying on my stomach playing Sunshine family with Marcella and Kirsten – everyone was getting up … I was taking Dietrich and his two foster-kids, Colleen and Manuel, who as yet live in a cardboard box with no kitchen over to the house of the two lesbians for tomato and mushroom omelet cooked on their old wood stove when I felt that internal movement we call “cramps”, though perhaps we ought to think of another name. And when I went to look a few minutes later the full red flow had already begun. My periods are shorter these last months – three days of flow. And lately they have stopped moving around the moonth two days at a step around the circle          lately the last three months I have begun to bleed on the very day of the first quarter moon. I like this, it makes a time of month I especially relate to; the evening moon, the moonspeaker phase, the old moon in the new moon’s arms, the moon again reappearing after her monthly eclipse in the light of the sun.

So anyway today is the first day of my period so I am excusing myself from doing the sprinkler setup today (unless I just can’t stop myself from doing it.)

This is also the beginning of some time of solitude (unless I spend the PM with M & K looking thru another trunk of old treasures) (and then playing with the Sunshine Family lettuce farm Commune)

Just went to look at them, the SFLFC, and, do you know, they’re very cute and those are two more unfinished projects. – the SFLFC book –  the story of the commune and the coming of the lesbians and then Kezia’s dream.


What fun it would be to put the lesbian dollhouse display getting ready for the Solstice.

Some posters and book covers reduced. Cover with non-removable plexiglass.

Susan Griffin May Sarton Adrienne Rich Womanspirit Magazine


Boy, I filled and was lighting that last half a pipeful without even really noticing what I was doing, let alone thinking about whether it was necessary. Filled with too much coffee, too many ideas pushing to come through, pacing, lying in the sun as the blood pushes through my cervix needing to sit, to bathe, not to have this case of poison oak, needing to think about Sandra and latihan and lying together an hour afterwards remembering and not remembering – afraid I’ll say something wrong from my not remembering –

Having to warn her with every other stroke of my skin about poison oak… yet remembering, too, the good feel of our bodies together, the dear smile her eyes can have.

It had been a week since she’d move out – almost to the minute, we realized. It seemed so much longer. Already things have changed – her hair is cut short – a becoming cut, but she no longer looks much like Sarah Bernhart. Fortunately, though, she still looks like Sandra Jo.


“I love you,” she said. “I love you, too,” I said, sometimes with the feeling of just barely remembering the lines.

And yet she was Jo and I loved her too.

“I miss you,” she said. I could say nothing. “I know you don’t like me to say that, but it’s how I do feel sometimes.”

“It’s just that I feel as if I ought to say ‘I miss you, too’, and I can’t say that I do. I mostly am thinking about other things. I do think of you, too, and I’m always conscious that you’re there; but I mostly have my mind on other things.”

“Well, let’s not say that you have to respond in kind,” she said, I think, “then I can say how I feel.”


But was it “just” that. Is it all right with me if she misses me? Conceivably, if it doesn’t mean I’m obliged to do anything about it?

My, how petty I got in some ways during our time together – protective of my food – dope – I can’t write it down. I watched myself being so mean and miserly and at least a part of me watched with interest and even amusement – knowing it was something more important manifesting itself – a need not to give away too much

too much energy      too much power

too much common-world-making,

reinforcing as some of our common worlds are

when we really start to spin them out

conducive of tenderness and valuing each other


still to make common world with anyone

any one

is always to ignore some, much, (more than a quorum?) of one’s private words.


Communion with myself: How I am My own romantic Friendship


So much else calls to me right now – my other loves, my other lovers ….

The day I met Daniel, as I left, Marcella and Kirsten were playing some sort of fortune-telling game having to do with: which of “five boys they liked” they were going to marry, how many children they were going to have, whether they’d live in a shack, a mansion, an apartment, etc., drive a Rolls Royce or a Porsche. I suggested they widen the parameters a bit, but as far a they got was both marrying the same guy with 8 kids each. “At least we’d get to always be together,” said Kirsten.

Anyway, rounding the hill in the sunlight on my way to Sandra’s I thought: “And how much more lovely than any Porsche or Rolls Royce is a sweet orange ’72 construction of gears and metal who loves you back.”


And by the way I promised her solemnly the last four times she finally started that I would get her to the mechanic’s as soon as possible. Today before 5 – so – a walk back – maybe thru the park – coming up. Trip to the grocery first? Will your luck hold? Can you carry the groceries?


Well, I keep writing because I keep thinking of things to write about but the one thing I keep meaning to say is that

Though I did write about my gift-kit

and accept it as a seed vision

I have not thought about it since.

but since this is the first quarter moon

bleed-in today I was asking myself

about what this meant about seed vision.

(but obviously it must be the sprouting

now that I do think about that

and how appropriate that) I had

not thought much of my kit since I got it –

yet today saw how it is such a useful tool

such a seed vision for meditation

a little kit with each thing needed

tucked into its proper place ready for use.

What a fine meditation.


When I look at the pipe in my hand

and fear this could swallow my life,

to take that pipe and tuck it into

its own soft and perfect-sized little place


When I fear that my love for Sandra

will swallow me whole

to take her and wrap her carefully

with that love

and tuck her gently into her hold


Each thing as it threatens to engulf me

Imagine. Imagine taking hold of it

softly and tucking it into its

proper place in the kit. Imagine everything

being in its proper place, how that feels. Whew!

Mental packing

for the inner journey.


“I get afraid,” she said, “that you will just forget me and go on without me.”


“And I get afraid that you will get tired of my need for solitude and turn away from me…. Then I imagine missing you terribly and you being unattainable and becoming another Great Tragedy, another Great Loss In My Life.”

Well, it won’t happen very soon” said Jo.

I hope not. I’d be mad if it did”

“And if I do, well, I’ll recommend your erotic writings to my new lovers.”


I said “I don’t miss you” but that sounds as if I have not thought of her which is not really true. I haven’t been obsessed with her, I haven’t felt the strong need or wish to be with her at the very moment, yet she is one of my lovers and crosses my mind among tem.


(The bees or whatever they are buzz discontentedly in the stovepipe. They don’t seem to pass the damper, so I guess it’s OK – I can always smoke them out come Fall, I suppose.)


There seems to be so much to write, so much to remember, so much to cull from what has already happened between us

and so much else to tend to

and write

In the meantime she has called, set up a dinner date after I leave off Deborah tonight so I can by and meet Cindia, her 16-year-old daughter, have supper and walk home when it’s a little cooler.

And that hint of a headache I have had for a few hours has begun to take harder hold as time approaches.


Maybe hypoglycemia is not the high road to success.


Take this relationship, Tangren,

magically in your mind place its shape

into the prepared space

fitting into just the right space for it

in your little pink kit.


She is very lovely and very loving

and very worthy of attention

and very much to be appreciated.


Sometimes I shrink from picturing her virtues too much to myself for fear of falling into the picture again


Or because … sorry, I know, she is going to hear this now and it’s suddenly becoming not my journal again.

I often share my journal. But the trick is not to let yourself know ahead of time that you will. Write PRIVATE in big letters and then if later you should decide to share, if upon rereading all or some of those things seem well said and worth sharing, well, you put the sign up, you can take it down.


As I mentioned, on Sunday Summer and Kirsten and Marcella and I drove up to Union Creek, to a nice place she knows of on a bend of the Rogue River.

We ate lunch first thing – it was nearly five by then; then took turns reading aloud from a story Summer loved as a child – about wild marshes and a deformed man who loved birds and painted haunting pictures, and the girl child who came to be his friend.

I was so choked up by the end that I couldn’t go on reading – I had to hand the last page to Kirsten to read.

Then we went for a long walk in the latening light along the bank of the river – a nice trail full of dinosaur lands and miniature deserts and sites for lovely fairy fishing villages.

On the way back Summer and Kirsten waked on ahead, Marcella & I behind; we each had a good talk.

I was talking about Sandra and about Dianne and how they are alike and not alike. “Sometimes,” I said, “it’s like getting Dianne back again in some really lovely ways.” She thought that was neat; but reflected “I only remember Dianne from a long time ago.”  “Well, it was a long time ago, that it all happened. The last time I saw her was five years ago – maybe to this very day. When we were lovers was before that – all of it happened when I was still married to Daddy,” “Oh” “I thought you knew that.” “No” but she didn’t seem shocked at the thought. My guilt at having not kept the agreement between us was there, but seemed to find no reproach in her. “I do feel bad sometimes; he did expect me not to do that kind of thing. …But I was three thousand miles away and I said what could it possibly matter to John what I do or don’t do on my vacation?! ….Little did I know it was going to turn my life upside down…”

“You mean, “right side up”,” she said.


Friday morning:

Coffee and marijuana after breakfast.

Turning off the morning news and trying to center in, think what to do today what to write or whether to do plumbing, or what…

When I noticed the envelope that had by degrees made its way onto the kitchen table… Going through old trunks with Mom and Marcella and Kirsten, I’d found a box – a pretty, old stationery box – some birthday cards with messages of love, the note we left in the tent for the boys the time Marilyn and I kidnapped Pearl in the early morning and canoed her back up the still lake to breakfast at the Girl Scout Camp where we were counselors. There was a broken-off ‘cartoon’ by ‘Donnie’ of a little blue helicopter who gets pushed around by a big plane // And there as a big letter in my writing in an envelope marked “just for you to read”. “Hmm. This will be interesting,” I thought, tucking it into my pocket, mentally promising to return it. So just now I read it.


Saturday morning 7:30

Remembering the last of a long dream – we were going somewhere – to school, I think – living very crowded into somebody else’s house, several of us women in one room – of sorts – the houses of my dreams are often like this – uncomfortable – sort of jerry-built – I remember opening a small door in a wall – there was a sort of black hole going down to the cellar – and beyond across it a children’s bedroom of people living in the rest of the house…

Anyway, we were trying to get somewhere – a bunch of us – Subud women, I think. Dividing ourselves into various cars Sandra and I ended up in a car with a Mexican chauffeur. She was in the front seat with him, I was in back. He wanted to be just with her, I couldn’t make out what she wanted – was thinking how I could have been in Deborah myself instead.

We ended up back at the place we were staying; which had somehow been expanded and cleaned up a little … He wanted to sit at a table with Sandra; I still couldn’t figure out hat Sandra wanted, though I didn’t think she could want encourage his advances. Then his friend came in, also a Chicano, and proceeded to try to get me to sit at another table with him – as a sort of favor to his friend, I think I can’t remember any details but only the awful feeling of being high-pressured by some man as they can do…

Don’t know where that dream came from entirely – part of it is the jerry-rigged basement apartment Sandra is living in – sewer pipes thread overhead in the living room area, disappear into large gappy square holes, etc.

And part of it, I think, comes from reading last night Surpassing the Love of Men (a very interesting book about the history of women-identified-women in the last few centuries); about the status of women and the power of men in the 1800’s.

Well, I have been dozing a while, even though it’s only 7:00 now. It’s been nice to wake up , anyway, and see Raggedy Ann’s dear face smiling at me from a few inches away. I got lots of sleep yesterday…

Couldn’t finish the journal entry … lots of thoughts about Pearl – too much to begin on right then … by the time I reached that point in the journal entry I was already experiencing my first wave of tiredness – from coffee and marijuana. & hypoglycemia. .. Accomplished nothing yesterday – well, yoga for the first time in a long while, had a nap, a drowsing nap, in the p.m. went over to look thru another trunkful of stuff with Marcella and Kirsten and Mom.

Then walked down to pick up Deborah – $150 for just some maintenance things – lube, oil filter change, repack wheel bearings, tuneup and valves reset…

Well, it was a shock and took a while before I was able to be thankful that I now had a nearly perfect Deborah for only $150. It could have been worse and I did have the money but just barely.

When we were unpacking the trunk at Mom’s, Margaret Hull called there, for me. She’s in town for a week. I couldn’t talk then, said I’d call back later. When I walked back into the living room, Mom had just taken out “her formal” – a little pink slip of a dress she loves that we shortened for me to wear when Margaret and I were in “Our hearts Were Young and Gay”

But I felt so tire and depressed I couldn’t have her over or even call her that night.

…Tired from the coffee-marijuana regime all day … I just can’t do that day after day … But tired also because of my period – my second day –  flowing as strong a ever, still feeling weak and watery in the midsection. But still … I couldn’t do anything – not even simple obvious things that needed doing like watering the trees. Decided to put that off till early morning – now here I am writing again.

…That is a problem … Not knowing which is a priority, physical accomplishing or writing… Doing neither and kicking myself… I do say “Oh, well, I’m just finding my feet.” But it has been a while now.

…Yesterday in my depression I found I was missing Sandra. I’d been the evening before a her house, having supper with her and her kids. Meeting Cindia, her 16-year-old daughter. It all went much easier this time – with more people to interact it went smoother. Late in the evening she brought me home. I’d been wanting to read her some of my journal, and did… But it was late and I was tired and neither of us were centered and there wasn’t much time and it was a setup for wracking on the shoals, which we did a little. Had a hard time, ended up affirming something; she went home to write for hours about a similar-feeling incident with Diane (her former lover).

…Anyway, when I was napping yesterday I found myself quite present to her – picturing her face, her ways of moving, talking, laughing.

And later when I was feeling so depressed I wished to be with her, wished for the comfort of her body and her smile, for her to distract me from my heaviness. Was that “missing her”? I called it that.

Yet when I did talk to her, about 10;30, she was also heavy and insecure – don’t know how I’d ever deal with her life; the basic insecurity of not knowing where she’s going to be living next, how she’s going to get the money to get the kids home – let alone live for the next little while… –

Anyway, my theoretical comforter was just another person with problems then. “I missed you today” I said. ‘That’s the first time you’ve said that,” she said. It was the first time I’d felt it, but I couldn’t exactly say that – probably got a little defensive, mentioned all the other things I had to think about…

It was scary to feel her negativity – the beginning of a “problem” in out relationship: yet it is no longer a “new” one…

Well, anyway, if she had been here yesterday it’s ten to one I’d have been saying to myself how hard it is to be in a funk when there’s someone else around. Not wanting to bring her down yet needing the freedom myself to go through the hard place.

…And knowing, trusting, believing in the future. Knowing I may well be ‘resting up’ for the next supernova burst of energy. Trusting the process; trusting solitude to heal me.

(Yet what solitude? I haven’t got another free night till next Wednesday. Then M. will be coming again. Arghh…)

Well, one thing wonderful in a way, today I am writing without any m.j. Crawled back into bed to write my dream. …Another  time in the past few days I tried sitting in bed to write; I don’t smoke in here. It worked! …Taking Virginia Woolf’s description about being in bed quite literally may be the key!

Well, the morning before I woke up just remembering the tantalizing tail-end of a dream… I was leaving for somewhere, to do something, and just as I left someone was tucking a note into my pocket. I sure am curious, but that’s all I can remember.

Well, I woke up this morning from that dream about the pushy men feeling a lot of dread and depression, wanting to continue dozing until the world should take on a better shape. But I believe I’ve “gained a certain hold” on things “by writing them down” (as V.W. said of Haddock  ______ {Molly’s calling her current journal Haddock &         })

I do feel more cheerful now –  guess I’ll fix breakfast, water the trees, and see if it’s still cool enough to work on the water line… I know I’ll feel better when that’s no longer hanging over my head.


…Thinking about how writing a journal is like writing to a friend. Which it is. I love you. Thanks for being there.



Sunday, July 19 {1981}

Over a week since I’ve written in here. Will try if the synapses are still there – maybe work them a bit.

Seems I feel as pressured as I ever did teaching school. It’s amazing the continuous list of things that have to be done right away. Transplanting m.j and tomato plants, fix front steps, Deborah to garage again, pick apricots – but the list is several pages long. And no chance to write in here for over a week, let alone get to my other writing.

Sunday/Monday went to Cave Junction with Beaver for latihans and celebrating Beaver’s 79th birthday. Felt 20%  “there”; even in latihan not feeling greatly moved, only dimly affirming that there was a reason – remembering that resting is often for something – Monday night Mom calls – the next night is the city council meeting to decide the final fate of the threatened “Lithia Park Village” almost in my front yard (Exaggeration.) Decided to attend, then realized that was my journal-writing class night – first time they meet up here. Mulled over thoughts about Beaver and Lavinnia, decided to give L. a phone call or letter, then decided to spend the night writing a letter, hopefully for the paper the next day if not too late.

Stayed up all night writing 3 pages of eloquence – see enclosure – by morning I was trying to type it – my typewriter broke down – called Mom & Dad – Mike has theirs. Mike doesn’t answer phone. Decide to drive down and wake him. … Deborah won’t start. Over to Mom & Dad’s to borrow theirs – wake Mike up – back to type … Felt so much like those dreams I often have, trying to do something and everything going wrong. So much that I couldn’t help but be amused. (marijuana and expresso and eloquence had restored much.)

So…the copy place wasn’t open yet, so out to the Tidings. It’s after eight, and “too late to get the letter in” – though the sympathetic woman reporter I talked to told me where else I could take it today. City Council, read it at the meeting tonight, name of person spearheading the opposition. Day spent running around to the copy place, the City Council (The friendly secretary, reading it, said, “You didn’t have to say you were a writer. I could tell that, reading it.”) Mom and Dad thought it was good, too. Also left a copy for the head of the Shakespeare Festival. Many phone calls, trips home. More coffee. Yoghurt smoothies. Leftover poppyseed cake from Beaver’s birthday. Not much else the whole day long. Dad got Deborah started, (and I even said “she” a few times, and called her name, automatically, trying to start her.) She carried me chokingly on those errands, died in the entrance to my driveway, not to be started. Dad came over again, we began to take her apart – that is, he did, I watched and talked mechanics with him. He got her running, but barely. We decide I’ll keep their car for the day. … Not emotional support, – verbal support – that just doesn’t come, somehow – but something you nevertheless needed at least as much as those … Actual physical work yesterday, too, how he brought you two loads of wood, while you met with the writer’s group.

Anyway, I do appreciate the particular pentacles way my father does support me.

Talked to the woman who is spearheading the opposition; gave her my letter and learned a lot about the whole fracas. Had a long list of people to contact, but the day got too late.

Centered in for a couple of hours. Called Mom, Dierdre, Mike, David, Marcella about going, read over my letter, cleaned house for the arrival of the women writers group that evening, listened to “I Have Dreamed on this Mountain” over and over, sang along, sang as loudly as I could, standing on the deck, sang a blessing of protection to the ridge across the way, singing up my strength. (even sang it to Mom in the car going down to the meeting.) Greeted Molly, showed her the phone, the ashtray, ten other things, greeted the journal-writing class and excused myself.

Roaring on my own energy up the hill – all of the problems of the day having been just “challenges” – sang “I Have Dreamed on this Mountain” one last time to the hillside – Mom, Dierdre, the meeting. 150 people packing the hot hall, come to stop this thing, Kay Attwood appears to represent the Shakespeare Festival – to ask for lowest density. “We can’t lose!” I exclaim.

But we did. Fate hung in the balance between all these people, petitions, rummage sales, my Heraclean 11th hour efforts — and a few men in business suits. The Developer couldn’t have looked more like a Mafia man; the lawyer couldn’t have looked more rat-like, arguing as if he were a man with a bad conscience. Geological reports – it’s a risky venture. Lawyer’s arguments, slope plans, legal matters. Afterwards, the meeting opens to citizens – I have put my letter on the agenda – I step to the microphone, clutching my letter I a file marked POETRY. I speak of precedents and density and how “emotionalism” (which the mayor has pronounced a bad idea at the beginning) can also be called “looking at the large effects, at people’s lives”; and begin to read. To the stoniest audience I’ve ever read to. The worst balloon-poppers in ethics class had nothing on them*.


(*Referent. Poem written last year

Afternoon Class

If the meanings

of my words

were red balloons

sailed to them

through the air

half the class would be



(Perhaps I should have turned and faced the people; but it was the City Council who had the power, and it was them I addressed.)


{There follows a pause of several hours – I eat, smoke, masturbate, pace, think about things, get tireder – all because it’s so hard to know how to remember how it felt.}


How to write about it without suffering it all again? How it felt to stand there and read my word and have their meaning denied, their appropriateness questioned. What happens when you are saying words people don’t want to hear, the diabolical magic that makes their meanings fall stillborn from my lips. I lowered my eyes to the paper, decided to enjoy my words even if no one else did; knowing that to hear myself was the only hope I had of giving life to them.

Afterwards the mayor asked if any citizens had “facts to add” in the case. And asked them to keep to one or two minutes.

At the break, one or two women said I had “spoken their feelings”, most of the crowd just ignored me. And in the discussion by the City Council, the points I had raised were totally ignored – except for the one about fire danger and that was credited to another letter. It felt as if I had never spoken.

At the time I was angry,

But by the next day I felt depressed, as if I had been perhaps inappropriately ego-tripping. I tried not to let it get to me, but it was definitely something to get over.

Since then I’ve looked often at Ruth Mountaingrove’s photograph of our writer’s group, and appreciated so much what it means to have women friends who understand how to “hear each other into speech.”


Well, I didn’t suffer long… Sandra showed up with a backpack on, the next morning … Her  kids had just left, we hadn’t really spent much time together the couple of weeks her kid were here…. Though there were 3 times of visiting with her and her kids – and one night she slept with me. It was lovely; we did not make love, but just lay together talking or lying silently touching each other’s faces, smiling into each other’s eyes, beginning to remember who we are together. … That was a lovely night – very high. Margaret Hull had visited me that evening. Hearing about her life – and the lives of people who went to high school with us – and seeing my own in that context: my house, which she thought beautiful, my money, my independence, my writing. She asked me about support; if I had friends, a support group – I found myself showing her the photograph of the Writer’s Group. Mentioning Sandra. Sitting on the front deck watching the night sky, Jupiter and Saturn, the Moon… Seeing what a beautiful woman Margaret is. Thinking … what a beautiful woman Sandra is. I felt so lucky and proud of my life.

So I dropped Margaret off and when I got home Sandra was there, and we lay and smiled into each other’s eyes until it got light. That was last Friday, or so,

but now  in the journal it is Wednesday morning and Sandra has just arrived to kiss my city council cares away; we will end up staying together until Sunday morning.


But before I begin on the Sandra episode there is one little matter I must mention more about the question of the developer.

Because it turned out during the course of the meeting that the hill I was singing to, the ridge “practically in my front yard” that I have stared at all year, trying to imagine 69 houses (then 45) (then 28), and planted 6 big trees towards was not the hillside scheduled for development! It is to be a little ways back from that – a good deal more sheltered from me, both for lights and sound.

So even though we lost, in our bid to lower it to 14, I won … even better than that.

Now the problem is this I wrote the Goddess a letter promising to foreswear coffee and marijuana for one month if she decided against the developer. Am I bound by that promise or not? In a way, yes; in a way, no. and that’s about how I’ve been keeping it. I feel I should express more gratitude at my subjective close escape… But at least I did not sin at all while Sandra was here.

My lungs are in better shape. I slept a lot, naps and at night. (it was lovely to sleep with her. I had pleasant dreams. {including one of us both doing cunnilingus together. I mention it as it is a) the first dream I remember of Sandra and b) the first dream I can ever remember of actually making love with a woman. Of course, she was lying by my side watching me sleep and having lustful thoughts. I’m sure that helped.})

Friday evening Sandra left for a few hours to tend to things at her place, while I took care of things here. I was to meet her at Jasmine’s to hear Ilene’s last appearance there. (Ilene and DeEllen  are leaving for a Virgin island for a while.) it started at 9:30 – but 9;30 did find me toking and drinking expresso. It felt as if an elevator in my “self” had just dropped down several floors to a self that understands me so much better, a person that has access to so much more self-knowledge than the errand-accomplishing, relating self I had been being.

  1. A) And she said “Tangren. Even though you haven’t had the same kind of self-understanding, you’ve slept a lot, accomplished a lot. Your relationship is not in shambles and you could even make some good guesses about your own motivations without direct knowledge. That is, it is OK not to have deep self-knowledge for a month. It’s OK not to be stoned for a month.
  2. B) Know. This is not just a matter of stoned-ness, but of solitude. A stone is a quick substitute for solitude. (a rainy-day solitude.) Your guess was that you were needing solitude. In the long run, you were right.


Well, all that worked until today when I felt the need/pressure to write in my journal. Now I am 2 cookies and 2 pipefuls later; a little vitamin C-deprived as is usual.

Also 9 pages later.

I wonder why I am writing this all.

It’s certainly not literature.

I doubt if even I will want to read it again later.

I guess it’s just that

  1. A) this is my life
  2. B) Like adding up the checkbook to try to see where all the money as gone, I feel I need to account for my time..
  3. C) To try to bring the healing of writing it to the events of my life, to try to think them over, take control of the definition of them, bring them reflection.
  4. D) And just to begin visiting with you, whoever I am writing to. To remember again who we are together.


Notes on the tape of Molly’s journal-writing class – working on writing things that are hard to write

CONFUSION: altered point of view/dialogue/non-linear writing it all out, suspending      conclusions

ANGER: imagine a confrontation, rehearse, fantasize, write it out “love the who that has the feelings / have them”

DEPRESSION: free association

Maps of consciousness- drawings

GUILT: let the guilt accuse, speak / identify who’s really accusing (the person or the voice) and then respond


Writing also about things because you feel you should – day-to-day activities, to balance a judgement, a description of a relationship, etc. Other “shoulds”

Test: do we write deeply when we write from that space.


Dream Writing                                              Journal – Writing

Journals in our wills

Or ascribing the journals

to the most appropriate

person when it’s written –

or to no one.

The day Must Dawn”

autobiographical account

of several pioneer

women keeping journals.


{Typist’s Note: follows is a short note attached to the journal page}

Thanks, Tangren  (Didn’t do the anger exercise mentioned at the end of the last tape. Next week..) Frustrated again by having so much to convey & not getting through it  all. How was the hearing? I love your prayer on the frig. A lot.

Well, we’ll all be here next week and I hope that’s OK by you. Have a happy week!



{Typist’s Note: Follows is a sheet apparently written July 13, 1981, but it is inserted at this point in the journal.}


July 13, 1981

Dear Whoever-Is-In-charge-of-the-Universe,

Well, I know I can’t tell you your business; and I accept that whatever does happen will be the right thing,

but, if you should decide against the Lithia Park Village developer tomorrow night

I promise that  will give up all forms of marijuana and caffeine for the following month.


Pearl Time’sChild

P.S. I have the feeling that it’s a breach-of-something to make bargains with you. Nevertheless you took me up on it last time about those Iranian students, (and I even threw in a few extra days on my end.) So what do I know?


Monday night, late.

Today I read Thyme’s piece of “true fiction”, “Jealousy”. On reflection (I read it partly in the Safeway store waiting for Mom to come through the check-out – but on reflection) I did find it very exciting.

Lots of thoughts… Knowing Thyme personally and understanding the power of sharing who we are with each other, of “local writing”, how much that can mean to women who know Thyme personally or lived at whatever degree removed through Eugene and those times. The power of naming our own reality. And of revealing the inner lives, reducing paranoia and misunderstanding, misperceiving.

Funny. When I was reading it – from a rather uncentered place, I never thought then of how what she has done is like what I want to do.


Then thoughts about Thyme as “knowing the character”, a magical real live character. (I am forcing myself not to explain things that don’t need explaining to me. Eg. The history of that last remark and several other explanations.  My journal feels all too public at the moment.

It’s true I do want to write for others, but first I have to find my way back to

the self speaking to the self

your wife speaking to the writer

the deep, spare language of oldest,

most intimate friends.

If I should write only what will be of comprehension to the journal class or to Sandra or Summer then I am not talking to myself

and I know

by several women finding the same words

that in my writing somehow, at its best,

the personal becomes the universal.

{Adrienne Rich notwithstanding.}


but at the same time I am full of semi-public thoughts about all this –

(“Write it all, Tangren” Molly Ocean)

a series of notes to Thyme come bursting out;

an article on her idea for Womanspirit or Sinister Wisdom or somewhere wants to be written.


More and more new women’s magazines mention journal entries among the forms they are interested in. Lesbian Lives / Lesbian Connection wants just that …. I don’t know. Whenever I read these things, these calls for material from them, from the Lesbian Archives – I always think – they better be careful. They’ll be deluged. …Or, in a while, when my stuff is in better shape. … all the while knowing that this is the only kind of life insurance I care about.


Just thought: Well, … to cut it short of its long history, the thought occurred to me that … what was it? … that I have been putting myself down or trying not to, for having written all that about my literary battle with the dread forces of capitalism and greed and all the hassles. It was diverting enough the first time round, I said to myself, why pollute your time to focus on writing with rehashing it.



Journal Writing Class


A dream                                                         4  Modes                                                                                                                                                        intuitive/free flow

an idea – a project, idea                                         descriptive

a meeting – with a person                                      intellectual, reflective

a worry –                                                                    cathartic

an emotional encounter

a decision –

a revelation                                       techniques list

altered point of view (you become the other person)

guided imagery, portraits, letters


drawing { maps of consciousness




god images


personal encounters, dreams – fantasizing the outcome

(On Not Being Able to Paint – Marion Milner)

Exercise: draw the cover of your journal if it were to be published.



Thyme Thyme and space Parsley Sage Rosemary and Rosemary for remembrance. Writing for remembrance. Ophelia. I’ll feel ya. Yeah Yes Parsley for the will that comes from within. For living symbolically. So much joy, creativity, imagination overlooked in her obsession with her obsession. How hard we all are on ourselves. How beautiful she is. Remembering seeing her at a dance in the basement at WOW hall – how mellow she seems. What an interesting reality check – a reminder again – all those people who seem so self-assured – are they really all full of self-doubting? {Yes} or is just that there are so many aspects of reality? Sage: “We are going, Heaven knows where we are going; we’ll know we’re there.”

Integrating art into life / Writing into interpersonal communication. “To know each other and be known.” You can know all I am.

This is so hard to do, to write in my journal on command. A day of step-repair has not left me in a centered space. I need to settle for a couple of hours. Coffee and marijuana. Solitude. Time.

Why does Molly want us to try all this stuff? I’m happy with my journal as it is. I suppose expanding my repertoire can’t hurt – but my journal is my journal and if I want to mix my modes and repeat myself that’s my way. Journals are for all that. As good suggestions perhaps I shouldn’t forget about them; but I’ll use them when it happens. I never have liked categories.


Molly, I’m waiting for you to talk about rereading. Why am I waiting? External


Working with personal problems – transforming the energy that’s blocking us.


“You making me angry” / “I’m angry at you.” I chose to be angry


techniques: Catharsis – getting it all out “just laying it down”

Giving permission to that angry, passionate child voice in us.

Identified cause of the anger: are they really making it impossible for us to get what we want?

Giving away power to them … fear comes from feeling we don’t have options.

Being hooked on the external = giving away our Godself – what we are inside.

Finding possibilities – dialoguing with the voice of Inner Wisdom

Writing a rehearsal of a confrontation staying with your own feelings.

Anger exercises: anger in the present or the past.

Try the techniques.


Childhood exercises: start with the kitchen – what haven’t you touched?

Further work: the law of emotional completion: a feeling that isn’t gone through (expressed) at the time will invade the present as a blind force. Cycling back into memories; working that through.


Cristina Baldwin       the Child Hole: the places we didn’t get filled. Insatiable needing vulnerable place that didn’t get enuf as a child spends a great deal of time working to compel love, the return of affection. Bending ourselves in order to get love, trying to earn it. Confronting our parentlessness, grieving. Learning to care for ourselves. That the only person who can nurture that child is us. Finding the child, help make her safe. Finding the adult in ourselves to do it.


Techniques for recall: a fragment – sight, sound, taste, smell – meditate – go back and get inside it; see what your senses bring in the way of details. (Invent if it comes) It’s the memory. Childhood photos. – really look – whose attention is where. Body postures etc. How did your child-perception create, eg. Your negative self image.


Places and associations to possibly mine:

High chair bathtub crib sandbox particular toys,

Stroller or carriage yr. Size /doorknobs, tables, stairs.

Going to family memories – stories that are handed down about you –

Birth of siblings traumas illness                 Family version          Your perception


Well, Molly talked tonight about writing out anger – all that. Now that they’ve gone I find I do have some anger to write about – about the class. Well, not anger , really, but some things in that cluster. … Not getting my needs met. The class doesn’t feel particularly good for me… Now that they’ve left I feel lost… Very different from the Writers Group. – probably because of that. The writing group is interested in writing – hearing and reading writing we have done. That’s what I expected the journal class to be. I dislike the class as therapy. That’s the sentence I wrote, though I don’t see how it says what I mean.


…Well,  I’d just been thinking that I couldn’t think of anything I felt angry about (personally) – Wondering if my life is unangry or if I suppress it…

Began reading over January 1980 because I’d loaned it t someone; trying to look at it as a piece of writing and enjoy it from there while keeping at arm’s length what it said. Was reading the part about not feeling safe, Libré and the gun

when footsteps resounded on my deck in the dark outside. It was only Sandra but it took a long time to stop shaking.

I was able to enjoy working on the editing of the new column she had just written

but told her in the end

I do love you. But still I feel intruded upon.”


Well, I am wondering if I ought to be angry. I am a little indignant, I guess; at least I have indignant twinges. I feel very thrown – I may not be able to get back into the groove all night, and with Marcella coming tomorrow this is my last night. Yes, when I think about that I do begin to fee angry.

When she was here I said to myself, well, it’s a lot to be grateful for, actually, that the steps in the night you have always dreaded turned out to be not those of terror but only of your dear lover come to talk writing with you.

But to chose to have that reaction doesn’t seem to take away my upset. I don’t want to be angry with her; I don’t want to be angry; I would not say that I am. But maybe if I got angry it would start to take away this upset, transform this buzzing energy into something focused that could be released.


Resentful. Yes, I can cop to that one.


But I am also understanding and forgiving and rather accepting that whatever is happening is right. However, to dwell a minute on the resentfulness just for a change … I can now remember being resentful before, with her around. Near the end of her stay when I had just given way too much of myself, my time.

Angry, almost, I was when





A couple of good ideas:

I           Show  Hannah the song for all Hallow’s Day – pay her to transcribe it into notation, submit it to WS for the fall issue; also to the songbook.


II          Make a tape (or tapes) for the Womanspirit songbook – each woman performing her song – or with a choir or however they want to do it. (Have them send tapes.) Make a tape. Sell it. Put it out in the Women’s Audio Network, when that comes together. (It wouldn’t take much.) (actually.) Whenever you wish


Well, I guess I got bored with anger. Nothing like Good ideas to perk a person up.


Another good idea – the Feminist Writers Guild ought to have not just a newsletter but an open letter forum where we can ask for the kinds of help we need, ask our questions, speak our thoughts on being writers.


Also, suggest to FWG that a bit of the dues be used to fund a resident legal expert.

Or possibly you could get a grant to do it, edit it. If you wanted, or Libré could. Or she could be your assistant.

You are nearly ready to write the letter creating the Women’s Audio Network.

“for now, it’s a labor of love,

(and an attempt to create a

place for my art form)

explain about the problem with being heard and how we need to hear each other.

Few of us ever get to                                                           send copy to Kady & Pagan

listen to feminist programming

also the oppressive insistence on absurdly high technical qualities.

I need the help of a good feminist lawyer who would tell me how to be sure things are legal.

Radio programs we have made.


My plan for how to pay::

Cost to listen: cost of “postage and handling”

% of lifetime of tape;

cost to keep equipment repaired

Cost to buy: cost of tape and any royalties that may be necessary for secondary uses.


Eventually If the idea becomes more accepted we can begin to give royalties to the creators and wages to the distributor.


No – why not the cost of the tape as made? Otherwise you’ll rule out all presently commercially available tapes. Varied prices could work. Whatever the maker wanted to do.


l & r : listen and return $3.00

keep: keep                     $7.00

So you send in $7; when you return it, you get $4 back. Or you keep it. (Have some sort of time  limit.)


A newsprint catalog: for browsing.







How nourishing, I thought last night, this, finally, finally beginning to drink in the long nights (though these are actually short ones, I remembered; Just think how it’ll be in winter!)


finally beginning to drink in time alone

long nights of uninterrupted

thinking          writing            plotting planning

doing simple work that comes naturally

how it is the draught I’ve been needing

How lovely the days begin to be –

days spent unstoned now

running errands, even, doing phone calls watering the trees and rearranging the land here and there in touches to encourage some little bushes, some baby oak trees, a young almond tree. How much energy I have then – often doing two things at once – filling the bucket with pruning or trimming – doing the things I’ve only had the energy to imagine doing before; fixing the steps today when it was obvious they would probably not hold the journal class tonight – not such a hard job (but get some straight bar reinforcements for the main piece – and put it together with screws and do put on some wood protector and foot it more securely

but don’t forget the more urgent battle with the black widows recently undertaken –

killed two today right under the walkway between the steps and the front door – and destroyed three big egg sacs. (am beginning to find tiny white babies in my plants.)

Get some more insecticide, do that with Sandra on Friday.)

{As you have noted before, not all times are times for reflection.}

I sprayed them both with insecticide – they had come out to their egg nests when I began banging around on the steps, I believe. I sprayed them, and they both seemed to be advancing toward the source, of the spray, running towards me in their webs. Yes, of curse they were. It was hard to believe, but of curse they were protecting their young.

Well, I don’t like making war on anything protecting her young but on the other hand the thought of hundreds of little white babies filtering through the cracks doesn’t thrill me either. Or rather I don’t think that the world gains as much by the further propagation of black widow DNA. I’m doing these souls a favor by short-circuiting their sentence to spend time as black widows – (I wouldn’t want to become one, that’s for sure.) … Though I daresay Black Widows may be sensible of certain virtues of being one of which I m unaware… They, after all, see it more closely.

But what I see closely are the possibilities inherent in lesbian feminist life artistry, Motherhood, and other things. And so I spray them if I have to and in any case give them quick and instant deaths,

between two boards clapping together

like the thunder of that moment

when the world splits open.


So I did get the steps repaired as I could without a trip to the hardware store.

{It is very satisfying to do things instead of worrying that they need doing.}

Worrying that things need doing has become a habit with me sometimes – I’m so used to not having the time or energy to be able to take care of things that need doing.


It feels so good to just go ahead and do them, more or less as they bubble to the forefront. And I have so much energy! I am amazed at how much I can do – errands, making yogurt, a little carpentry, a little intra-species battle,

Organizing my desk

and yet have time to gradually begin to work on transplanting and trimming

and yet have time to scribble voluminously in my journal

make endless lists, endless kinds of lists, life coming into focus

and yet through it all the creative writer self beginning to emerge

homing in on



What joy        (interesting I tried to write “joy” and “you” at the same time)


What joy as I was saying

to spend the long nights tripping

thinking          thinking          writing

free     free     free     at last ….


To remember, towards morning, – oh, for the first time last night it happened, and it felt like a key – to trust that there will be another time – to know that I can take it up again tomorrow night –

How that relieves the pressure! How I can then afford to forego that last draining cup of coffee, marijuana cookie draining my energy beyond the last drop because tomorrow it’s back to teaching.

Just beginning to realize that the only mandatory pressure on my time is gone. Errands and Pentacles Stuff and Simple Work are all right and centering.

To begin to trust that I can return again and again to the things I need to do

To make myself a list or two concerning the day tomorrow

to do some yoga, perhaps, to stretch out the tension, release the coffee from my joints, the excitement from my muscles, some stretching while the tape talks to me so I don’t have to think, really, what I am doing – let my body listen and do what it needs to while my mind sails where it will–

Breakfast, then. Which it truly is, breaking a fast, as I have not eaten a proper meal since lunch the day before – just yogurt and the abundant fruits of the season and milk and honey and coffee and a couple of green cookies.


Now – a good solid break fast, an egg                 a muffin         sleepy time tea to slow me down            settle this flying        and make me sleep.

The sweet, sweet feel of the flow of uninterrupted time, of time spent sometimes relating to other people, but always returning to one’s essential aloneness. Keeping one’s fingers touched to the threads,

I’m just beginning to taste it. To understand that what I most terribly needed is now being given me:

Time.              In abundance

Habondia shows her hand.

“Freedom is our true abundance.”

And the Corn Mothers never tire

of astounding me with the

same old joke.


{Typist’s Note: There is drawn at the bottom of the page a tiny stick figure with a word bubble: “Are you Ceres?”}


One advantage of the kind of journal I’d like to make is that it should be possible to take out journal pages to have them xeroxed.


Well, anyway, then I go to bed and have dreams I don’t remember but they don’t feel awful or leave me feeling bad in the morning when I wake up at noon or so to begin with and meditation and lunch and a bath and then into the Pentacles part of the day, dip my toe in the common world of day.


Beginning to trust there will be time. feels so good.

That means there’s time to fast from marijuana sometimes

and now, daytime.

My rule seems to be, for the moment, no m.j. daytimes (or coffee)

none with other people

Save them for the nights and for creative thinking.


Making my  bed today, enjoying the simple pleasure of sailing a sheet through the air, billowing a blanket exactly into place.

I trusted  enough to remember to give thanks for trust, for unstoned times of remembering how I have seen it often enough by now to know that it does happen: How even unstoned I thread my way through gifts at every turn.

Articles           Information    Thoughts       Happenings

Bubbling magically to hand as they are needed.

“It’s always flowing to you, stoned or not” Tree said once. “All you have to do is open yourself up to it.”

Well, I’ve stumbled my way through enough of those times only to find, upon marijuana and reflection upon calming down and writing it out that I was on the path all along, that the causal mechanism had been bringing me all along a thousand gifts.

I’ve had that happen often enough that I’m beginning to remember to trust it even from the bumbling, unstoned “dumb class” place. {These are not even all necessarily synonyms.}

Oh, how I love to write to you, O follower of long sentences.

Which reminds me, don’t forget about the letter to Dr. Stafford –


Who might be interested:

The Poetry magazine – listed in FWG Nslttr

The Women in Philosophy – a good idea

(Womanspirit probably wouldn’t print a letter focused to a man.)

… or … your own journal, – remember Charlotte Perkins Gillman


Yesterday morning went out onto the front platform to see the morning –

The air smelled like camping

So cool and fresh and summer morning.

and such a sight …

the morning and the night poised in perfect balance

the greens of the hillsides, soft watercolors, now, mutely returning,

and in the lightening sky

the morning moon – such a presence

still      still frosting the branches

still a brilliant pearl, a center,

flooding the scene still with her white radiance.


Keys: Time    Solitude         Trust   Abundance

Remembering the Future


(Stopped by Sandra’s on a five-minute errand Monday afternoon. ‘Are you writing? I inquired past the vacuum cleaner. “oh, yes” … she said, “I’m just sort of doing everything at once.”


That’s what I’ve been doing interrupting myself in a flowing sort of way – interpolating journal writing with writing notes and letters and making tapes and making lists and taking care of the body in between as well as making yogurt.


Sandwiched in with busy days spent often doing several things at once or in rapid order,

Interspersed with meditating and dreaming and increasingly a little walking.


Times like these, the last two days;

Tomorrow Marcella comes for a week before she leaves for Germany with John – we’ll turn to those worlds we share together, spend some good time together, (and I’ll be keeping my promise to the Goddess) (meanwhile) (and content myself with fairy tales and fun fixing and a diurnal existence and get some rest and dream beside my daughter perchance of Deborah Kerr




My miraculous daughter,

my miraculous lover,

these things become abundance

when there’s time to return

from them to nourish my other children,

my other lovers, my self.

My kit, with everything in its proper place. And if the puzzle pieces don’t quite spell “eternity” at least they do spell “time.”


More keys

Stopping when you’ve had enough.

Stopping when more will only drain energy you need to replenish.

Replenishing it instead.

Stopping smoking or coffee-drinking when you’re already sailing and really if you asked yourself two times if you really had a clear wish for c. or m.j. you might decide you’d just as soon a) discharge some energy      b)get on with the writing     c)chant yourself a little song          d) have a sustaining snack      e) and then return to the project at hand.


{Note: A delay is not a commitment the way a decision to abstain is; and yet delays add up to less smoking, too.}


Thanks to Hawk Madrone for the formulation “a clear wish” instead of “a need” and for the whole thought, actually.


Good things to write up for Womanspirrit:

Fall: the All Hallows Day Song




Winter: The night I married myself.



Reviews: Possibly: New Women’s Press Writers’ Issue

Surpassing the Love of Men”

record: Jeratree {?}


{2:00 AM valentine’s Morning

copy 4: to Jill}


Journal Class Notes

Recording the pits so I can see ‘the fullness of the heights” Molly

Accepting my depression as something I’ve chosen. “at the bottom of depression is rage”: not being able to move (knowing you’ll kill yourself or somebody else if you do.) A sadness is not ever knowing/expressing how you feel. Giving yourself permission to be it.


Ira Progoff: “Roads Not Taken” Reconnection with options we didn’t take: Is there still a feeling of being drawn, a longing – is there still a part of ourselves that’s caught up in that possibility. Steering clear of regret, ‘what if’; the idea is to rediscover options, options we may have suppressed since we made the other choice. Something we have rejected in the past may be a possibility now. // Also feeling good about the choices you have made.


Conscious acts of decision

Unconscious decisions – not being aware there was an alternative

or it didn’t seem so portentous

or an act of omission

or forced on you by circumstance

or other people

circumstances of it {in haste with forethought

In any case, the road untaken is a total unknown; all the more fun to play with for that reason.


Literature v/s teaching kids how to decode

professors have more room to be eccentric”


Remembering: Going back and listing names of people you remember.


{Typist’s Note: there is a small drawing here of a street map, with directions to someone’s house}

Journal Class

Jill Lightfoot 772-2307

Joyce Roberts 482-0937

Margaret Hadley 772-5501

Sandra Scofield 899-1586

Pam Shipley 482-1328

Molly Ocean 482-8217 message phone

Sharon 772-3595 (home)

773-6611 (work rape Crisis Center)


Journal Class Notes

Exploring roads not taken: outlining some details re. the decision

Focus on: the actual decision

Then: fantasy                       the wish         what the circumstances might have been

then:  is there a seed buried in there – a possibility for the present.

A part of the past that can lead into the future


Reaching forward into the Future –

Coming to a real clear sense of what we want.

What is our purpose in life?

Joyce and Pam } both had clear beautiful after-death experiences…


4 devices to try: (1) lists

(2) altered points of view – writing abut the future as if it’s already happened


list of negative and positive assumptions/expectations about the future       fears and affirmations                         list of possible achievements


(3) Guided imagery – valuing our fantasy life as really giving us an indication of what is important to us. Both dark and light fantasies. Also – learning to separate fantasy from expectation.


Dialogue: with the future nurturing self.

Project to a future place where you have a handle on your problem, as wished for. Always keeping these within the realm of possibility


Altered point of view: in the same sense. “Remembering the future”

Date entry as if of a time in the future,

write as if it were a fact.

Always coming back to the present as is

your point of real power.


How to work with problems: coming to problems as messages, opportunities, challenges

Loneliness and hurt feelings”

Journals are places to confront problems right away and not let the energy get all bottled up behind them.

Loneliness as a rupture from our power. Loving ourselves, guiding ourselves. Dialogue with the inner hurting child / or the nurturing parent / or with a part of our creative selves, talking to yourself at the height of creative power  – ask her what she’s doing now.

Hurt: important to own it.                                        Using altered point of view –

Be the person who “did it”                                                   free intuitive self

(pain in general) – the more deeply we                            cathartic –

can move into it, the sooner we can

process it.


Childhood Exercises

“secret place”; first thing you knew your parents weren’t supposed to know; kitchen(the first you can remember); pets and animals; mother’s clothes; and your favorite clothes



July 29,1981

Harvesting in the shop. After tea with Molly. Thinking … thinking of Molly, how much I admire her looks, her having been an editor for Harper & Row, proud to go to tea with her, wondering if the waitress (Marcie, a woman I know from WIT) wonders if we are lovers….

… when a thought came, a repeating thought a thought I thought this morning when I thought of Hannah, and then again when I thought of LaVelle …

a thought that goes

… my capacity to love and admire, to be charmed by and open to,,, is larger than my capacity to form intimate relationships…


Aug 3              afternoon, Monday {1981}

So many days of busyness: harvesting, watering trees, stacking wood, repotting things, minor carpentry and repairs etc. etc. etc.

Today after lunch I was tired – lay down hoping to sleep, hoping to work into a schedule of sleeping in the afternoon. …Put on the tape of the Tillie Olsen program; found myself weeping over and over. Partly I think it’s not just the subject, Silence, partly it’s just that she writes so well, feels so deeply. Eg. Her descriptions of babies in “Yonandio” and “I stand Here Ironing.” So much seeing; so much caring about the seeing, the knowing, the writing down.

Yesterday evening I had a long phone talk with Suzy Diamond who is renting my Beach St. house; when she asked me how my summer was going I could only say how busy I had been; “I sleep a lot, too” I added. “It’s awfully hot up here.”

Hearing the mother-writer-worker write of getting up at 4:00 in the morning to write, falling asleep, drooling on the paper … I feel ashamed at how little I’m using my time … Yet to ask that of myself would only make me feel pressured, guilty: I don’t see how I could do it. September September I tell myself; the lengthening nights, fire from the wood you’ve been getting, marijauna from the crop you’ve been harvesting, paper you’ve begun to lay in, and time        time     time.

These images of caring so passionately about writing seem as from a life very different from mine; but why do I burst into weeping with every other word?

Well, it’s afternoon and the first clouds in eons are puffing across the sky and I have to finish repairing the front steps so I can use the clamps elsewhere so I can pull up my trapdoor because when I do it will fall apart and that repair is a whole complex matter in itself so I can stow away the mj. I’ve harvested somewhere, other than outside on the hot west wall where it deteriorates by the minute.

My other project is to wrap my Oriental rugs in with some mothballs because I’ve recently noticed moths and I don’t want these rugs so lovingly handed down to me (and … can I say it, this $6,000 if I should dare, sometime) to become mere mothfood and threads.

So, Pearl Time’sChild, your wife is hard at work in the home, your provider is watching out for you for the winter and for the winters ahead

So you can be.

“It was like an eclipse” Tillie Olsen says of her time when a high moment of writing was cut short by the needs of a feverish child. It was as if one world became entirely blocked out and another took its place. The other world was radiant, too, though ….”

Just so. And yet … it is the writing I cannot bear to die and leave undone.

September                September                 September



{Typist’s Note: The next three pages in the hand-written journal contain numerous drawings interspersed with the words/paragraphs. Faces, treehouses, moons, a cup, a female torso, a long braid, two cats, a station wagon, trees and rain}


Journal Class Notes            Long class: Aug 14  10 to 5 Bring: present journal; an old journal for reading

Personal Problem Solving Ideas

Depression: a falling of confidence that we can deal with problems in our lives.

Masking: anger (esp) guilt fear                  free intuitive guided imagery

Guilt: exaggerates, punishes, oversimplifies // giving over to some outside presence we’ve internalized} { getting pulled into someone else’s protection

Getting in touch with Guilt: Let it speak, accuse, etc.

See: whose voice it is

Try: turning the tables; put him/her on trial

Justify your own life; I refuse to justify mine.

Try: laughing at it

Seeing the wastefulness of guilt: we are giving away our freedom to do otherwise.

Guilt: you can hurt people by stringing them along –  Keeping yourself from what you

Dreams          Tristin Rainer: The New Diary

Noting the dreams: Can be written with a different color pen.

Dreams may be

Prefiguring the person we’re becoming

Providing something that’s missing in our lives

Releasing from an emotion

Reminders of practical details

Problem solving

Supernatural (magical) connections with people

Developing my own personal mythology access to our own wisdom, healing powers

Titling dreams: discovering recurring images

Recall: The more you do the more you’ll recall. You know you have a place to bring it to.

Asking questions of your dreams. Asking for an answer. Asking several times.

Dream Invocation

Writing letters to our dreaming self. Keeping a journal by the bed. Sleeping with someone: you really have to carve out permission to do that

A ritual: when you want to work with a dream, tell it aloud to yourself a few times.

Working on it: altered point of view

Making it the dream of one of the characters retelling it from their point of view.

Look for figures of inner wisdom, bring them into the rest of your journal.

Dreams of unique and peculiar images: may be: a growing edge

Multiple perspectives: may be: gaining perspective on what we’re dreaming about

Spontaneous transformation: a transformation we’re going thru. Fly floating dancing birthing access to our higher selves


Lists of dream names: reference

Maps of consciousness: a drawing, a picture

Dialogue: talking with an image or figure; letting it speak to us. Eg. A nightmare figure may be a friend in disguise in order to grab our attention.


Powerful healing figure                                           Warte nun balde

A positive self image emerging                             Rühest du auch

A dream where we’re aware that we’re dreaming –

A dream within a dream – beginnings of power

Conscious dreaming: changing where it went wrong

Also guided imagery

twilight imagery” & Daydreaming

Catching it –  keep your arm up as you fall asleep. When it falls it will wake you up.

Waking fantasies: retraining to accept them       reflections of our minds – our projections(laying the ground by considering them possible), expectations


When the rain starts: Trees I want to plant this fall: maple (by path) (maybe get a start from these trees you like so much) birches in front

Somewhere: more almonds, hawthorn. Apricot, hazel, plums

Need: some things down David’s way.

When it rains: in October dig blackberries           dig holes for fence posts     plant bare root trees


August 5, 1981

“Hard to Read” Molly said last night of “Jan 1980” – only that, repeated. “Hard to read.”  My fear made me take it the other way –  made me eliminate the possibility that she meant the style; assume that she meant the subject matter, nod sympathetically. (Jill had said she’d been “very moved”) Yet the doubt, when this Molly (whom ,admit it, has once or twice crossed your fantasies as the woman who could “discover you” for Harper & Row) this editor from the East, Molly, says “Hard to read” … well, it was not your day, anyway … Just now, though, sat and read over “January 1980” and remembered again how powerful it really was. How could any sensitive person not find it “hard to read.” And yet, tangren, it contains some of the seeds of courage, some clues as to how to bear it to feel things and be aware in this world, some perspectives that may be very healing. It deserves to be heard. Send WP  and Thyme copies. Also Susan Griffin, because she might like to read it, dodo,  and Jeri and  Esther, ditto. Well, no more self-abuse, tangren. I’m really surprised and moved again by how … triumphant … in a way, it is; how rich, on many levels. A quote I read yesterday “This ability to use pain is the great advantage of writers which Somerset Maugham declares in ‘The Summing Up” makes all the disadvantages of writing unimportant. “Nothing befalls him that he cannot transmute into a stanza, a song, or story, and having done this, be rid of it. The artist is the only free man.””

Dorothy Bryant “Writing a Novel”


My goodness it takes a lot of housework and repotting and bathing and eating and smoking and coffee and nudges from the universe … to be able to sit down with pen in hand, I’ve been longing to do it ever since I got up, and now here it is nearly 4:00 already.

One thing I had to do first was to rescue an angry wasp. Sometimes I ask myself why I live this way, spending long minutes with wineglass in hand, a thick card in the other, coaxing insects down to where I can reach them. (“The Champagne escapeway”, Sandra called it.) Setting them free to do God-knows-what awful things to each other.

How frantic she was today – a big wasp, one of those with twitchy tails that look as thought they’re just looking for something to sting – exploring the window pane over and over, flying off in exasperation only to return again to the only possibility. How quickly she knew she’d been trapped when the glass covered her, how wildly she fought it, making it hard for me not to hurt her legs. How she filled the glass with her rage as I carried her to the front door, laughing sympathetically  and keeping a careful lid on, crooning to her “Soon,” I say, “soon it will be over. I know things seem bad right now, but really, this is the way out. Not much longer now.”

I’m always a little afraid, as I point the glass southward and open the door, that they will turn and attack me, but they never do. They fly the same zig zag course over the manzanita branches away into the sunlight.

Am I just “too sentimental”? They would not return the favor. And sometimes I’ve had to use sprays.

“It’s the ‘angel in the house’ run amok.” I sometimes think. And yet, it is lovely to see them fly forgetfully away into freedom. And sometimes I wonder if, breathing my last hard breathe, when my time comes, I won’t seem to see … someone … sympathetic laughter in he eyes, crooning “Soon, now, soon it will be better. I know things seem bad right now, but you’re gonna be happily surprised. Soon.”


Garden Planning:     The Fence

Do put in that wire fence like that one at the end of the road. Cleverly fashion bells to the fence-wire so the dear deer eating your beans will be shamed.


Then plant: beans, tomatoes, morning glory, nectar berries, seedless grapes

Possibly in raised beds of enriched soil


Gates offer opportunities {Typist’s Note: The are drawings here of gates, in fence lines.}


Journal Notes:

Sensuality & Sexuality:: The supposed division between the two. Sexual: there is an endpoint, a goal. Result: shutting down to sensual perceptions

Feeling: naturally extends into sensuality – “the natural child”

Solar plexus


Chi” energy: fire energy from the lower chakras, energy from the mental and spiritual chakras above: being loving of our sexual attractions

Using the journal to celebrate our sexual energy.

Remembering: first kiss; sounds of the sea; sensuality. What taste is in my mouth now? What’s happening in the trees today? How does the heat look? Smell? My body, others, the heat. Where is my body touching. Who was the last person I touched and how did it feel? Who would I like to touch? Am I getting touched in ways I don’t feel comfortable with? Menstrual blood: what does it look and feel like? How do I feel about it? Fantasize and write our ideal sensual life. With no restrictions or compromises.

Progoff’s Dialogue With the Body: Meditative Technique: Below csness

Goals: deepen our relationship with all aspects of the physical world through bodies

Reestablish our access to our body’s natural wisdom; warning systems, self healing powers, knowledge of our needs to put ourselves into a position for solving physical problems, eg. altering our attitudes to addictions, exercise, sexuality, etc.

(Dialogue with addiction: why are you still here?)

The Being which is the continuous experience of my body. The physical counterpart (mirror) of our whole selves. Very private: the vehicle for our most intimate relationships.


Why don’t I give more to this group?

Partly, the things I have that are important to me to say are so long and involved; so privately centered. Being asked tonight to share more – I could share if I could share my writing – my main energy goes into that form of sharing.

P.S. Take some ice cream by Sandra’s


Molly’s exercise: listing the physical herstory of our bodies

positive and negative – a single phrase, word, sentence.

Pain in lungs                        sore throats and jello                                   orgasm or not to orgasm

Bleeding                                coming in last in races                                 warm milk in the belly

Sweating                               being in outer field                           filing my nails

Birthing                                  climbing Mt. Thielsen                                  hugging Marcella

Aching head into                  rock climbing                                    running at the ocean

my legs                                latihaning                                          lazy lazy lazy

sleeping                                 crying

my tongue feeling huge      sobbing


bleeding                                just feeling stopped

smoking                                 getting my teeth straightened

sitting                                     being afraid at the dentist’s

getting bulges                                   appreciating my hands that can do and write

clothes – clothes as

acceptable covering

clothes as costumes            chopping wood

fingers and skill saws                      driving Deborah, meshing my nerves with her gears

learning to use tools            dancing – ballet – just dancing

terrible headaches               carrying water

vision – glasses at 10 –      making water

always thicker as my

life proceeds.


Brief objective statement of my relationship to her:

A tool, a tool. My most important work is elsewhere. Except as it requires hands to write, a voice to speak. An enabler to keep warm, keep fed, create beauty, create love – a voice to speak. Demands – to be warm, to be fed, to be covered, to sleep. Luxuries – sexuality, touching, seeing Sandra’s face, Marcella, the moon.


Oh, it’s so hot. This is my journal. My chest hurts after this six-day orgy. Sandra says we should not call these times “orgies” but times of erotic affirmation (era) I’d like to sit on the deck and write all night tonight, the cool white wind washing over me.


B: a tool! A tool! I am you.

When I die, you’ll die –

no more housebuilding writing seeing

a tool! You don’t appreciate me at all.

M: How can I appreciate you if you are me? And don’t I appreciate god tools?

  1. yes, but you don’t treat me like one.
  2. You demand so much! I could spend my whole life taking care of you, getting you walked every day, etc., etc. You’d run my life if I let you.

I do appreciate the way you respond to marijuana. Except for the hurt in the lungs. And the essential tiredness. But the other part is nice, how you open up, your face goes soft, you let the sun shine through.

  1. shut up.

…All right, I know I’m not your higher self, I’m only a body like a million others. Save faces. Samenesses, same cunnys.


Reread: write feeling and thought as we read.

Continuing – like getting to know another person –

continuing deepening. Possibility: A log for keeping track of concerns with your body.

The self-balancing principle

Can prompt new thoughts – log/dialog           monolog.





Tuesday night around midnight:

Some big black ants have found the honey jar. The last couple of nights I’ve come home to find them scurrying guiltily in all directions when I turn on the kitchen light. I’ve learned about ants  – or at least I’ve had enough hard experiences with them at Beach St. I don’t know what my higher self would say, but I kill all the ones I can; they “know too much.”


From college library – order those articles by Elsa Gidlow – photo copies.


Sandra: to write about her or not? It’s a little like my relationship with Marcella – it takes so much of my time and energy to actually enact it that it’s hard to take up writing time writing about her. … yet – so much is lost. I think it would help me to integrate my world – with her into my writing … to write about her/us. And it is romance as well as sausage and haddock that one gains a hold on by writing it down.

But I never have known how to write about relationships in a journal – so much of the function of a journal for me is that visiting with the self …. In the wholeness being with the only one who knows all the parts of you and yet – is Sandra not a part of me.

Really – it’s stunning … to be given Dianne back again this way – in so many ways. She’s so beautiful in so many of the same ways – there are no words for a certain kind of eyelash lowered over a certain curve of cheekbone, the charm of a certain shade of skin framed by a certain shade of hair … –  and yet – so powerful to my heart, these particular shades of beauty. And her mind often interests me, takes me by surprise, delights me – and her ability to love. It is safe to be very vulnerable with her –


The moon is setting now …  So far I have been able to tell where the lines were on the paper, if not to read my writing …. Don’t know if I can do that by starlight – But it’s nice to let the pen go and then turn my eyes to the waxing moon as she sinks across behind the trees on the ridge, silhouetting them clearly, moving perceptibly, pulsing to a small spark of light – last night that tiny spark stayed impossibly long – it must have found a crevice – Tonight there was a spark lasting only as long as you would expect – and now, nothing to show where she is left but a white radiance {Typist’s Note: there is an illegible word, presumably a verb, here.} _______ the sky behind the black trees.

Well, I can still tell where the lines are; I’m glad to know I can write by starlight; I do remember that I have several times noted the decrease in lumens brought an increase in luminosity – anyway the thing abut Sandra really is that she is so perfect . No I admit it she is not perfect but her imperfections are relatively minor and not the source of my negativities.

She is, through her imperfections, I say, so perfect for me in so many ways like seeing the same actress in a different role – it does make me appreciate her, that she is like Dianne.
Why not? I cherished D. so much – I still do. And S. is like her in ways that I notice and cherish. Why not? She is also unlike her in ways that I notice and cherish. She communicates much better about interpersonal things. She does not hate children. She is a mother, was a wife, like me, she is not tied to a killing job; she survives somehow on really no income at all, lots of months – fitting into unused niches, learning to live on throwaways and food stamps, trusting that her van and her teeth will remain in good shape. It takes courage. “What sustains me is the present,” she said.” I have learned to live in the present and to make each present moment be as good as possible. That’s how I can bear not seeing into the future, by concentrating on the present. Learning to adapt each moment, seeing things new –“ In some ways it’s more security than a secure niche in a system that has to stay the way it is.

When I was married we were so into protecting ourselves – insurance, retirement plans, this and that, making ourselves safe. It was silly – we weren’t surrounded by threats; it makes the world seem such a hostile place. …Maybe I’ll bitterly regret it someday, but I haven’t yet.

…When we split up, Jim used to say, “But what will you do, out in the real world?” if he only knew – I left the real world so long ago.

But still she did have to borrow money from him to get the kids back on the bus.

And I do get scared by her relationships to money. … We have an agreement that she does not ask me  for money. She almost did when the kids bus fare came up. But it would upset me and worry me to undertake to finance her lifestyle – it really would put an unbearable pressure on our relationship – we talked about it in the beginning – and do talk about it from time to time

Well, anyway, it’s a complex matter, but still it’s true she’s not, like D., tied to a killing job.

She’s also much more loving. In fact, it’s funny how in this one, I’m playing Dianne and Sandra’s playing me. I must say she does better at the role – of trying to be lovers with a recluse – that I ever did. When I think of the times I begged to make love, needed it, wanted it so much that I would ask her again “Are you sure you couldn’t?” – how I was so open to her it was hard to conceive she might have other things on her mind than being open to me. … of course, it was a different situation. So little time we ever had together …  My relative stupidity – innocence –  can’t find the word – my lack of fine-tuning, of experience with having relationships. But also the time pressure – living 3,000 miles away, catching only brief glimpses of her ever. So the situations are different. Once recently her van broke down and she came back here for the night. (we’d spent a few hours together on her article) she wanted to sleep together. I said no. Why not? She asked. “Because I’m just not in the space for it,” I said. And she understood.

It’s very hard not to take on worry at causing her pain – Dianne had her “angel in the house” under much better control – perhaps that’s why she never was a wife. Anyway, I can’t say that it doesn’t hurt Sandra ever for me to be like that – or that she doesn’t also have needs – needs to be with me that I don’t have for her sometimes –  but I can’t take them on or I can’t make it in a relationship. … I am so touchy about my freedom. …Well, if she wants me, that’s the way I come. I just hope I am not being heartless. It’s just the only way a relationship can work for me. … I do  wish sometimes that she seemed to feel the same sense of urgency and joy for her own work, separate from me. (In one of our conversations she mentioned having trouble concentrating on astrology for thinking about her “personal life” … It turned out that by that she meant me – I had taken it to mean just the opposite – one’s “personal life” … one’s very private life.

If she seemed to feel more pull to her work, more responsibility toward making it succeed I would feel easier. So easily she drops writing her article for me, postpones mailing her columns, doing readings.  I try not to judge. I know  that what in my busy bustling responsible pentacles times looks to me like not taking responsibility can in our deep-diving times reveal itself as an attunement to what’s really important in life – so I try not to be judgmental, but

for other reasons I wish she were serious about her work … It would help me to have reflected that kind of respect for my own.

Another thing I wish were different is my relationship to marijuana around her …. It is as if we could cancel out the facts. She smokes both marijuana and cigarettes and though she coughs in the mornings her lungs don’t hurt. Her throat is not sore. Mine is. Mine do.

But in that common word that we have it is all right to smoke marijuana and in fact, there’s nothing like it for getting us in touch with how we’re feeling. (Though lots of times it does not open me up but instead sets me to thinking about all the things I need to be reflecting on – In fact, my private self certifies to the importance of marijuana as much less when I am with the other people than when I am alone to follow where it leads me. We have been sexual and happy in other ways together without marijuana – she likes me unstoned, too. But there’s no denying that it has at times helped us to go to some good places with each other – and when you’re having an e ra {?}, a time for diving deep with each other, it’s certainly a good time to use it, but my throat hurts. And the tops of my lungs have a burning feeling … How often I’ve thought it, but never written it down … can I know (started to write ‘know’). Well, I think it often enough …. Think that what I could not say was that the girl who was “suffocated” , it turned out that what that meant was that her throat was so burned that she could not get any more air – Well, I have become numb to that fact to say it … but to finish the thought I think how ironic it would be if I were to do the same thing to myself – only slowly.

Well, I hope not to do that to myself, and yet when she is here it seems as if for this – we can take a vacation from that reality …. I don’t know how I want her to be … I know that I’m terribly sensitive about  any pressure to quit, so it does put her in a spot.

Well, at Lammas this year I sat on my deck and I only made one wish. …Later I wondered why I didn’t wish for more. ..Why I didn’t remember my writing, for instance… but the only prayer I made to the sky, the only image I projected into the future was the carefully phrased wish that by this time next year I be in ‘a light relationship to marijuana.” I could not ask to give it up, I could not wish to. But surely it was not sent to destroy me whom it has given life – surely I can ask to properly revere its gifts, that it be found nestled in that its own proper nook in me.

Well, one thing about smoking is that it keeps you inside out of the wind and in at least candlelight. Surely it’s not the best use of marijuana to hold one indoors away from the soft white wind of August nights. My, the sky is light these nights, even after the moon goes down. the moon I imagine is still lighting the particles in the air. Huge planes have been flying overhead. Either the whole air force is checking out my little marijuana patch or maybe there is a fire somewhere. I saw one of the planes. It looked a little rusty, it might well be a slurry {?} plane going to a fire.

This is the 4th or 5th day the temperature has been over 100˚. Everything is hopelessly dry after several summers of drought. I am a little afraid to leave here for long because of fire danger. Leo – fire – fire and theater –  Fire – I am so afraid of it – and yet, when I want to understand how to bear the thought that all the beauty I can ever know, can ever create is all doomed to destruction – the way I can bear that if I can is by thinking of fire … of how the flames form and dissolve, monsters with red glowing eyes, caves of glowing crystals of fire, patterns of flames forming and dissolving.

Do we regret it when the wind reshapes the pictures in the clouds? Do we take one ocean wave and hold it to ourselves and wish it could stay forever? There is no way to hold these things. And it is the very essence of their beauty, the constant newness of the careless forming and dissolving of things of such beauty and awe. And it is our very not holding that opens up to seeing… David said of grandpa’s rocks – a we watched the images form and dissolve over and over “Sometimes it’s hard to remember what you just saw.”

But also, Leo and theater – that’s an interesting connection. See “lions” in “turning Forty”.

Speaking of turning forty, though, I certainly didn’t ever expect to be having as good a time as I have been having this year, was I? Well, Sandra had had one of my fingers in her mouth in some little reality that lingers.

But about Sandra, anyway, I do cherish her, and she is to be appreciated and cherished both for the rather triumphant achievement her life and person is, as well as for the felicitousness of her appearing in this life of mine…

Yesterday I found myself for the hundredth time marveling to myself at her dear beauty

And yet knew as well how much energy and focus it requires to stay in touch with that valuing and understood again why I cannot ask it of myself that I be sensitive to it all the time.

“In a way I understand why it had to wait until now in my life for you to appear. If you had come earlier, I would probably have gotten much too focused on you, much too unbalanced.”

“Libra” she laughed to herself.

And when I picture her cheekbone then, and the hollow underneath, and the lines of he smile, for a moment I do drown again in the infinite value of such beauty.

Part of me is so afraid of losing her – my feelings swing, actually, between not

Well, I see she is wonderful, I still see she is a gift and to be cherished – and I am a little afraid of not seeing well enough what I had and so losing it only to bitterly regret its .

{Typist’s Note: there are several indecipherable sentences there that are written on top of each other, presumably because the author is writing in very low light, and not watching the pen on the paper This on page 129 in the hand-written journal.}…. Then, at least, I could not be self-sufficient in those ways.

But, oh, the Pleiades are already over the bushes, and taurus is already in the sky again, and the Perseid meteors rain down this last hour before morning light. I know. I have seen the dawn in several nights this week. Oh, Can One Handle Freedom and Happiness? Noww, the thing is, I may not be able to read this so well, but if I don’t look at my writing then I can watch the sky at the same time. Or gaze off thru the depths of this valley which has never become really dark and watch the Perseids sep into cness  {?} from the upper right handy corner.

But about Taurus and Aldebaron being in the morning sky, and about marijuana and about Deborah Kerr – well, an interesting thing happened the other night. A Deborah Kerr movie I’d never seen since that time I was a teenager. A movie called The End of The Affair. Oh, I want to tell this right, I am not ready. My body is a little tired despite and because of mj and caffeine. Often I drive my body. often I won’t let t tell me that it’s tired, that it wants to go slower. Marijuana is used to speed up the amount you can do in a time – internally.

A meteor                    Dolphinius, tiny, heart constellation, “Dolphins, with the infinite courtesy of mid air over the western ridge. Porces {?} of the sea           Marge Piercy Dolpninius

And The end of The Affair – I remember not liking it so terribly – as a 15-year-old. I think some of its complexities were lost on me. But it proved to be a very interesting story – seemingly the story of a married woman who begins yet another affair and drops the man who loves her – It reveals itself through her journal to the story of a woman with her own spiritual search.

I fell into belief as I fell into love.” You see, what happed was, she really did love Van Johnson, so much so that when she found him seemingly dead under a door she prayed, she pleaded, she bargained with a God she didn’t even know, bargained to give him up only, if only he could be alive again. “I promise I will give him up, only please, please make him not be dead!” … and he stumbles into the room.

At first she thinks “oh, it was all a false emergency, all a silly mistake. We will be with each other tomorrow and this awful scare will be in the past.” … And yet, she knows, she cannot keep from knowing that she prayed, and that her prayer was answered. That perhaps she changed the world with her prayer, that a miracle happened.

It is hard for her not to see Maurice, ultimately it seems to torment her to her death. …But she keeps her part of the bargain. Well, I’m not sure I understand that part, but the part about the question of what do you do when a prayer is answered … Well,  I could not help  but remember singing over the ridge across the way “I have Dreamed on this Mountain” and lo and behold the ridge across the way wasn’t even the one in question. I get, not 14 units but none. I get the darkness of the sky at night for a few years more, the quiet of the day.

So I have been facing a similar question, of sorts. Was it a silly mistake or did I change the world. (I think of Ursula LeGuinn’s  novel where dreaming changes reality.) Did I pray, and was my prayer answered and am I bound by a promise now?

Well, Sandra said during a commercial, “what better device could there be to get a message through to you?”

And, oh, afterwards, it was so easy to be Deborah Kerr. To find my face taking on – at least from the inside, those expressions – some important new ways of seeing, being.

And so fresh, from all those {indecipherable word, page 135} of respect and self-respect, a woman with her own “promises to keep”.

I knew I needed to stay with those feelings – to not turn the lights on, to not be reflected in anyone else’s eyes as being me in my body, I needed the dark and the unobserved freedom to experience being the faces of Deborah Kerr, to try on being

With the continued help of coffee and marijuana, I admit it, and also tonight) I excused myself and came outside to sit and think and feel and watch the sky.



{continued from 8/?/81}

I thought a long time till I noticed how Pegasus and his four corners rode high in the sky. And from him springs the cornucopia of Andromeda, and curled above her womb a shimmering of light, our nearest neighbor universe. And then the Pleiades, softer, not the sharp feisty shimmer they have in winter – Orion is lost in the coming sunrise; but in between, Guarding the Pleiades from the hunter poises Taurus.

His horns to the hunter, his bright yellow eye. Bills, I thought, … remembering another watch, another night.

And the eye, its name “Aldeberan” al Deborahn. No wonder. No wonder. Or, maybe, wonder, wonder, wonder.

“I fell into belief as I fell into love,” she’d said. And I thought, “I know. I know why she kept her promise. It was a matter of gratitude. A matter of accepting that a prayer had been answered, that a miracle had been granted. Just because she truly loved him. She truly knew what a miracle it was that he was still alive, what a miracle had been granted. Even living without love of the human kind was made sense in the context of her gratitude.

Would I rather live in a world where I can continue to smoke marijuana and drink coffee for one extra month? Or would I rather enact my gratitude for nights like these? It’s as simple a that. I watched al deberan as the morning came into the pale blue of the morning sky, watched her until she twinkled, then I went in and woke Sandra gently, told her of my resolve, and in the happy, happy morning made beautiful love to her.

… with Dianne, one of the things that hooked me, the bitter sweet quality of our loving was of course that it was always an intensity of the moment which I was always having to give up – one of us was always leaving soon – and the lovely thing was, I could find that I could give her up. I could look at her face and become so full of this moment, and her presence, that it could be enough. The ecstasy of surrendering her, of not clinging – it was all so clear when she was there. But when she’d been gone a while and I groped blindly to remember the high courage of those times, the          well, it’s a little the same with marijuana and caffeine.

So I rather thought I’d do some fasting this next few days – and, tangren, if you don’t reach nirvana you might just remember that it’s August anyway, and it’s all right. In fact, the one thing there’s no need to fast from is writing.

In fact, several things – yoga, meditation, etc. .. Give yourself 3-4 days to experience it, meanwhile dialoguing with your body if you want to.

Sometimes I think about my times with Sandra is that my sexuality is the only thing about my body that I do listen to when I’m around her. It’s good that I am beginning to tap into that erotic release and source of energy all right – it’s there for a reason, and I gratefully accept the opportunity to explore it, but I get so grateful I get lost in focusing on it and never remember, say, yoga or walking

Tomorrow – straighten up your desk, send for tapes.

So anyway, fast the rest of this week – it’s the perfect time to say, anyway, go on fruits for a little bit – or fruits and vegetables, even  And then Marcella here for a week Sandra here part of that week and the next _ Pentacles energy, work focused, all of that flows quite well without marijuana and you can meditate too and latihan and also it’s OK if yr, not high. Ok, that 3 weeks, one more to go. September. Oh. Sour cream cake and Mom’s birthday. And then … 4 weeks of as near to solitude as possible 4 weeks of deep diving into myself, checking in with the one who started this whole thing, reconnecting with my writing, sending a couple of things out –

“A time of harvest” she said. Not a time for new projections so much as for harvesting the seeds you’ve already sown. That takes a little of the pressure off.

So, anyway, it is feasible to not be stoned the first week in September? It’s a lot to ask of myself. But it’s only one week – there’s 3 left. Only a half of a week if you count Marcella (Only 3 half of weeks, if you count Marcella. Though, school will make a difference. Saturdays to sew or read or bake bread or do our separate things. Time Time Tangren. Maybe you should experience by itself the healing power of having time for reflection, the healing power of solitude, and fasting even. Of a routine of spiritual discipline, a routine of writing, a mad crazy schedule of staying up nights even. Yes. It would be worth a try; there’s much to gain. A right relationship with marijuana, a clear conscience re: the Goddess and a chance to tell her how much you appreciate the nights to come.


Friday Morning: Images from dreams

Lying together with Sandra, feeling happy. Connected – an Indian woman (me) who learns secrets of her spiritual heritage by coming to understand about dolls.


Another dream: I am running around downtown. A tourist woman asks me where’s a sunnier part of the park where her children can play – she’s been invited to a women’s group for the evening. this is the end of the park, but I recommend the little flat newer play-park at the other end of town. Elevators. Elevators that show displays of jewels. I find a sort of combination bar-stool and pogo-stick. I decide to go up to the other end of town to try it out and check whether I gave her the right directions. The pogo stick is wonderful and lots of fun – it takes great leaps and I am there in no time. Later I am with some black man; I am his girlfriend. His male friend is there and I am being pretty much ignored. Still, I try to play the part, hanging on his neck with one arm – in my other, still, my pogo stick.


Journal Class                       Long Class


Dialogue With Works  – to establish and maintain an inner relationship with our external creative works.

Works: the mothering of a child, an internal story –  something that bears a lot of significance for us, that we want to strengthen. The work needs to become itself; we need to the work to become ourselves. The original flash or seed provides the standards as we work: the vision. Any work of this kind is an art work. Life-as-art.


Step 1: construct lists of meaningful works from our lives.

Past Works

From childhood: many carried often incompleted

Also include works that are now out of our range of interest. Short or long duration.         Pay attention to feelings as we make our lists.


Present works                                               What’s been meaningful to me that I’ve done doing

want to do.


Future works: Things we’ve always wanted to do:


Deborah Kerr                                                            Zero Population Growth

Writing my dissertation                               the ethics classes

Marcella/mothering                                      “The Box”

The 18th century dollhouse                                   “January 1980”

Marriage to John                                         Building my house.

The doll/puppet play of “Sleeping Beauty”          My Barbie doll collection

The home movie of Aladdin’s Lamp

The Auto Biography of Deborah Carr” & other journals

the “there is still time” symposium

Mary Pierce”             “2:00 AM Valentine’s Morning”

School starts  & Tangren has some dreams” &  “Oct 13 or a Thing”

doll clothes                drawings of Deborah


Step 2: Describe what these mean to you now

Deborah Kerr: what ever this is, it’s very important

Unsure whether it means reaching successfully to the person or just continuing in            the sense of a spiritual presence. I guess most important is “Staying here, in this.”

My thesis: some pride, some feeling of accomplishment – a work done on their terms, but coming more into my own towards the end. Malcolm’s validation – a funny feeling of “well, that was easy” It wasn’t easy, but it was possible, that’s the funny thing.

Marcella: a work winding down; one I drowned in for a while, and less my responsibility. I feel grateful I go such a good/sympathetic child to begin with; I feel glad I did mothering well, with great care; and it came out well.

Building my house:  Comes close behind having a baby – the same total demandingness of the job, the same responsibility, another beautiful outcome.

The 18th century doll house: unfinished; will it ever be? Does it matter?

Zero Population Growth: A step in the wrong direction – for me.

The Ethics classes: much like ZPG, come to think of it. personal and healing sometimes; doubtless good was done, yet


All these accomplishments make me feel used up, tired. What’s the point of doing everything so well? It all seems so hard. I’m tired.


Marriage to John: Put tremendous energy into that relationship – now it’s over. Not lost. I feel puzzled; It was pursuing goals I no longer want at all – togetherness, love and security, family-ness, total knowing of each other. It wasn’t wrong; but it’s not for me now. Did it give me anything for now? Well, not everything has to be for the far future. I was someone else, and that’s what I wanted, and did it well.

My Barbie doll collection: The love of fine things made by craft and cunning, the desire of the hearts of Dwarves.

The Sleeping Beauty play: indifferent

My writings: left till last: because they matter to me so much now. They seem … eternally important … not passing matters like these above gone projects. Probably this too will pass (??) It’s hard to imagine them accomplished, over. Children who have been calling me for so long their voices are faint. “the Box” – oh, what’s the sue? How can I remember them? At one time I cared about it so much I could contemplate dying and feel “Well, at least I published that” But it seems to have mattered little to anyone else but me. Though, it’s true, you never know who it touched. Your writing does help people know things, feel things. That’s as  much a Deborah ever did – the most important part of her work, she said.

Doll clothes: well, it’s nice for dolls to have clothes.

Drawings of Deborah: only the beginning

There’s Still Time” Symposium: There was a lot of time, and it’s still running out.


About my writing: I’ll tell you in September

Writing, what writing? (Yet just this morning in the bath you were plotting “Mary Pierce”

Future fantasies:

Publishing more journal writing     yes

Going on a reading tour      for future.

Women’s Audio Network


The work we care most about now:

All the works waiting to be finished
State objectively our relationship to that work:

Lying dormant; soon to be opened.

So much sitting there in first draft form,

What’s happening? Is it going stale, receding into the past? Will my vision questing be as out of date as all the energy I put into my marriage? How much have I changed? How much have I lost? Me: waiting. Plowing through the other necessities of living, waiting for September.


Brief life herstory


What led to the idea or inspiration for the work?

What enabled it to continue? Support from a friend, partner, grant, inheritance.

What kept it not lost in the shuffle?

But there’s not just on work. There’s an amorphous mass.

What difficulties did she meet? Obstacles?

Work work work always to have to turn elsewhere.

What variations or compromises did we make to have her continue?

Were there long pauses? What took place during those pauses?

What feelings have accompanied the different phases of the work?


I could start with reading Little Women when I was 8. I could start with the evening when Carol Dunning (Castelor) suggested to me in our women’s group that it would be a good idea for me to keep a journal – a dream journal. But perhaps it really starts lying on the couch at Sylvia’s. Sylvia saying “Tangren, you’re not doing what you want to with your life.”  And me saying “But X alternative is impossible and Y is no good.” And all the time even then though I would pay it no mind a little voice was saying “I want to be a writer.”


What enabled it to continue? Loneliness            caring about writing Time; not enough time to know what to do with it, but time. Enough time to write in the first place, enough time to carry a couple of things through to some stage of completion.

Hearing. Yes – being heard into speech.

An inheritance – yes – from John, from my parents from my grandparents, from my own days of work as a ‘landlady’


And other writers –  yes- Tillie Olsen, a. Rich, Louisa May Alcott

And friends – especially Libré        Ruth and Jean          Caroline         Carol C.

What compromises or variations to have to continue?

Only postponement

Long pauses: Building the house Teaching. Mothering

Life has been one long pause.

Now, Relating, a love affair.


Feelings at the different phases?

Total love when the writing happens. Joy when I can polish and fuss and finish –

As in January 1980

Anguish when it must be laid aside.

Patience  fear there’s nothing there, longing, dulled by patience

Trust I will return to it,

fear that I cannot.


Reading Dorothy Bryant yesterday on whether one’s writings are “immortal” – “no” trying to imagine something more ultimate than writing….not very clear now. Thinking of Thomas Aquinas who quit writing 12 years before his death, feeling all he’d written was nothing compared to what he’d gone on to.

Dialogue with work: feel her feel her feeling me

images                       feel an equality with her

Me: You are very beautiful, you know. Very feeling and caring. I love you.

I miss you. I wish I felt like  knew you better.

Work: I am here. I need you to be actualized into the world. But I am patient, too. Like you, I cultivate trust

Me: You are what I love for; yet it’s been so long since I’ve seen you; perhaps you are becoming as mythical as Dianne or Deborah Kerr. … I feel so faint today, so tired and hungry and headachy – this is no way to come to you.

W: I’m glad to hear you tell me that you love me, that we will be together soon.

Me: We are both thin and wispy right now. I am a little frightened of September – what if there isn’t that spark?

W: That’s what you always say when you are not in touch with me. Then remember the times of waking, of saying “Please, God, just let me live through this night.”

Me: yes – the joy of giving you the cherishing you deserve.

Work: Oh, it’s so nice to be appreciated. Nobody else seems to notice like you do.

Me: Well, you do deserve it.


Rereading Old Journals



Resistance to rereading – the Negative stuff –

Useful to remember we are not now and will not again be the person who wrote it.

Acting our patterns of personality – we may still be doing it.

Eg. “Playing the Blame game” blaming others or self blame feeling responsible when it’s not appropriate.


Comparing ourselves to other people                  self pity

The things that are embarrassing, humiliating –

That distaste and discomfort with ourselves are impetus to change. Show you you are beyond it.

Good idea to list those things.

Say why it’s humiliating

how your values have changed.

Do you still do it? What do you get out of it? Do you want to continue it?

Positive: can nurture self-esteem, give us comfort –

Seeing where we’ve been, who we’ve been –

Wisdom          resilience       perceptiveness                     gives perception in the now

Also: chance to re-experience the good stuff


Our choice of words:

Avoiding first person singular may be a way of avoiding responsibility.

Slips of the pen – things we’ve crossed out.

Using descriptive phrases rather than names – a distancing.

I guess” “I wish” may be a child speaking.

I think” “It seems to me” “possibly”            adult – a tolerance for ambiguity, relativity

Judgements and absolutes:

Exaggerations                      an abundance of superlatives

Look at 4 modes of writing: is there a balance between them?

Are some underdeveloped –

A section of 10-15 pages could be set off for your rereading work.

Recording your responses – to your life.

First rereading – when you complete a journal – may give you sense of direction for the next one.


Eg: a list of places that seem centers of growth to focus on.


Tuesday Morning 9:30

Not sure what the point of writing is when I don’t have much to say; keep the synapses operating, I guess. I wonder if I’ll ever reread this journal – seems like the most boring one I’ve ever kept.

Both Marcella and Sandra are suddenly here – M. and John got back from their trip to Germany, and the guy whose apartment S. was using has returned. Both still sleeping on the living room floor.

… One fragment of a dream… Sandra and I are being chased along dirt roads by :”the bad guys” – Running along, covering a road we’ve evidently been on before, I look down, discover Raggedy Ann in the dirt. She’s shrunk, she’s smaller than my hand now. I pick her up to take her with us; somehow, it’s a great comfort to find her again.

Journal Class Notes Tuesday Aug 18 {1981}

(The Woman Who Lived in a Prologue” Nina Schneider)

{Typist’s Note: There is a drawing here of a small cabin nestled among fir trees.}


Jealousy & Envy: tend to focus us out of ourselves, off center. Our work is to bring ourselves home in our journals.

Often are projections: we wouldn’t covet it unless it was somewhere in ourselves – we recognize and are drawn to it because it’s a potential in ourselves, eg. “the path not taken”

Self-pity, inadequacy, frustration. Dialogue is useful, to fully express those feelings. Stuck in either/or < >the universe is abundance. Portraits: we are no good, the other is better – portrait can often balance that out. Dialogue: asking for what we need – getting in touch with our needs.


Addictions: forms of immediate gratification

{Typist’s Note there are several drawings on this page: a challis-cup, the head of a cat, a profile of a head, probably male, a foot resting on the arm of a stuffed upholstered piece of furniture}


(Remembering A. with A.) Looking at addiction as a way of blocking awareness of feelings; needs we are afraid can’t be met. A set of needs or feelings we can’t entertain – these things are “the thumb in the dam”. We know what will happen if we use it, we don’t know what will happen if w don’t.

Rereading things written “under the influence”. Starting to unravel an awareness of the needs we’re using that dependency to block.

{A drawing here of a small ornate frame} frame of reference

Using journal to record the thoughts and behavior that trip off the dependency. Substituting a writing habit. “The commitment to do that is 90% of getting out of the habit.” Assumes a trust in our ability to discover and meet those needs.

Guided imagery: fantasize: how we’d feel with it. How our self-image alters. Association

Catharsis       Dialogue with the joyous, free self.

Creating alternative healthy modes:

Cayenne – a healing stimulant – affects your whole body and doesn’t take from your body.

Marijuana damage: SUPPOSED

hardening of arteries                       immune system        :detoxification takes twice as long as use

slows down thyroid  interferes with red blood     500mg vitamin C & cleansing

cell formation in bone marrow        diets. Sodium alginate tablets

spirulina – 1 t at breakfast

chaparral, red clover, getubola

Miso; counteracts effects of dope and radiation

Wheatgrass, bentonite, clay


Sunday morning, Aug 23 {1981}

Seems to me this is the most boring journal I have ever written. I feel so far from myself. Life is fine except for that. Marcella and Kirsten are here, and Sandra. Sandra and I have been accomplishing things – hanging doors, finishing off the storage bench beside the kitchen. Yesterday, Saturday, the girls went over to watch TV and we decide to take the opportunity to make love – It was OK, but it didn’t really touch me in any deep places or open me up. I’m in the midst of keeping my promise to the Goddess about caffeine and marijuana. … Even after this long, the area at the top of my right lung is still a little sore. I needed to do it. But I am rather frightened that I can’t ever be “myself”, the self I want to be, without mj. Eg. Making love yesterday. Of course, In a way, it was silly to think that we could snatch a couple of hours and get into the sexual mode – at least if one thinks of making love as creating a work of art. Mj. or no, that requires some centering in and reaching down in to one’s self, centering in with the other person of a sort that just being together focusing on work and daily living doesn’t really provide.

We did have a rather fun time last night – a “talent show” – M. & K. did a funny pantomime to Herod’s song in Jesus Christ Superstar, Sandra pantomimed singing, I sang the Main to Toronto Blues and the All Hallow’s Day song – M. & K. thought of some other songs they could sing, K. played the flute, then we  all danced for a while and had some ice cream. It was fun, and there was no need to be stoned; but what is the point of having fun?

Well, I’m not really depressed. I was depressed for quite a while, especially by how tired I was, how much sleep I seemed to need. The heat wave has finally broken; it’s still summer temperatures, but not so terribly hot – work and action are possible now. For a while it was up in the hundreds and I could do little but sleep… Long sleeps at night and exhausted naps in the afternoon. Maybe coming off these stimulants also contributed. My account has been overdrawn for a long time. But also I get virtually no physical exercise – never go for walks. A 6 1/2 hour day of hard work left me so exhausted Friday I couldn’t even smile. … It’s hard to know where the line is between the body’s catching up on rest and that point where sleeping and lack of work just lead to more inertia. Well, when the body demands it, what can one do?


I’m so glad the journal class is over. The last was the worst – talking about addictions. Their picture of it is so different from mine, so oversimplified and distorted. Especially, then, but always in groups, my own reality seems to disappear. I’ve probably already said that.

Dreams. Sandra and I have been sleeping outdoors the past several nights, watching the moon rise a little later each night, a little smaller, a little further to the east each morning when the sun touches the deck. Feeling the soft wind rushing over us all night. And, as I’ve always thought, good for dreaming.

I remember 3 dreams last night, something of a record. But none of them seems significant. Last I dreamed of eating with Beaver at Rogue Valley Manor. Lots of delicious fruits and vegetables. Woke up hungry.

Before that, being with Trish (a woman in Ashland, an acquaintance) driving from one tiny town to another. She was a doctor, I think. All the young people knew her and spoke to her as a friend. I remember we gave a Holly Near tape to one young woman who lived in a small house with her family, linoleum on the floor, and a gas heater.

In the other dream there was a trial; someone was being tried for dealing marijuana. For some reason, I had offered that they could use a big sloping amphitheater behind my house. There was a recess; people came into my house, went onto the deck, and I realized they might well discover the marijuana plants I am growing out beside the deck. They are covered with screens; there’s a chance they won’t be noticed, I hope. As we reconvene, the district attorney tells me I’d better get rid of those plants immediately – before someone else sees them and he has to prosecute. After the trial has adjourned for the day, another woman, one who is sympathetic, talks to me about the plants – then the d.a. comes onto the deck where we are again; I realize she is his girlfriend, they are basically sympathetic but will have to enforce the law if pushed. Then another woman comes onto the deck; she is older, much more to the right. She also has seen the plants; she begins to untie the screens so the d.a. will have to see them.

How I suffer in the night – no wonder I have a hard time coming back to enjoying my reality.

The last time I dreamed about m.j. and the law it was even more traumatic. It seems I was living in a house on a tree-shaded street somewhere in town, and yet it was basically like this house. The police came. It seems I had taped the last Holly Near concert at the Holiday Inn – and the Holiday Inn people considered this an infraction and had sent the police after me. The police were searching the house for more illegal tapes – when they discovered my marijuana plants on the deck.

After a while they left – I was terribly upset. There was some m.j. they hadn’t discovered in the refrigerator – I was trying to sit down and be alone and have a smoke, feeling that I might begin to feel my way through this upset that way – when there was a knock on the door. Some woman acquaintance and her husband and their little boys were traveling through, wanted to stay the night. I said no. They at least wanted to come into the living room and visit for an hour. So I let them. They couldn’t really see why I was being so ungenerous; there was enough room. But I continued to refuse; finally got them in their car again (a VW bus). Coming back to the house again finally I discovered that one of their little boys had been left behind. I grabbed the child, ran out to the street just a the bus was leaving, and threw him in through the open back window. He landed on his back – and the woman was crying at me that if his back was injured they were going to sue me. – The feelings of that dream; such desperation; such violent, sobbing anger. (I get angrier in my dreams than I ever do in real life.)

That was three weeks ago. Awake, I couldn’t think what could have caused it – none of the specifics were anything like my life – though I was worried about taking so long to get the screens up around my plants. But the general tone – many interruptions by other people into my life – that was something I had to admit I was feeling.

Then later I learned that that very morning – 7:30 in the morning, Sarah at Golden (she’s in my writer’s group) was busted. The police came about a stove she’d taken from an empty cabin – and also arrested her for her marijuana plants. It must have been happening just about the time I was dreaming about it….(or maybe the dream was an hour or two before.)

My, it’s heating up again today. Guess I’ll take a bath. I’m more than 1/3 through my mj. Fast – it will take up 1/3 of September, though … wonder if that’s a good idea.

Well, I have said it’s rainy day solitude. Maybe I should experience what solitude and permission to return to my writing can do without marijuana. I feel so lost from my sources. But I do need to remember faith – so many times when I have “come to” to realize I have been on the path all along. I don’t know what the point is of writing all this, but it does feel like something just to be writing.


Tuesday Morning Aug 5 {1981}\

Sandra and I have been sleeping on the deck for the past week or more. It’s nice to watch the moon rising later each night, getting smaller, closer to sunrise.

There have been some clouds off and on of late, though there’s been no rain since summer began. This morning when we woke up the sky was solid grey bumpy clouds – and the air smelled so wonderful. It really made me feel good. By now, though, the sun ahs begun to burn the clouds away.

Two dreams worth recording, in the past two nights. First: Mom and Dad were asking me to explain what sense it made for me to have quit my job. I was groping for some sort of explanation; seeing David over at his house up the hill I thought maybe he could help me explain, since he had already quit his, too,  Next scene: David has been killed – his car has gone off a cliff into deep water. And I want to say to Mom & Dad – “See? Now don’t you think it’s good that he took that time off? Aren’t you glad he at least had that time?”

At first I didn’t want to write that dream down – David being killed and all – I thought it was better forgotten. But when I thought about it – well, it has a lot to do with my own life situation. I’ve been feeling rather panicky about the job aspect: Wondering if I need that kind of pressure to give drama and focus to my life – wondering what other sort of work I could do if I gave up teaching – worrying about money – unable to remember what I wanted to do with this time that seemed so important. On the other hand the pain in my chest that night was seeming more, not less, though it’s been two weeks now since I’ve smoked at all. And remembering now that, yes, that was part of my decision: even if I can’t see into the future, to take some eof the present while  is in my grasp. Knowing that I am not doing what I want with my life if I don’t at least try writing.


Last evening I mentioned to Sandra a thought that had just occurred  me; that I hadn’t had any dreams about Deborah Kerr since last spring when I dreamed reading the notice of her death.

But last night I had a sort of Deborah Kerr dream – though it wasn’t of being with her, but of watching a movie. Quo Vadis was on TV; Marcella and I were trying to tape it. But we started a bit late and then we couldn’t get the channel right – kept getting mixtures of other dumb TV programs on the tape. Finally figured it out, though, and settled down to watch Quo Vadis. Her father was talking to Her and Robert Taylor – can’t remember what it was about. She was wearing a dress of wine-dark pink and a veil or drape of some kind over her head – her face was framed in a sort of halo made of multiple rows of tiny rosebuds of the same color. She looked very beautiful.

Robert Taylor also had on a similar drape over his head; at one point the father soothed it back to reveal a similar smaller wreath of rosebuds.

Later she was trying to escape from that place – an airplane figured in the plot – I remember thinking that that was wrong, that they didn’t have airplanes in those days. Also, later, Robert Taylor made some reference to Abraham Lincoln and I was thinking “But that hadn’t happened yet then.”


September 4 {1981}

Took Marcella to John’s yesterday afternoon; Sandra left on the first. A week alone ahead, and a week yet to go on my vow. My lungs have almost recovered – there is still one point in the top of my right lung that feels a little sore when I exercise or move certain ways – I suppose I can’t go back to smoking. Not sure how life will proceed.

Often in this month I’ve asked myself about the value of life unstoned – haven’t come up with any definite answers. Life can certainly be pleasant – though I can be rather grim a lot of the time. But even when life is pleasant, most of the time it’s still hard to feel there’s a point to it all. A kind of underlying depression… lots of worries about money … and no sense at all of what my writing is, why it matters at all. Well, I’ve also been doing lots of things, being with people. I should ask myself that question again this next week. Scared to try focusing in on writing … Well, I do have to clean of the table and desk first; I know a sort of ‘housecleaning’ has to come first.

Dream this morning: being with Sue and Hoyt and their kids, travelling with them. At one point Hoyt is talking to someone about our life together; says to them how we tend to get focused on sexuality around the autumnal equinox; the rest of the year, the solstices and the spring equinox we can turn to other things, practical matters, spirituality, but the autumnal equinox always seems to bring sexuality to the fore.

Later Sue is gone somewhere and Hoyt and I are trying to pack up with the kids. Deborah C. is parked alongside a curb. For some reason I start her up and she begins to move –  down the lane of traffic, and before I can turn around, across a bridge and a left turn onto a highway. I miss one turn around thru panic, finally turn left again) onto a circular viewing area. But then somehow a pole rises up, something like the hydraulic lifts used by garages, I guess, and we (Hoyt is with me) are teetering high above the ground. I am trying to find the right key, trying to get it into the key slot, scare that it won’t work, that instead of lowering us that if I start D. we’ll just drive off into the air and fall. Hoyt tries to comfort me, reaches over to put his arms around me and rock me, but that just scares me more; I’m afraid the rocking will make us fall. Finally I do get the key in the slot, and the pole does start to go down. I’m relieved, say “Well, of course, that’s the way they would make it. There would be a button to make it go down from up here, because that’s where you’d be when you wanted to get down.

Well, it says to record your dreams. Maybe it is sexual imagery – poles, slots, buttons – felt very automotive at the time. Anyway, the pole went down and we were no longer stuck up on it when I got the key in the slot in spite of my fears and pressed the right button, so I guess all is well.


Sept 5 {1981} 8:00 AM

I just had a dream about Deborah Kerr!

At first it was of watching a film – a film put together by her of some favorite shots from home movies. In one of the first ones: I recognized her home  in pacific Palisades – it was outside in front on the lawn. Here come her two little girls – about two and six, with dark red hair, tumbling and playing, and then, following them, coming up from some side basement door, Deborah and their nanny. Her hair was dark, her lips were dark, she was wearing gardening clothes – it was definitely Deborah. A bunch of different clips of her at different ages, all around home. I remember looking so intensely at her face, the way I do, then wondering if I was being impolite, then realizing this  was just a move, so it was all right. Recognizing so many of her different faces – and some that are not familiar – and some familiar ones not there. These are definitely home movies; she doesn’t have the glamour and the focused artistry of her other movies. Thinking about he faces, her persona, I realize I am seeing a lot of the relaxed, low-key, friendly ones, the vivacious and some clowning ones – but not that projecting, feeling, softness she is familiar for, too.

About that time it is no longer a movie; I am there in the scene. She and the governess are saying goodbye to someone in a car at the curb. Everyone is feeling playful, she sings a verse or two of “shall we dance?” as if the person singing is  not at all sure she wants to dance. Towards the end she forgets a line. … How funny it seems that while it’s engraved on my memory, she can’t remember it at all..

Then we turn to go into the house. On the front porch I realize that this is her old Pacific Palisades house – It’s so exciting to get to go in it! And I’m so delighted that she still owns it. Still … the front door is not the same massive thing, but only a painted, thinnish piece of plywood with presswood decorations fastened on. The whole front of the house could use painting, I note, and is a little small and run down.

Inside, on one side of the front hall there is another hall-shaped space … the floor is lowered and angled down – there is a toilet there and a loose piece of plywood on the floor. It’s all pretty tacky, and yet it’s also exciting because I remember a movie magazine article showing her working on the plumbing there. There is water on the floor now. “Your plumbing repair didn’t last!” I exclaim, walking into the space – But then I notice some wet black widow webs.  Tell her that’s what they are. “yes, I know,” she shines the flashlight on some more. “And here’s a black widow spider.” “They are very dangerous,” I say. “I always kill the ones I find.” “I suppose I’d better,” she says, and pinches it between her fingers. She has garden gloves on, but still I don’t think she should do it that way. “I usually step on them” I say. “yes,” she says, “but that’s hard to do with this outfit on.” She’s wearing a long full green shirt she was wearing for “shall we dance.” “That’s why I mostly wear pants” I say, continuing down the hall. Glimpses into various rooms, occasionally, snatches of some familiar background from some movie shot. We end up in the kitchen – I look for the familiar round topped refrigerator but it seems to be gone. The kitchen is actually two small rooms, one on each side of the hall. On the ceiling on one side is taped a poster of her – again I have the bemused sense of the contrast between this relaxed person who is definitely Deborah Kerr all right, but not projecting anything, just a woman in her own earthy house making toast rounds for her children and us, and the public persona who appears in her movies.

I remember thinking that those images too are probably people she really is, at other times. At intimate times sometimes perhaps, but that a lot this is who she mostly is.

It was such a privilege, though, to get to see her house and be with her. It was a very happy dream.


September 8 {1981}             Late morning

Waking up with such dread as to how to fill the day – not wanting to get up until some sort of clarity happens – or at least a sense of what to do first. … But then it will be Thursday and Marcella will be coming, so maybe I won’t do it then, either. Tempted to take today and then make up the rest of the month when M. is here; but my conscience would prick, I know. Longing for clarity, for courage, for a sense of solitude, for the joy of long reflection on everything … only … nothing seems to be happening. Sometimes I wonder if I don’t need that job to make me suffer so I can write about it. Feeling so far from myself. Took Marcella home Thursday afternoon, to begin a week of solitude. Called Sandra Friday night to talk about the next day’s writers meeting in Wolf Creek. We were both so lonely and lost feeling – we decide to spend the

night together and comfort each other. She ended up staying till Monday noon.

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It was a good time together – we both felt very cheered. It is nice to give and receive love. The first night she was here was when I dreamed of Deborah; wondered if would have if she hadn’t been here. But, on the other hand, it was a little hard to take the time to write the dream down – certainly no time to work it over. And when I did read it to her to tell her what the dream had been, it didn’t mean all that much to her. Wanting to hug the memory to myself and not go on relating, speaking of other things.

Anyway, I was glad I did dream of Deborah again. I had not dreamed of her since I dreamed last spring of reading that she had died. I feared it meant I might not dream of her again. Mentioned that to Sandra a couple of weeks ago – that night I dreamed at least of seeing her in a movie.

A couple of nights later, I dreamed of trying to get downtown to see Tea And Sympathy. In fact it was just a week before this dream. Sandra and I were in fact up at Low Echo at the Fall Women’s Gathering. It had been a frustrating day; in fact, S. and I had not been relating well for several days. She had been staying here and was getting ready for the gathering in several ways, also wanting to work. There was a great deal to do – for her to do – yet she still wanted to take the time to make love. I was not in a sexual state – hadn’t been for a long time – and felt a little shocked at what felt to me like her lack of responsibility. … We have different patterns of working. For me, working is a matter of focusing all my energy there. Partly because I’ve done a lot of my work in solitude, partly because that’s just the way I am. She says she worked out her work habits being with Dianne and learning how to alternately focus on work and on keeping up a relationship at the same time. Whatever; I do feel she tends to rationalize about what she can get done in a certain amount of time, and is generally very late for everything. The most shocking thing to me was when she was first leaving in March to go down to see children. Her ultimate deadline was to be there in time to see a play her son was going to be in. it worried me how she kept stretching the time, and indeed, she got there part way through the play.

Still, her ability to stay centered in the present, to keep the present pleasant is part of what I appreciate about her. So I don’t put a lot of validity behind my judgements; but I do get judgmental.

The gathering started at noon Friday. We got there at six. She had left about one for the Xerox place, saying she’d be an hour. In an hour, Summer, who was driving up with us, appeared; we waited another hour and a half. There had been a great crowd at the Xerox place; it wasn’t really her fault. But it just focused all my frustration at her ways. I was in a bad mood anyway, not wanting to go to the gathering, knowing how lost I feel in crowds, expecting to have a bad time, feeling tired. In the car I just couldn’t be friendly, didn’t want to be unfriendly, unsupportive; settled for mostly silence.

(Whew, I’m starting to get wrought up again just thinking about it.)

Anyway, that night I dreamed that Deborah Kerr was in San Francisco with a new version of Tea And Sympathy. I was driving a pickup, trying to get to the play. At first, David was with me; but for some reason we had to turn back and ended up back in the original parking lot. Then Sandra was with me, and we were starting out again. She knew the way to the theater and was going to show me how to get there. But when I asked which way to go, she said it depended on whether I wanted to go by and see this woman who had some horses. I said “no, just tell me how to get to the theater, just tell me which way I’m suppose t turn right now!” but she began to try to talk me into going to se the woman with the horses. I was dissolving into sobbing frustration when I woke up.

Actually, the gathering was not as bad as I’d feared. Lots of women were friendly, came to say hello to me. It was nice to see Low Echo again and to be out away from my own house and the awful stuck place I’d been feeling in about my life here. It did shake me loose; I returned in better spirits. Also, the entertainment both nights was enriching – a song writer/singer named Judy Fjell from Corvallis and some local women singing and reading poetry; and the theater group from San Francisco that Carolyn Meyer’s been working with doing a funny play called Dos Lobos.

And the workshop Sandra did Sunday morning was the best workshop I attended – by far. The women there were very interested. It gave me “new respect” again – listening to her interesting ideas, watching her interact with other women, seeing what she gives to them.

We came home and spent the last day of August touching in with each other in some very good ways. Then she moved back down to the basement on B Street.


Sunday Evening Sept 13, 1981

Well, my month-long fast is finished; I just ate a cookie as the moon turned to full. Theoretically, I was off the hook Friday at midnight, but since Marcella was here then, I decide to wait till a more auspicious time to do it. And, in fact, it’s been easy to put it off.

The first part of my fast was very hard – I was tired a lot and depressed a lot. Not sure it was all a matter of “coming off” of coffee and marijuana… It was also very hot – up into the hundreds some days – Also S. and I were working on the house here and living together here, and Marcella was here for a full week … So  … no solitude, work, and especially the heat.

Lately life has been much better. S. has been living back at B Street, but I’ve been seeing a great deal of her. September’s coming rather scared me; I’d just set aside the time for solitude; but without marijuana I was not brave enough or centered enough to turn to my writing. Waking up in the morning to face an empty day was unnerving. I’ve ended up spending a great deal of time with Sandra – a lot of it quite nice time, lying together, talking, making love, going on a picnic to the park, sleeping together on the deck. In some ways, I feel I’ve lost the feel of solitude, the resources I had for solitude. For instance, I remember that I used to feel when I was with other people – often – longings for silence, for non-linear activity, an impatience with speaking too much of things that are not here and now. I don’t seem to feel those anymore. Nor do I walk around my house at night without the lights on, or sing or talk to myself. Or write.

However, I have dreamed yea even of Deborah Kerr. And been happy. And full of energy now and then without coffee or marijuana. Today I went down to Sandra’s about 2 to latihan. Her stomach hurt, so we lay together on the bed and I read to her from Cosmic Trigger. (The other day the library called to say the book I’d reserved was in. S. said she’d come along, as there was a book she wanted to reserve. When we met back at the car she said “They had it, so I just got it.” And a few minutes later she exclaimed “Is this the book you got?” They were both by the same author, Robert Anton Wilson – Schrödinger’s Cat and Cosmic Trigger. We’d never mentioned him to each other. … And, of course, one of the things he talks about is synchronicity.) so we read from C.T., then had a very good latihan that went on for 40 minutes.

… I wonder what it will feel like to be stoned again. I hope I will begin to remember my writing.

According to Robert Cole’s Book of Houses I am just finishing the month of my seventh house; the main thing it says is “take care of your health this month.” So I should report: my lungs have improved considerably; but they are not completely better; occasionally there is still a small … feeling … is all I can call it, in the top of my right lung – the rest I never notice. My throat has been still sore on and off – correlated, I think, with canbersores and eating too many nuts. At least when my throat hurts my conscience doesn’t hurt at the same time. Anyway, it has been a very god feeling to know I’m not endangering my body day by day; in fact, I’m a little reluctant to return to doing that.


But I do want to get back to writing.

As for the benefits of not eating cookies – no energy drain, no feeling in the sinuses that all the vitamin C has left my body, and not the precise, shaky form of tiredness by afternoon – though I cannot say I have not been tired. And of course, no green semi-diarrhea.

Anyway, I’m glad my body has had a break and I hope I don’t get immediately into a pattern of abusing again.

However, I am looking forward to some feeling besides panic/dread at the thought of my writing. I simply did not find that I could take up that project again at the moment without the help of marijuana. And I am looking forward to some deeper feelings that I have been able to have without it; looking forward to feeling my face going soft and my heart chakra opening, looking forward to the long hours of reflection, the stillness of knowing to just “sit and think” for hours.

I’m glad to know I can make love without it, and have a good time with Sandra. There were more times than I thought where it didn’t seem to really make any difference whether I was stoned or not; I would especially say that about doing work and being with other people. In fact, being stoned while being with people often just puts me in touch with another, subjective reality, my own needs, etc. and makes it harder to relate to them. At any rate, other people don’t seem to notice as much difference in me as I do. I recommend that, in general, I mostly do my getting stoned in solitude and save it for when it’s most important – tripping, writing, creating – not bathing, meditating, reading, working, being with other people.

Wednesday night Sandra and I were falling asleep under the moon – at least, I was. S. lay there watching me.

“I don’t know why I was so sleepy in the park this afternoon. But it was so nice to sleep on that hillside right next to the sound of the gurgling stream.” Immediately I fell asleep and dreamed that I was swimming underwater in a river. But then  I began to drown. My face contorted and I opened my eyes to her face in the moonlight. “I dreamed I was drowning,” I said. “How nice that it was only a dream.”  And fell back to sleep again, to awake a minute later. “I was dreaming again,” “I dreamed Audrey Hepburn was being crowned queen. She was putting a crown on her head; you know how crowns are – they’re gold on the outside, but inside there’s that soft red velvet stuff.” “Yes, I know,” she smiled; I have often remarked that in her latest haircut she reminds me of Audrey Hepburn.

The third time I fell asleep I had a frightening dream … perhaps my head had relaxed just enough, or the moon had moved so that the blanket’s shadow fell on my eyes … at any rate, I dreamed I was in a circle with a few women, Ruth Mountaingrove was there, and Sandra, sitting across the circle from me. We were doing some sort of ceremony in the moonlight. And suddenly the moon went dark, totally black. “It must be an eclipse” I thought – “it has to be” But it couldn’t be – it had happened too suddenly, and anyway, the moon wasn’t full. It was so frightening; it must be something the men had done, the military, maybe, or the businesses. They were the only ones with that possible power. I was groping in the blackness, trying to find Sandra  when I woke up again to her face so near in the moonlight.

Friday night Marcella and I watched a Katherine Hepburn retrospective, and came home feeling like Katherine Hepburn. She was tired and went to bed; I wasn’t really sleepy yet, so I stayed up and began Schrödinger’s Cat, and read it through to the end. At one point there is mentioned a terrorist group’s demand that all the dollar bills henceforth have Mickey Mouse printed on them to remind people never again to worship money.


towards morning I dreamed of dollar bills all printed with Katherine Hepburn’s face.

When I began to tell M. my (another) dream this morning she said “I know! Deborah Kerr became president.” At first I didn’t get it till she pointed out that I’d dreamed of Audrey Hepburn being crowned queen and of Katherine Hepburn on the dollar bills. I do see her point.

Alas it was only of my parents moving to another house – an old house they were going to fix up – Mom had the wallpaper or the living room, which was just below Don’s bedroom. It was rather out in the country and down a dirt road, but there were several other house around, and the front of the house faced a trailer court; I couldn’t understand why they would move from the nice modern house Mom had built with the beautiful view of the mountains, for this place. It did have a nice view from the kitchen window south into a green pastoral valley – but there was a great mess of telephone wires in the view, too. There were a Jacuzzi and a swimming pool, and a wading pool in the garden, but I still didn’t think they’d be as happy as they were in their old house.

The rest of the dream had to do with the people who had lived there before – a French ski instructor and his wife and children, and a grandmother, too. Only it was sort of like looking at a catalogue, too. There was a little girl in an ad for ——-

Well, you never know what will be significant.

By now the cookie has hit.  Notice mostly right now a certain feel in my mouth and the back of my throat, an my stomach too.

And just now a certain increase in paranoia – it is now dark, of course, and I am writing by candlelight – There was a sort of thud just now I couldn’t place (now I think it was the bamboo blind in the wind); it made me jump more than usual; and a squeal a minute later – (a complaining steering wheel) which again scared me a little more than it otherwise would have, I think.

Guess I’ll go see if the moon is out, stop writing and see if I can notice any other effects

Well, what I did was go outside and look at the moon and at my plants, the six females that are left now, just this last day putting out the first two tiny white hairs.  (The males showed themselves a week ago.) saw the plants in shadow still, just coming into moonlight, blessed them and wished them good coming coming into first flower in the white light of this full Pisces Moon, this harvest Moon.

Then I sat to look at the moon but was distracted by suddenly inventing a greenhouse that could go where the plants are, be made of glass and be whitewashed in the summer for shade and privacy (“It washes off in the winter,” Jean Mountaingrove said last weekend) and in the winter it can grow tomatoes and a lemon tree and can be vented into the bedroom through windows a couple of ways. It can be made pretty if built with old windows and all glass.


{Typist’s Note: There are three drawings here of the proposed greenhouse.}


Also the upper bedroom windows could open onto an enclosed space above the retaining wall connected to the greenhouse – several advantages – bugs – rain etc. etc.

Well, it’s fascinating – I’ve wondered for a long time if there was any possible way to incorporate a solar greenhouse into the design of this house.

But anyway, I did look at the moon some too. Then I came in and ate a pear and eventually another cookie and sat down here and thought about Dianne a little, and ended up writing a note to her mother.


September 13, 1981

Dear Mrs. Verbieren,

Dianne was a friend of mine. I met her through Susan Greeson, and saw a lot of her when she was in Oregon.

I miss knowing that she is in the world, knowing that I might talk with her again sometimes. I miss her. But she is, above all, the person who showed me that there is more mystery to life than I had guessed. Who made me wonder if there might not be a God and a plan and a purpose to life. That there could even be life after death. By now I do believe all those things … that is, I don’t think we with our human ideas can really understand it; but there seems to be some miracle we point to with those words.

So I can’t be too sad. I do think I’ll see her again some day. I do think death is, as she said, an “adventure.” But for now I miss her earthly presence, and her sense of humor.

I have a favor to ask of you. Sue told me that shortly before she died, she sent to Narda a beautiful poem or piece of writing. Sue said Narda was going to have it copied to give to Dianne’s friends. I don’t know if that happened; I didn’t get one. I was wondering if you might have a copy you could Xerox for me. (It’s not important whether it shows the colors. I’d just like to know what she said.) or, if you don’t have a copy, could you please send me Narda’s  address sop I could write to ask her?

Dianne was one of the most interesting, intelligent and sensitive people I’ve ever known. It made a great difference in my life to have known her. Of course these last few days I’ve spent some moments thinking about what she was thinking and feeling a year ago. I think she felt sure, and grateful for her life, and peaceful, and glad. I wish her well. And you.


tangren alexander

P.S. I have a picture of her I took when she was here, that I like quite a lot. Would you like to have a copy? I’d be glad to send you one.

Hope this letter reaches you. This address is several years old.

My address is

tangren alexander

200 Ashland Loop Road

Ashland, Oregon 97520


When I couldn’t find her parents’ address in my address book, I remembered that it was in a journal. I searched till I found it, in about September of ’75, just after she left her 3-month stay here.

I found I’d written: “I’ll hide D.’s address in my journal so I’ll have to pick up my journal some time even unstoned. That will make me remember.” The whole entry was interesting: especially this little fragment of a memory of being with her:

“If sometime you have to go – make it so I can bear it?” I think I said that. I think you said “yes””

There is so much I have never written down about Dianne.

For instance, I said “she showed me that there is more mystery to life than I had guessed.” But I did not say how that happened.

But I mean for instance things like … Once we were at Bandon. In a cabin at the edge of the ocean. We had been making love. We made some tea – to pull ourselves back on threads into the material world. Then we were standing in the dark in the firelight, standing side by side, silent,. holding our teacups…. When I became aware of a rhythm that had been happening for a while, a beat that was not a sound nor any other of the senses, but simply a beat that was her, and another that was me. “You … me … you … me” it pulsed, then faster, “you … me … you … me” slowly steadily accelerating “you me you me you me” until it became a steady sort of roll… And there was more, what happened then? Right now I can’t remember. But I think there was more … Perhaps a simple opening into one another, a golden color, perhaps something else … I do think there was something more … until that moment when we both remembered to be surprised at what was happening, and it stopped.

“Whew!” we said and sat back down. After a minute she said “What did you feel?” “A… kind of rhythm, only it was you and me.” “yes,” she said, and described the rhythm.

…It was one of those points where something I thought impossible had just happened. When I either had to deny my experience or give up my belief system. (It was a fast lesson in authenticity.)

Editorial note: See, tangren, you don’t want to spend too much time envying Robert Anton Wilson – you know how much he is not healed in  many ways. Your stuff does have some of the same virtues – and a great many more. Just write, kid. Just tell it. Just tell your story.

And by the way, submit photos of Sappho with* and without* Grandpa’s mother. Write about “split woman”; find out who the  sculptress’s name was. Our Dianne photo


*you didn’t take either one of these. Well, if W.S. won’t print it, I will. I need to know about B&W prints from color pictures or slides in case I need to do that if I publish my own book. Yes.

If, you don’t specialize in interpersonal relationships wherein you have to watch out for yourself, maybe self publishing is just the easiest way to go. Either it becomes an underground classic – like the Blue and Brown books, handed around hand to hand in typewritten form for years – or Deborah Kerr gets the only copy. –

Or Deborah Kerr and your friends get the only copies

Or Deborah Kerr and your friends and Womanspirit type circulation

Or D.K. says OK and it is allowed to be helped by /in toto sold / to some company people who can help it find the audience it deserves.

Or it remains a rare, personal, semi-private semi-public journal – at any rate, my story, for whoever it can help or heal or give a chuckle to.

Large or small, it will exist. Yours is an interesting story, with no small amount of healing, it is not something everyone needs to hear. We are all essentially busy with our own stories. And yet that’s just it; several women have said how it’s so personal and at the same time so universal, so universal just because so personal; that it has turned women on to their own stories, their own creativity.

Note: if you wrote lists in here instead of little slips of paper you could index them and then you could find them. Also it would encourage you to pick up your journal even when not stoned, and then I will have to remember.

Do I think that’s true? Do I think that’s possible? A Large Fear           What the self-hater will discover in my writings. Such triviality such unimportance (Adrienne Rich has nothing on her.) I was very afraid to pick up my writings when the cynic was so strong in me; the voice that said:

Well, marijuana, now, I read somewhere a couple of weeks ago that someone had found that when you’re stoned they’ve ascertained there’s relatively more energy in your right brain and when you’re unstoned relatively more in your left. They explained several things this would mean; for instance, when stoned you’re more likely t think of the good points of a plan or idea; unstoned, you have the defects or holes in the idea better in sight. Something like that … (I do wonder now if that really happened or if it came from a dream. I thought it was real, but it seems, somehow such an unlikely thing for  anyone to have said; yet some psychologist did.) So anyway, it made me feel, well, yeah that there are fatal flaws in any plan; perhaps I needed to delude myself with marijuana in order to have the courage to go on with this crazy idea of being a writer.

Well, Marcella is just entering Junior High. Maybe it’s symbolic. Mom has so often reminded me how I was scared going into Junior High, scared of the school work, scared I couldn’t keep up. There were things to be scared of about Junior High, but not being smart enough to handle the schoolwork was not something I needed to fear; I have done much harder things since. I increasingly had more power and life has become increasingly interesting since then, but I lived through it and at any rate it was all a long time ago – and I remember some very good things – Miss Foster {?}  – and, of course, that was the fever pitch of my Deborah Kerr days – the first two years that I loved her.




Before too long:

Call feminist lawyer

Put will together


Things I need money for:

Will drawn up

Deborah, get fixed

Kenwood fixed

Both supercscopes fixed

R-t-R checked out

Dark Glasses


Morning notes:

Call WIT see if they have a list of woman-oriented courses. If so, ask them what their class makeup is like.

Possible extension course or regular teaching.



Before too long, talk to one of the feminist lawyers in Ashland (call Carola Lacy or Mary Franz to find out her name) {THAT CAME FROM: hearing voices somewhere out in the full-moon light, and shots – not sure, wasn’t really listening, some sort of cracking.


Dear Robert Anton Wilson,

You write of the fear of the laughing sadist that beset _________ ______, that besets us all, especially if we live alone or are women or ___________. Especially if we are some combination of the above, and more.

And I really felt you had some compassion and some seeing to mention that, to put in that little reminder. I felt you saw and cared.

Yet your treatment of women in the rest of the novel left me feeling that you had also added to, or at least gone along with, the very views of women that makes this kind of woman-hating so possible, so prevalent nowadays here. There is much else I like very much about your writing; I just think you oughta be aware that radical lesbians are not a conspiracy, that some radical lesbians are interested in the paradoxes of modern physics and care about reality in all Her dimensions even the six-legged Terrans.

And that I don’t know any woman who could imagine finding the fulfillment of her sexuality in an amputated penis on a machine. We tend to have rather better ideas.

(“Maybe he meant it satirically.” “Of course he did….But sometimes I know that really doesn’t matter; he put that image out. To people who want there to be a sexy part of every book, that’s “the part” in this one. Sure it’s a symbol .. of what? of men being less than that? Less than an amputated feelingless penis propelled by machinery? Is it a tweak to Playboy; sex being understood in {undecipherable word} such that a Machine is better at “what counts”. How many will get the point? How many will find the image material for their sexual fantasies in future nights?

Why, if this book is supposedly written by a good “Mensch” who cares about t spiritual and magical kind of things, why is this the only image of a woman in a sexual peak-experience.

Well, Tangren, you see that’s one of the differences between you and R.A.W. You do have a bit of the magic and perspective in your writings, a recognizable cousin to  aspects of him; but whatever virtues and eruditions he may have they are vastly different from yours.

But, also, one important point to note, though … You’ve often said defensively that you needed to write the truth instead of fiction because often what was so important about this is that it really did happen. Some of the interesting news you have is that God is neither gambler nor mathematician, but a writer of Magical Realism, a punner and planter of symbols and signs, prefiguring, bringing to a climax and a resolution. God is an Authoress, making up your life. You are a character, or hundreds of characters. So are your friends (In their lives, to, paradoxically living out their own scripts from the inside, sister monads. brother monads all the clockswork meshing and chiming together.)

Anyway, what I started to say was how you are always awfully apologetic about it’s being true and your wanting to write it that way. You feel you are breaking new ground in ways when in fact you do have some predecisions, people telling of their soul-searching, their stumbling onto miracles.


The charm of Cosmic Trigger and Ram Das and the Carlos Castenada books is precisely that they are true. Much of our delight is to believe them true. So … there is not “no precedent” … there are many good ones … always more exotic than yours … and all written by men. (nothing is coincidence, R.A.W. suspects.)


The very charm of yours, though, is just that it is so … relatively domestic …. If the Montessori school teacher can lead you to enlightenment;  … if Deborah Kerr can light the way … and a lady doctor can midwife you into hope beyond hoping … well, that deserves to be celebrated, I’d say, and shared.


Well, I want to go on with this: a good deal of it is writing itself in my head – I’m afraid to make notes for fear of mentioning it before I say it – I’d like to go on writing, but my body’s wearing down; it would take coffee, another cookie or two – and still it might be strained from exhaustion, and it’s still time to take care of my health.
I remember what I did read one day, unstoned. Sandra in the park asked me to read some from the journal I’d brought but couldn’t write in. I found an upbeat passage, as it happened, recording my last all-night vigil in which I gave thanks for  TIME and the WONDERFUL PRIVILEGES OF NOT HAVING TO DO IT TONIGHT OR NEVER the Luxury of being Free to Return to the work Night After Night.

Now there remains only to trust that you will be able.

{Typist’s Note: there is a stick figure here with a sentence in a balloon:} IF IT HAPPENED ONCE IT CAN HAPPEN TWICE





Morning jottings  – wrote until just before the moon went down. … milk and toast and watched her descent over the western ridge. In the sky, some stars now visible: in a great arc from midheaven to the Eastern ridge, The Pleiades {Aldebaran/All Deborahn} in Taurus, Dianna, the Huntress and Her faithful at Nipper, his eye winking “Are you Sirius?”


Knelt and watched the moon delicately lower herself, beginning to nuzzle into the fir-topped mound.

Thought of the delicate status of the ego of my {delusions of grandeur/illuminations of possibilities

And remembered Sandra’s aphorism for Pisces moon: “Delicate Delusions Decide.”

as the last spark of moonshine

winked and was gone.

Came in, decide to save my body, hope my inspiration will return … Made some oatmeal and while it set did some yoga



Ended the yoga record forty minutes later, thinking about the good American witch, looked up the book and read the first three chapters – reheated the cereal and ate it up. It’s getting towards 8:00. My mind is full, but my body energy is pretty low.

Need to still the mind.

Interesting: a few days ago, Sandra looked up the Sabian symbol for my midheaven (in Sagittarius)

The symbol is:

A Theatrical Representation of a Golden-haired Goddess of Opportunity


Uranus is to transit my midheaven in a couple of years; she urged me to look up Uranus. “This is what will bring that to actuality,” she said. The image is: a Spanish Gallant Serenades his Lady.


September 15, {1981} Tuesday Morning

Well, I overshot Sunday night. I could not get sleepy, so about 7:30 I went over to Mom and Dad’s. Among other things I gave Mom some garden tomatoes “Sandra sent these two (hmmm) you. They came from the garden where she is living now.” But I was so nervous trying to mention Sandra, whose existence Mom seems to try to ignore, that I said “Dianne” instead.

Explaining my mispeaking, then, I said, “They look alike” :”Yes,” said Mom, “I’ve noticed that. I was surprised “You noticed that they look alike?” “What?” said Dad, “the tomatoes?” He was grinning at me. “Yeah,” I said “you could put it that way.” And so I let them be called tomatoes – but Dad kept right on smiling at me in a friendly way – the first acknowledgment of it all. … I never thought Dad would be the one to find the way.

They thought my greenhouse idea was great and I drank two big cups of coffee to wake up my body so I could do the errands – went to the bank, got $50 and spent it

Garbage bill 4.50

Powdered yeast 8.50

Peppermint tea 1.00

$5/stamps 5.00

copying 00

2 new journals, 4 pads paper,

pen and refill             14.00

Dental floss  1.00


Kissed Dianne’s name and sent the letter to her mother, hoping it was the right thing to do

And glad to have this chance to yet do something loving for her.

Went to my parents’ again, showed Mom the letter – she said she didn’t see how her mother could not like it – thought it was lovely – got into a metaphysical talk with both of them – about Jean & Riley, their friends, and their retarded child, Arthur – and about blight and the problem of evil

When I got back here I was still wound up – at 2:00 I called Sandra, pretty  sure she was likely to be awake. (Funny, she says “hello” like Dianne, too.)

In one of Deborah Kerr’s movies I’d most like to see, one I’ve never seen, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (echo “It helps me to remember” Caroline writes in a review* “that there is nothing inevitable about patriarchy.”)

*The return of the Great Goddess – Monica Sjoo & ————– Caroline Overman, WomanSpirit            Fall Solstice 9981



In this very early movie of hers

she plays three different women

who look very much like each other

who appear at different times

in Colonel Blimp’s life,

a young countess, a nurse / and an ambulance

Driver / hmm …

The more I think about it / the more I’d

like to see that movie…


Sandra had finished writing the Libra column in the night. “Well, I popped the Libra column” she says, as if it were a pimple. “I’d like you to take a look at it before I have it printed.”

It’s good. It’s about Pluto being in Libra and Plutonium balancing with the future of life on this good earth. Her aphorisms for the signs of the moon this time “progeny for peace” and “affirm authenticity”

… Really, only now do I begin to appreciate it.

Ruth and Jean are coming to feel: the time to do something to stop atomic destruction the time is now    every moment is crucial. “We cannot afford to delay,” Jean said “We can’t think we’ll do it later when we can, we must each of us do what we can from where we are now.”

So Sandra went home and did it in her own unique way.


Took some time off to write a postcard to Libré: “It’s been so long since we’ve talked it would feel strange to call you up on the phone. We feel estranged.

Still, it is better not just now. First snatches of solitude, writing again, bare beginnings, glimpses of glory. I miss your encouragement, and when I get worried I also miss my $500, I must admit. We need to get in touch soon. Thurs – Sun am going to ocean/cabin/Coos Bay with Sandra. My house is open if you can use it. Blessed be. t”

In less than an hour the phone rang. It was Libré. Two other homeless women landed at her home last night. She could really use the peace; I feel easier having someone here. Serendipity tipping again. What ––––– {indecipherable word} blossom?


There is a paradox , I’ve learned recently called by physicists “Schrödinger’s Cat.” The question arises – suppose that the effects of an atom’s moving from one quantum state to another were magnified by a complex device so that the end result was that it shot Schrödinger’s cat. It could be arranged, theoretically. But Schrödinger’s theory seems to say that the atom is “sort-of-in-one-quantum-state-and sort-of-in-the-other.” Or that it’s a wave

{are we drowning or waving?}

that it’s indeterminate. But in that case the fate of the cat would be indeterminate, too But, gentlemen, a cat we know is either alive or it’s dead, yet according to this theory it would have to be both.

Some physicists, seeing this, said,

“Then the cat is both living and dead.

Worlds branch, then they blossom.”

It’s really quite awesome

When you think with your right brain instead.


John is teaching the introductory course in philosophy this fall. The book he’s using has science fiction stories illustrating philosophical problems. I expect the talk may become spacey, I think perhaps he’d be interested to know about Schrödinger’s Cat – at least, he ought perhaps to have heard of it – Marcella tells the funny paragraph about the six-legged Terrans being in the majority on the planet Earth; then I try to say something about what Schrödinger’s paradox is; the book is based, in a way, on the idea that, as some physicists have gone on to speculate, when the universe is indeterminate, as it is at every quantum happening, there the universe branches. It takes every road, whenever there is real possibility in the atomic situation, which happens all the time.”

John’s face seems so patronizing; we are both embarrassed and wary touching on anything so touchy between us as metaphysics. I know he feels I am multiplying entities beyond necessity. I know what the fatal flaws would be:

But we happen to be in just one reality. What determines the one we happen to be in? and what happens to the rest? Where are they? (They’re not in different spaces,” I stammer, they’re all here.)

I know the contempt he has for anyone who would find such philosophical mishmash interesting. I was like that once myself, when we were married. In many of the obvious ways I was not oppressed – we  were both mostly committed to  fairness and love as we understood it then – But one oppression I am still fighting out of is the metaphysical one impressed on me by my college professors and John, that no neo-positivism that must have certainty, will track all puzzlement and wonder down to its source in a misconceived picture, a blindness to the everyday we put on in philosophical puzzlement,

resulting in the utterance of only nonsense..

Yes, Tangren, you have yet to write about that. But today, if you’ll remember, you would like most to write about the election that’s happening today. Or will it depress you to write about that?

Only if you forget that whenever there is a real possibility, that is, many times a second everywhere, and when these subatomic events are linked by a complicated mechanism to the outcome of an election, then there is a real choice, where liberty will either live or die. Only if you forget to remember that patriarchy is not inevitable…

and that lurking question: But what decides which universe we’re in? Or are we in them all at once, and if so why do we feel we’re only in one? What decides which one of our supposed superfluous selves is in the mental spotlight, so to speak?

This can be a refutation;

or  it can be a damn good question.


{Typist’s Note: there is a stick figure with a bubble speech: “Through the wallpaper is the way”}


If you believe that the future is indeterminate,

that you really have a chance,

then you really have a chance

and it really may be.            maybe.


Well, the election is about the occult law. Which from its wording, “mesmerism” for instance seemed to me a relic of witch-fearing Christians of the last century. Wrong – it’s from 1968!


See story:

So Sandra’s job is on the line, her source of living. The fundamentalist churches will get their members out to vote; S. got in a good letter to the paper; mine was in too late Saturday morning – They don’t publish any letters on the day of the election or the day before because “it doesn’t give people time to reply” I left, letter in hand, feeling so helpless and angry, wanting to cry. Monday, however, the editorial was for a “no” and even stronger than that we’d dared to say, called them on the choices they were giving us, “illegal” or “only a police check required” was discriminating – mentioned the continued existence of the ACLU.

(David’s womanfriend, a member of the planning commission, a mother of two, a teacher of small children, was told by her boss at work that she would most likely lose her job this year because of her “lifestyle.” They think she ought to be married; furthermore they did not like it that her ex-husband was editor of the paper. … wonder what they’ll do now.)

Well, and the people at Diablo Canyon who said yesterday they don’t yet have their timetable worked out I told Sandra to send them her lunar calendar. It might be of help.

We must do what we can do wherever we are whoever we are          in our own ways        now


By the way, S says that pimples are not the only thing that pops. “Popcorn, for instance, that little kernel that just simmers along with no outward sign of change, and all at once it just explodes in fluffy white forms. It would be silly to fixate on pimples,” she said.




(I)Ways to make money?

1)   meditation timer – a pleasant little gong

(2) your clock invention

(3) don’t forget the possibility of your writing being a way / also don’t forget the danger    of ever again selling your mind. The Olive press collective

(4) make journals with an optional number of already done pages. (Paper has a line of some sort at right margin. Bound like these scrapbooks. Paper secured with a clamp of some sort? Or maybe is punched and put in? already invented – National Blank Book Co. makes a “Thesis Binder”


(2) in a smaller way

hers and hers emery boards

Rootworks songbook tapes (you’d be pretty lucky)

(but then you often are)

Sappho Flower Oil

Wooden Pleasures


(5) Teaching ethics for the extension division

Teaching women-oriented classes at SOSC

Eg. Women and Ideas – Could read Griffin, Daley, G. Stein


Outside shots

The Travelling Life as Art Supply Store and

Cultural Event


The Mail Order Life As Art Supply Store



Pentacles Possibilities


Window treatments custom done –


Drapery bar systems

Removable velcro screens


Do carpentry

Photograph people’s houses for them

(Give them a slideshow to return with.)


Semi Pentacles

Do a book in your house, on woman-designed, woman built houses. Photographic essays

B&W photographs – or color.

Or a similar book called Interiors – how we arrange our interior environment and how

Both anthologies by contributors.

Women as artists of the interior environment.

How we mould our environments to reflect ourselves to us, to empower and heal ourselves, to organize our lives to facilitate our projects.


Write to Dragonlady see if Doubleday does these sorts of books.


Question for FWG Writer’s Exchange: How do you know the publishers won’t steal your idea and give it to one of their writers?









Note: the use of a blue pen is not a sign of self-respect

nor an act of self-love. Love, Time’schild & biographer

{because blue pen does not xerox as well as black}


Index of Contents

Finish of Abalone Piece – the fire here, the occult election here, Schrödinger’s cat and the Mirror of karma, How to Have Peace on Earth, “remember Abalone”

  1. 1-58 (all written in one day, may I say)

a Simple Song from latihan: pp 19, 20, 21, 25

(beginning of Kali song, actually)



172 171: Black and White Photography – Projects

173: Color Slides – Projects


Teaching Dreams p. 59-61


At the Coast (Coos Bay) (and Bandon) with Sandra.

  1. 59 – 95 Stuff on Suicide, a teaching dream, visits to Bandon, “Benedictus Eggsi” and miracles.

Aunt Sarah” p. 96 to 119


A dream: Mom, the young man, the 38-story box

  1. 125-129


Martha Courtot’s  visit here,

the slumber party, the workshop there, a letter arrives from Dianne’s mother with a poem from Dianne and another gift from the universe; Martha Courtot’s workshop. Staying with Tee and Caroline, p. 130-p. 141


Marcella poem p. 142                      I turn FOURTYONE

I get centered in to write about Dianne

  1. 143 – 174


2 weeks later- checking in: Rootworks, Marcella, Lists


NonMonogamy Revisited p. 191-210



How to Raise Money Without Going Back to Teaching”

  1. 211 Ideas for Making Money p. 217

possible names for this book: p. 213

Wishes” p. 214, 215

Places I might Publish: End Leaf in Back


Writing on Writing p. 2905 ff    161, 163

Writing projects – lists – 186,187

…successful: p. 169

connection with

Journal writing and public writing:

  1. 205 ff, p. 157 ff

Homing in”: p. 153, on

aphorisms, epithets and ideas eg. P. 126           p. 19, p. 21



  1. 185 Sandra & Dianne meet


Deborah Kerr: p. 12-15


Sept. 16 {1981}\
Wrote my journal through t the last page yesterday afternoon. It seemed the time to stop; even though ideas were going on in my head still. I had been up working since an hour before moonset, and now it was early afternoon; my body was tired and Sandra just called as I was writing the last page. She needs a ride up to Lightning Copy; it becomes a series of errands, the daily tribute exacted by Pentacles reality. Also, when I get to her place I realize I haven’t eaten all day, am weak from hunger. It was fun, actually, and enriching. I copied the last few pages at the copier, she voted, we got food reinforcements, I went by the bank. We talked of the Abalone alliance and of our plots and plans for our creative work – at one point I found myself making a left turn and exclaiming “Oh, isn’t it fun to be running around doing exciting and important things?” “It’s great seeing you so high and energized,” she said. But I couldn’t much hug or be hugged; I didn’t seem to have a body, somehow.

Funny …. I think it was at that same corner twenty-five years ago that I did a funny thing. In the driver training car from high school, I was executing my first left turn. There was a car coming the opposite way; there was a lot to think about, slowing down, signaling, watching everything, there was so much to think about that I just forgot to turn the steering wheel {“steering while”, that almost was}  Only for a few seconds, but it always seemed to me odd that for a moment I’d forgotten to steer.

Well, you see! (merrily merrily merrily merrily) life is like a dream. If only we take time to notice. Or rather, sometimes it’s like a dream.

Q.1.    { } Life is like a dream if only we take time to notice.

{ } Sometimes (only) life is like a dream.

Pick one of the above. Explain your choice in a paragraph or so.

Q.2.     { } Life is more like social realism, to me.

{ } “think with your right brain instead.”

Pick one at a time. You are free to change your mind and pick the other at any moment for the rest of your life.


I couldn’t stop laughing in delight very often yesterday. Seemed like all I had to do was to open my eyes to watch and I’d find myself laughing again. The Astronomy calendar, for instance. Had to laugh when I saw the satiny image of Saturn hovering over the month of September. I had loved the page for her spaces of time, marked by my mother’s birthday, Dianne’s deathday, Equinox, and Deborah Kerr’s sixtieth birthday.    Seemed somehow like the black spaciousness surrounding Saturn and her Rings.

Flipped the page to October 11 Libra and Scorpio, to see what was in store. A vast round galaxy, two balanced mounds of delicate pink, and rifting through her center, black dust sworls and a tumble of pinks and oranges forming … no! It can’t be! It is!

ASTRONOMY comments: {This} peculiar galaxy NGC-5128 is a giant elliptical marked by an uncharacteristic band of obscuring dust. …{It} may harbor a black hole in its core.

It’s hard to stop laughing once you take the time to look. November augurs hopeful, too. Another view of Saturn, but it floats in the background {} above {} behind a white, cratered Moon. And in December, a view of {Orion/Dianna} mounting up from over the peaks to the east; snow, and fir trees greeting the huntress of the night. Yes. I’ll go for that.


It occurred to me in the bath last night that actually I do believe in the reality of “paths not taken” … At least, this series of thoughts has often occurred to me:


Now, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, the way she sees “Heaven” and “Hell” and “Judgement” is something like this: As you die or just thereafter, (when you are still sort of being into you, I would imagine) then usually after the tunnel and  after to come into the Radiance and after you encounter the Love at the heart of that Light, (“of course, there was really no time there” the witnesses stammer) then you turn with the Light and you look back over your whole life. It’s all there. You will see yourself being born, and in the womb, and in grade school and in the grass with your sister, all of it. Not only that; you will also see all the consequences of all the things you ever did, all the choices you made; you will experience their results in the lives of others. {The Mirror of Karma, a perfect image, no?}

“I believe that for someone such as Saint Theresa, who brought joy to so many lives she touched, this would be a wonderful experience.” EKR

“On the other hand, I imagine for instance. What Hell would it be for such a man to have to experience, not just to know, but to truly understand, to see through the eyes of the people going through death and separation and unimaginable grief because of him.”

“The Judgement is not something God passes upon you; the Light is always Love. The only judgement is the one you make yourself, standing next to Infinite Love.

Well, that makes a lot of sense to me.

Especially when I think about how people who’ve had the longest and most complicated death experiences come back with an image that some mystics also experience: the sense of coming to know everything.


{The one interesting thought I found in that whole term of researching American academic philosophy on death was this: Question: But does consciousness depend on the brain? Mu: Perhaps I might make this analogy: When you live in a house, you need a window in order to see out. But if you should take up residence outdoors you would no longer need the window.}



So: All knowledge would become available to you.

Ergo: All knowledge about the effects of your own actions and choices would be available to you.

Questions? Comments?


There’s a neo-quasi-logical-positivist in the back row. SHe can’t help but wonder if this phrase “all the knowledge in the world”, “all the consequences of your actions” really describes something we can imagine. “For instance,” SHe says, “Though I can imagine my life somehow as existing complete somewhere, a sort of jelly-molded strip in the space-time continuum, and that somehow if there is no time that then I could look at it all formed at once, inspect small details as if it were a holograph – even accepting all that, which I am inclined to do; even so I am not sure we are cleared of the charge of speaking nonsense. The image “all the consequences of our choices”, for instance. One choice that comes to mind for me right away is when I had the abortion. Now the thing is, while I do know some of the consequences of my choosing to do it, to see my life and its environs in toto will doubtless give me an even clearer picture ….

That doesn’t really get at all that’s ethically relevant. To truly understand what happened, at the moment I chose an abortion, I need to know not only everything that followed from that decision. I need also to know what didn’t happen.

Who would he or she have been? What would all of our lives have been like then?

So obviously “all of knowledge” must include “what would have happened if…” In fact, I plan to take my time checking out several of these branch paths {in my life review}; It’s gong to be very interesting, at least until I get bored.

The thought of being able to explore “what might have happened if…” might also be a clue to understanding something about suicide.

…So far I’ve never been close to killing myself, but there have been moments or periods when I’ve felt like it. Something kept it from getting further from that each time; and then I’d go on to periods of normal life and sometimes ecstasy/creativity, and sometimes then I’d remember back to that despairing place and think: “suppose I had done it then. I couldn’t be given a more appropriate fate than to be shown what was waiting ‘round the corner if I’d just hung on.”

{…”and:, I mused in the bath last night, “…and, mutatis mutandis, if I should overdose on marijuana and find my life interrupted because of it, perhaps I would be shown all the high states I could have been in without it if only I’d had the faith to explore.} {…Or maybe I’d just be missing Armageddon..}


It was a year ago tonight that I told Libré that Dianne had killed herself. The previous day. Sue called about ten the night of the 15th; there was the unavoidable faculty meeting the next day. Luckily I had not had any marijuana for the previous month, so it really was able to give me its power. I sat before the fire and processed very rapidly, thinking all the first things I needed to think, feeling all the first things I needed to feel. A hundred thoughts and feelings – it would be useless to name one or two – except to note that it stayed always in sight, that knowing, that knowing that if Dianne meant anything in my life she was above all the one who helped me to believe … the miracle.

Our story always was the flavor of nectarberry jam, the piquant sweetness. The miracle so long denied, here for a day, two weeks only then gone again a continent away


Length of time was always short; fast lessons in non-attachment.


{September ?, 1981}


Such a day of things happening today

There is a big forest fire burning not far away. My parents drove to Rogue River for a square dance; they say the ridges were all in flames from Gold Hill to there.

Today the heat was to be over a hundred again, but I don’t think it will do so now; the smoke makes a kind of cloud. The light has been orange all afternoon. How strange it feels, orange, and at such an angle.

In the morning I talked to Mom about the fire, and about the election, too. Did she know what had happened? “Yes,” she said, “they voted it down two to one.”

So I spent part of the morning composing letters to the editor about OK, lets clean up the rest of this, and how 2 to 1, why that’s not even just a simple majority mandate, that’s a nigh-unobtainable consensus, a 2/3 majority.

In the afternoon David told me he’d heard just the opposite. “I don’t think I heard it wrong,” he said. “because they were saying that enforcement started as of today.”

I called Sandra.

By a margin of 16/9 voters had voted to uphold the most restrictive law.  {regarding fortune telling and other such activities}

What does it mean? How will there be enforcement? Will police try to


Option for Deborah Kerr Answers:


{} Tangren. Melanie wants to change the world, too, and did I object. I really meant it about wanting to stop suicide – the wrong ones for the wrong reasons. I also care about planetary suicide and am asking myself what is my, D.K.’s unique contribution to speaking out with the voices of sanity.


{} Oh, write me a play and I’ll promise to read it. I could even play Deborah Kerr.


{} You’ll be hearing from my lawyers.


{} Tangren. Do what you’re doing. I think it’s clear that it’s not me the person  think I am you are writing about, but some image I’ve planted in you and you’ve nurtured in your own soul, an image that gives you strength.



Announcement in Womanspirit:

(when needed) Pearl Time’s Child

has an unusual problem;

she has written the autobiography

of a woman who finds, among other things, that

Deborah Kerr is one of her Spirit Guides

Feeling that in all fairness Deborah Kerr ought to be among the first to know it to

Time’sChild needs an address.

Does anyone out there know

How I could reach Her? Pearl Time’s Child,

200 Ashland Loop Road, Ashland




Maybe that’s a poem; could go with {Typist’s Note: These two lines are in a

Letter to her // Dream Wife                                                                                                     bubble attached to a stick figure.}


Fantasy Announcement in Womanspirit

Pearl Time’s Child

Has an unusual problem.

She is writing the autobiography

Of a woman who learns among other things

That her Spirit Guide is Deborah Kerr.

Now when it’s done, she feels it’s only fair

That Deborah Kerr should be among

the first to know. Therefore, Time’s Child

needs an address. Does anyone out there know

How I could reach her? Pearl Time’s Child,

200 Ashland Loop Road, Ashland,




Your writing is often moving, and I feel open to letting it be, letting you write what you so obviously need to write. If my image can help to promote understanding and healing in the world, I should complain? Still, I do have some fears and reservations I need to talk about. These are




  1. Well, for one thing, you’ve no idea how many people need some response from me.

I’d just have to feel free of any particular expectations you might have of me.


{} It would be difficult to share you with an automobile.




I FAST                                                                                                                                                            I BREAK, I FAST



Well, I had to stop to call Sandra and Beaver for Wed. Nite phone Latihan’s.

A loving talk with Beaver –

{Marjorie, who was head of Low Echo Girl Scout Camp in the early ‘fifties when I was a camper; refound again as a Subud member in the late seventies or early ‘80s}

Outside for a few minutes quiet under the night,

Then – Beginning –

Remembering Beaver’s delight at my news that my writing was flowing and I was in a creative space. “And it’s so important to record all that, that state!”

“That means a lot to me to have that validation from you,” I said.

And just remember to whenever you can keep the thought going in your subconscious “thank you, thank you, thank you,”

You’re just the kind of helper I need, Beaver. The best. Thank you for that reminder. I love you.”

And it does seem so wise – for who I am – every revelation can send me off on a thousand worry-threads – to remember to reel them back in with “thank you thank you thank you”

And latihaning I found a song beginning. First time I’ve allowed my self to relax the barrier against speaking English words –

Found a song coming.

Did not even resist the impulse to record it. I did cut short my latihan, sort of, or did it  just dull the distinction a little more between latihan and daily life”

“The daily

is also


the holy.”


Anyway, the words are like this;

Holy is Truth

Holy is Beauty

Holy is Living

Holy is Love

Blessed is beauty                        All Truth is blessed

Strength to all Living

Holy is Love

Kali is Mother

Blessed all Speaking

All Truth is Holy

Truth it can set us free

Holy is song.


Holy is evening

Kali is Mother

Wholly is Everything

Holy is Love


Thanks for all Loving

Sacred is Seeing

Light to all Loving

Kali is All


Well, Tangren, please take note.

You are at the present time experiencing that Oh, God, if there were only enough time to write it all down there’s a literary happening again, acted all out before your eyes so all you have to do is write it down and you’re going to the ocean tomorrow and life goes on and it’s a real exercise in trust to stop writing short of birthing it all. Maybe even a bad idea.

So, anyway, the moral of the story is MEMO #23 to the Self-Doubter, tape number NGC . Tangren, You have of late when in self doubt queried yourself within and out whether there was anything for your life to be about if it wasn’t about teaching college. I think you even wrote it down in your journal. Good. Then I don’t have to get into that gloomy headspace for you, do I; and now that I can keep my eye on the balloon I’d like to say that


A} Life doesn’t seem as if it will be devoid of plot, does it?


B} You don’t have to live it all out yourself, you know. Your friends can act it out for you, too, you know, and you can just sit and reflect and write about this and that.


C} Even the daily newspapers are becoming vastly more interesting. {See paper}

Sept 16, 1981

  1. 3. Which is more likely?
  2. Suffering as a college teacher is the only good plot she had. Without that “nothing


  1. Having headspace to yourself was all you needed for bouts of sanity.


  1. 4. What is the experimental value of fasting? Resting? Trusting?


D} You are now experiencing a taste of the luxury of “time to write” time to think.


E} Thank you                                                                                                      thank you            thank you


Existential question of the moment:

Will this story last in you? –

Will your energy last the night?

Can you let S. drive Deborah while you sleep if it comes to that?

Could be time for some altered rest state.

Or an altered-Rest-state


So will I live to tell it all?

Of Dianne and how she ended her life and I had to be pantsuited faculty next day and how Libré came when I asked her that evening.

We sat on the front porch and for a long time I could not feel that I could begin to say the words.

Finally I said “Dianne…” the word echoed in the sunset as we both let ourselves understand that this was about Dianne and then I finally found I could say the words … because I must. Because they were true. “,,, killed herself yesterday.”

She was still; we let ourselves feel what it meant that those words had been uttered.

It’s confused then, I do remember touching once my friend’s forearm, my hand to the rows of scars. Curved to protect that vulnerable one in us all who knows that it is among our choices.


Soon we latihaned:

I remember I cried a great deal then, all the broken-heartedness I hadn’t known was in me came pouring out

Afterwards she asked:

“Of all the things you think about, what’s the saddest?”

I don’t know” … I said. “I really can’t say that I am sad. Just…just very moved. But if you mean what do I have regrets about; I do wonder, sometimes, what might have happened if I’d sent her the things I wrote for her. I don’t think t would have made any difference, but all my great fears of rejection look pretty small right now.

“We actually hadn’t communicated with each other in years,” I said to Beaver Sunday. “Things were not open between us and I didn’t know how to heal it. I was always waiting for the right time to send it to her. When my fears would be gone. And now I’ll never know; perhaps it could have made some difference…

It probably wouldn’t have changed anything or been of help…but then, I’ll never know.” “That’s right,” said Beaver. “You don’t know.” (I.e. it’s possible.) Beaver is 75, and her mind is as they say “beginning to wander” – she can’t remember appointments, never was any good at names, sometimes now forgets what’s for tomorrow.

Such old women are often the best ones to have conversations with if you catch them just right; telephones are good.

Anyway, Beaver remarked after latihan, over tea, from nowhere, as she does: “So many people died this last decade, in the 70’s. Quite a few of those movie stars and people like that we so looked up to. And of course, lots more of them will die in the 80’s.”

Yes. There is that too. That life is short and we should tell the ones we love that we love them, or, failing that, their mothers, or shout it to the hills. That while many of us are still alive, now, or/and when the time is right

Speaking is Holy; Beauty  is Blessed.

Love to the Living; Holy is Love


Holly is Holy

Holy is Living

Hologram wholly

Kali is All


She’s also a faster writer than George Sand.

Present W.S. with Lammas gifts: Equinoxial

Fanny Lou Hammer

George Sand

Andrea Dworky                                                                                                                                 or keep them yourself.

Not to mention, a Distracting Flirt.


Because so much has happened here – election and the burning hills, Dianne’s …

Slow down take a stretch, sort it out.


You could save time with the introductions by saying “To begin in the middle…”


What is needed is not only for those few who can do it to place their bodies before the trucks and go to jail.

What would happen, I’ve been asking myself. What would happen if … Well, this experiment/experience of late, that making of a promise and being reminded of a promise, that keeping of a promise, that enactment of Gratitude and trust, well, you read yourself just this morning how Mrs. Manage always improves upon your wish, when she grants it. (The Good American Witch by Peggy Bacon)


(Stage direction: Put in the 3 chapters from the Good American Witch Sometime now or when Tree leaves. {Tree: a woman I was friends with}

Or when tea leaves are forbidden by law to harbor messages.  {a reference to a law that was just passed against fortune-telling (in Josephine County?)}


Maybe what you need to manifest is a cabin outside of town.

Yes, but does it mean I’ll be arrested if I go into town to solicit business, conversations at Cooks, advertisements.


But wait don’t forget that other train of thought just now. It was a plan, a plan for peace and safety on this planet.

It worked, you said, twice now. If you have one wish left what about peace on earth. Come on, are you afraid to put it to the test? Are you afraid that peace on earth is impossible unattainable.

If you thought it had a snowball’s chance in hell of working, if, for instance, now, you could help to raise the level of love and stop this nuclear madness

Do you not think, for starters, that Deborah Kerr could do a movie of Albee’s “Picnic in the Sand”? I remember some interesting conversation from the females.

Oh, women!, we could do it! Read the play. Some would listen. Some would learn.




Sand by George

Sand! By George!

Well, anyway, what if in this time branch the following happens:

Suppose you gave up something in return for world peace –  Something you could stand to give, something that might be even a good idea, like running or doing yoga, like fasting or biking instead of the car. Some elegant gesture, no doubt, or some simple one saying “I ask Whoever is Running the Universe; I ask you to decide for Life on this Planet. With this wish I cast an offering: “I will Run” “I will Run Tomorrow” “I will stop smoking for a month”, I’ll try to fast; can’t promise”, “I know fasting, I know that one, I’ll do it, one day a week.” One day a week I’ll take an hour and think for peace.” “I’ll pray” “I’ll play” “I’ll do something I know is a good idea”

Imagine a world where 10-speed bumper stickers read “I backpacks read “I walk for life on this planet” and where the daily became the holy



{9/16/81 continued from prior document, titled “T’s J 9/16/81- first”


And if all of us that could would do here and now to show we cared, … imagine letter

writers writing across the barbed wire walls, to other simple people like themselves,

“I’ll give up the arms race if you will.” One to one perhaps we could agree and outvote them.




And in this Time Bloom

People wrote their congressmen

I am quitting smoking for three weeks for peace” or whatever – a bargain with the universe publicized or not – signed, sealed and according to Gallup Poles

Gall Up Polls

in fact

Possibilities are endless

Imagine a world where

The Mothers are saying: Peace For Progeny

Once my mother said; it was during the Viet Nam war and her sons were of age (“eligible” it’s called) she lay awake nights, and thought about what could happen and worried and couldn’t go to sleep again even at five in the morning.

“The other morning,” she said, “I wished I could write, again. I almost felt as if I could write a poem,” she said, “a poem to all the other mothers in the world, a poem that could make the women of the world just rise up and make them stop war.”


Well, anyway, suppose that instead of just some people starving all the way to death in the Irish jail // a hunger-stricken veteran leapt today from a window-ledge, leapt today from a window perhaps // suppose that instead of a hopelessly outnumbered few hundred there was one woman who put her body between the truck and death. The truck came within inches, then halted. No arrests have been made, did I read? Are they just waiting – Her three friends, their names are given in “Quotes” because they obviously are not their real names. No one is named

“ They are from a feminist commune” they say. All feminist communes and friends of feminist communes brace ourselves, and yet, we are proud too, as much as we are afraid. That the woman to stop them was one of our own.

But instead of getting scared about what might happen I say the vote is not in yet the Daily Tidings says She stopped the trucks. Tidings of great joy.

Not that we must all go to jail or interpose our flesh between the trucks and Kali Ma.

But what we can do is what we can. We must be willing to experiment with giving up with despair.

Now on that time branch it happened

Signs read “There is Still Time, Sister”

And  “There is Still Time, Brother” too

And people wrote their congresspeople “I’m planting a garden to serve to ask for Loving of the Earth

I want to remember that Earth is our Mother

I meditate”  “For one week I will hum under consciousness “thank you thank you” all day.


Whatever you think might help. It might be as simple as telling your neighbors what you feel about nuclear power,

or as hard as telling your husband what you feel about nuclear power


/ actually, I did that today, the same way I did my father – offered them Helen Cauldicott’s article. John was much more enthusiastic to see it than I’d ever expected. Dad has as yet said no word. We can only say how we feel.

One day in Ethics, I’d just heard Holly Near and she’d convinced me/



Well, anyway, sorry to keep branching out that way when we are discussing a matter so serious as Peace on Earth

but maybe you can continue the series yourselves.

Diablo/The Abalone Alliance.

Cf the Walrus and the Carpenters

The Wall-R-Us and the Carpenters

Went walking on the strand

They wept like anything to see

Such quantities of Sand.



it’s hard to write

because of the twinkling of the tea

and laughter in the china

curling up to

the spoons

and dancing the tines of the forks.

And the women were there.


“And so there is a bargain made and if there is then take it and wear it and be reckless, be reckless, and resolved in returning gratitude.” Gertrude Stein

What would you really promise now, to do in return with your life, if Mrs. Manage in return would manage somehow to save the world?

{}Do you think there’s anything to lose by trying?


{} Do you think there’s ever anything to lose? Possibly I say: {I will mark it with the mystic Logic sign for possibly – this:                                                                                            possibly…}

We are only dreaming that we are lying awake nights knowing that we have to wake up

Possibly, then, we can wake up.

(Into Her face in the Moonlight?)

{Typist’s Note: the following statement is in a rectangular box, like a bumper sticker, with a drawing of a figure with one arm raised, sort of like the statue of liberty}




I vote for Ellen Bass’s daughter and my own

I vote for Krystal’s lost children, and the babies Tillie Olsen makes of words, and this jewel beyond price, this only jewel that matters at all, this “planet of water”


My folks have some friends who live over where the fires are.


But have I made the main point, I can’t remember? About how to have peace on earth? / Or at least start to lessen the fear and go for the trust that it can be.

Once in a guided meditation in a class on death and dying once Margery McCoy said “Now imagine you are walking down a long pathway, away from the ocean now, away, feeling the sun on your back; hearing the roar of the surf. Feeling your feet walking, the Sand under your feet, giving way to firmer ground now as you find the path beginning to climb.

To Die With Style Margery McCoy – quote what she means, by the title.


One very good idea would be to have a patent office on the west coast or elsewhere. Suppose Regan would go for it if I sent him a post card pointing out that most of us who might be able to profit the world by thinking of things (can’t go to Arlington Virginia so easily.)*


*actually, I don’t want to give a false impression. There’s another way, See Mother Jones Sept/Oct 1981

Pisces sign – my grandmother


We found a cave, and went in, and down until we began to see a light down the tunnel ahead. Coming closer, the flicker proved to be a campfire. “And sitting across the fire from you, you see a very old very wise person.” Well, it was Pearl. {my grandmother, my mother’s mother} Pisces sign. She had died a few years earlier,

I did not really, then, believe, that Pearl could still be alive. “But it’s only pretending,” I thought. So I pretended that Pearl could be alive, and there she sat across the campfire from me; her breasts were wrinkled as when I’d known her last, Now she sat cross legged; fur pelts hung from her hips. It was nice to see her again.

“Feel the inner wisdom of this person; feel the love.

Now, this wise person says to you “Is there a question you’d like to ask me? I’ll answer one question.”

Of course, I want to ask, but no I can’t, but here’s a chance to ask it … so

(pause) “Pearl?,” I said, “Pearl, if you’re still alive, then, well, how is that possible?”


“Oh, Jeannie,” she laughed,

“Just use your imagination!

Just don’t think so many things

are impossible, that’s all.”


That sounds just like her, doesn’t it!” Mom exclaimed. “Yeah, that’s really just what she would say.”


About world peace, then

Wouldn’t it be fun to use our imaginations and not think so many things are impossible everyday before breakfast.

Well, I forgot about Jean and Riley {some old friends of my parents’}, we left Mom and Dad phoning them to offer help to evacuate if they have to. The fire is two ridges away still “though it must have crossed ten already”, still perhaps they will be safe after all.

You know it’s strange, Jean told Jessie, but that fire is beautiful. I could see it last night – . Of course it was a terrible thing what it was doing – It seemed almost wrong to say it could be beautiful. I even tried not to see it, but I couldn’t help notice how beautiful it was. The trees, you know, the great trees catching fire and there was a moment when they stood there all coals, leaves and limbs made of sparks and fire.  … And all around the edge of black circle, the flickering ring of the fires.”

Today first  I thought the vote had gone one way then the other, reality flipped again several times, and I think in the end voted Mu. See attached newspaper article.

But when I first heard it from David that probably we had “lost, not won” the vote I couldn’t help but notice how first it ended good and then it came out bad. “Trust is a variable quality” Sarah Miles

But I remembered a story Margery McCoy told about dying. Quote: The tragic and the comic.


It helped to remember today that the Last Page has not yet been turned

Give thanks                                                                                                      give thanks                        give thanks


But did I finish about world peace?

At any rate, in favor of answering

{X} “Do you think there’s ever anything to lose?”

it might be mentioned

that cats are alive and grinning even in Argentina, sometimes still

and there is still time, child.

Mrs. Manage


Ellen Bass’s poem about

Her daughter and the war.


But maybe even if we lose this one … and we are left watching with our clear new sight without glasses as the world just for a moment encores outlined in glowing coals ….

Perhaps it would be that then after we’d wept for a night long, an aeon, still before long sooner or later in the course of returning to All Knowledge one of us thought to herself: Now if we changed that one election state from higher to a lower, that would move the Butterfly in scene 3 one centimeter to the left; well, you know, I sat up all night last night working it out, she told me at breakfast the next morning., and it looks to me like I might have found one of the  branches that would lead to “peace on earth”. Well, they explored the possibility, ie. Adjusted the quantum state in question – no one noticed a thing – Then they let er roll…


It was an amazing movie.

They factored it out for 200 years

and still no Armageddon Series had appeared. In the last decimal place computed.

The old one and the child had been walking all day on sparkling riverbank. But their hearts had been far away and long ago with smoking skies and stirring deeds. Now paused, at a pebbly shallow they rocked on their heels and stared at the water. The story twinkled once more, and was gone. The river was the only sound….

and that’s why if you listen sometimes to the waters you’ll notice when they giggle. And if you hear that, listen close, ‘cause pretty soon they’re sure to say ‘Remember Abalone” .  There it was now, just as plain…”

They went to a meadow on Sept 22. It happened  to be the Equinoxial balance that very day. And as that day was also the birthday of Bilbo’s and Frodo’s  and someone there was singing:

“The Road goes Ever on and on

Down from the Door where it began.

Now far ahead the Road has gone

And I must follow if I can

Pursuing it with weary feet

until it meets some larger way

where many paths and errands meet.


And whither then?

I cannot say.”


Well, anyway, it was pretty absorbing and at last word they were lost in Volume II. Working title may be “The Little House with a Room of One’s own”


This party and circle happened

{} In Heaven

{} In a Book

{} Through the wallpaper

{} Through the window


When I was in school, in the fourth grade there was a questionnaire about yourself. I was always glad to answer questions,  and this day it asked, among other things  “ What are your three favorite wishes?”

Well, there was no real possible doubt as to the first one:

  1. To go to fairy land.” I put down let magic be real and, I promise next I’ll put down peace on earth up right next.
  2. Peace on Earth.”

Number 3 was a free bee. Well, if I couldn’t have magic be true, and if I couldn’t have peace on earth, still I could imagine owning someday a copy of the movie The Wizard of Oz. That would be theoretically possible. And then even if magic were not true at least I could believe it for any afternoon I wanted to.

“3. To own the movie of Wizard of Oz.”


{Typist’s Note: the following statement is within a speech bubble coming from a stick figure.}


Well, we give what we can.


  1. 5

What are your three favorite wishes?



  1. ______________________________________


{You may change your mind about this question until the first bell rings.}


Wall-script from the year 1983

Betty Ford had better ideas than Jerry.


And where there is one series, one branch path that detours the abyss, where it can happen once, maybe it can happen in infinite possibility.

Footnote on branch paths – Marcella & I just finished reading the Tree People Stories by Zylphah Keatley Sneider


My, 57 pages today.

I’d like to stop but did I finish what I was saying?


Q 5 1/2 In your opinion …. What is the reason for one  branch path’s being the one that seems “Real” to us at any given time?


(1) {} Consciousness

(2)                                                   {} Channel tuning

(3)                                                         {} Causality

  1. 6. {} T {} F

You can change horses of a different color midstream.


There is a strange vibration in this room.

It sounds most like

{} a moth

{} a large unseen moth

{} a moth of knowledge

{} a cat who’s just cleaned herself shaking her fur. Q. This cat belongs to _______________.


Sept 17 {1981}

Check one:

{} Patriarchy is inevitable.                       {} Ah, Baloney!


Sept 20? 19? Sat Eve at Bud and Tina’s cabin {Sandra’s friends who lived near Coos Bay}


Point out to Ed. Fadely {congressman} how this prohibition has a chilling effect on freedom of speech for some people and also assures that lots of perfectly nice people who live as morally concerned human beings are living “beyond the law.”


Good talk with Sandra just now. Read her some of my recent days writing. She said “you see how important it is for you to have your mind free.”


Sept 19, 1981

This morning I awoke remembering a ‘teaching’ dream. Sandra points out that this is my time of year for that; I’d wondered why I’d dreamed about school…. And it is a dream with a difference. I am, myself, a teacher at the school, but I am not teaching this year.  But I can, though: at one point I was to take a French professor’s class while he was 3 days out of town. {Funny, recalling the long and fruitless search for the right classroom, certain elements of the dreamscape return to me – they seem parts of very familiar dream terrain. Do I go there often? Or did it just seem familiar in the dream?})

Anyway, on the day of the scene I am at school as a student, picking up some classes on women’s issues. We are a small class, meeting outside, on the sidewalk, in fact.  There are several of my women student friends from the school there, other women, a few men, some 19-year-old males. The instructor started to say something about how this society makes it hard for women to love each other ..”  A young man interrupted “Well, I don’t think you should say that because…” and began to argue. I noticed that there was in his words as he talked a sort of rhythm. I began to dance to it, subtly, at first, but then more and more flamboyantly, pointing my toes even in my running shoes, my skirt flying as I danced  freely, mockingly to the rhythm of his reasons why. The women were enjoying my wordless commentary. When I woke up I hummed the melody in my head. I listened again to the melody; it was from The Sleeping Beauty ballet.


(How I discounted this dream when I remembered it! “Why should I dream about school?” I said. (That’s right – registration starts tomorrow.)


Monday night: The Equinox

The cabin/room at Bud & Tina Hutchinson’s.

First fire this evening – the room is “toasty”. Yes. It would be enough – one room a bed a table a desk a stove to cook on and stare into Yes the quiet, the simplicity. S & I have spoken of both spending some time here alone.  She could use my house when I wasn’t there … plots plans possibilities.

We went to the beach at Bandon yesterday – a strange experience there. The tide was in so high we couldn’t get to a good deal of the beach…

And yet the curve of beach was there – so stirring. – I walked over the  sand out to the tideline, and did the only appropriate thing – I knelt. The infinite ocean, the layers of waves, the sunlight and  Doré-esque clouds {reference to the etchings of Gustav Doré} – the while improbable scene, the ocean at the center of the earth.

Later I imagined how in that world that lived, how people came  the oceans, to the rivers, to the waters, and knelt and prayed. “what’s that man doing, Daddy? “Don’t point, Sonny. He’s .. a … he’s praying for life on this planet.”

I also imagined a bumper sticker that said simply


Maybe others






A year ago next week we began philosophy classes. I began, as I usually do with  “death.” We read of the good death of Socrates. “That’s all right for Socrates,” a woman said, “he got to die that way. But I’m also taking the Crimes Against Women course, and when I think about dying , myself, now, that sort of death is what mostly comes to mind.” “Socrates, he has a luxury a lot of us don’t have.”

I want to go to the beach tomorrow by myself. I am a little afraid. Well, to die on the Equinox – at Bandon Beach, there could be worse things, like my journal washed into the ocean. Maybe just take paper tomorrow. But worst would be not to be allowed the dignity of my own death.


After Libré and I had cried together for Dianne and looked at the stars, I began to shake. She covered me with blankets. After a while it stopped. And one of the things we said together was “Well, there certainly are worse deaths. She’ll never get murdered, for instance.”

“She’s safe from the holocaust, too.”



Choosing a good death

The absurdity of the existing laws.
Choosing a good death

Yes a reason for having guns

a thing we ask ourselves

are there holocausts we’d just as soon skip

My conversation with Marcella re: what if it comes.

The absurdity of going through a long death such as debilitating stroke

The choices as they are now.

Living will; Oregon law; an understanding, but if you have a stroke, eg., what then? Wearing a bracelet; going in a hard way. I assigned to my students once: “suppose your wishes as to how you would like to die were considered sacred, always honored. Now in this ideal world, now what are your wishes about life and death?

Yet, the Grandma story and if in spite of all we can do we find ourselves doing that one, all we can do is know that on some level it’s the way we choose to leave.

Just to make that one perfectly clear, I will re write it here:

It would be a terrible miscarriage of my life if the money I have went all to keep me alive and none to publishing what I have written.

jean tangren alexander

(Oct 23, 1981)


What Dianne achieved.


Clary Sage and Debra and when St. Helens blew.

You don’t have to write it in legaleze; it could be a poem, a statement of your feelings, as long or as short as you wish, making it as clear as you can.

Now this document as of the moment has no legal force, but if everyone had copies it couldn’t help but to make it crystal clear to anyone who wanted to know – crystal clear what your feelings had been.

Can’t people change their minds? (Yes; keep your death file current, file each entry with date.)

The time I came closest to killing myself – ie., thought about it most was when I was moving back in with John after my three months house-sitting at Don and Christie’s and of coming out to myself and a good deal of the world. I remember walking in the rain, crying. I made a little fantasy advertisement for a product I was feeling a need for.




When I mentioned to Carol that I was having fantasies of suicide, longings of the “If I could just push a button and disappear without consequences” kind. Carol sipped thoughtfully on her soda. “Once I read an interesting short story,” she said. “A woman thinks of a bunch of different ways to kill herself; in the end she kills her husband instead. Of course, the way open to you is much better than that…”

I moved back in for a month, but found an older self had died; a newer self went on walks and said, astonished, to the tulips by the roadside “I am a lesbian. And I have every right to be a lesbian.

When I showed Dianne my fantasy “advertizement” a few months later, the last time I saw her, she said “I think metaphysical humor is your genre.”


I’ve wondered since; but on the whole I’m glad I befriended her in that dark place we sometimes go to.


“Hemlock” Lois said once in class; “hemlock doesn’t sound bad at all.” There are two hemlocks, I learn, a hemlock tree is what my house is made of, floors and ceilings. The “kiln-dried” boards that were fitted tightly together have dried and shrunk and curved. In the end it was for the best, though. The other hemlock, the one Socrates drank, is not a conifer. It’s a flower of some sort. I wish I knew. When they lose the power to declare the terms of our deaths, they lose a great deal of power over us.


“Julius Caesar” comes round again. How touched you were by Brutus’ chosen death (how horrified by Portia’s “…and, her attendants being absent, swallowed fire.” “And died … so?” “Even so my Lord.” So I remember the words.)


Sandra in the astrology circle at the Fall Gathering is talking about a cycle in the women’s movement ten years from now. Karen interjects “You know, when you say ‘in ten years’, I always think ‘will there be a world in ten years?’” “Well,” said Sandra “I think that chances are there’ll still be a world of some sort. Not all of us may be in it, but someone will be. We may have some new things to cope with, like radiation, which we may or may not be able to do, but it’s not all going to disappear in a flash – at least not for the world collectively.”

Such different worlds we live in: John has bought a little home computer, hopes Marcella will learn to use it. “In twenty years, they say, you’ll need to know computers to get a job, like reading and writing are now.”

Recommended: to say grace not only before meals, but before marijuana.

Part of what you might pray is to ask ‘Help me to know when/if to stop.” Part of what you might think about is what you are hoping for, asking for, in accepting this into you. To make a prayer / a space for that to happen. To ask for clarity.


To The Homebuilder

(1)When you take off the bamboo skylight shades – anytime now, I should say, after the Equinox, take the rope and  pulley mechanism off them – just roll them and tie them with strings. Then use the roller mechanism in the shades you’re making. The rope is only for 4’ shades – but if it was too short you could splice it carefully.

(2) Marcela will use the opening/closing shade – you could try one – suspended days to the floor in the end, perhaps, caught on hooks at night.

(3)Sometime: Find out just how to build window screens. Or invent it.

3(a) Check on the bulk price of velcro. A bulk source could come floating to you at the right time

Ah, the having of distance.

Coos Bay, 9/22/81


Tangren, now, one thing, let me warn you, I think you may have more than one book in you. (It may be twins.) Or more. At any rate, don’t confine yourself to writing towards some one book at this point. You seem to be well into  good part of one right now, just trying to write an article for Womanspirit.

Don’t assume: That whatever you put into the article for Womanspirit is a final form for a piece in the book.

Biographical Note

Pearl Time’sChild has managed some time off to be a writer. She’ll probably birth sometime to a book or something.


That is to say, you might, eg., put something in that you might save for another telling in the final shape of your volumes. Yes.

And don’t forget what Sandra said tonight about the actual importance that I am a philosopher, bonafide and with a gold star even from Malcolm.

{Name your plants “Malcolm” “William Stafford” and “Bertrand Russell” or “Albert Einstein”} {or JRR Tolkien or Bilbo or Gandalf or Frederick LeBoyer}

How funny it would be, even if it were the end of the world if near the end bumperstickers  signaled ‘There is still time, child” ‘There is still time, brother,”  … sister” … mother” There is still Time”


About the actual importance of the fact that I am a philosopher that’s unique about what I have to give.


One thing I’d like to write is …hmm… well a certain kind of letter to my congressman,

But another is … hmm …


oh, yes, about philosophy;

an article on philosophic style

pointing out the possibilities –


Lucretius discovered the atomic theory in verse,

St. Augustine and {Rousseau (?)} wrote  “Confessions”, the stories of their lives

St.Anselm wrote in prayer form, as did St. Theresa

Nietzsche was allowed aphorisms, Wittgenstein, pregnant paragraphs,

and Thomas Aquinas, after an illustrious career of closely written arguments had a vision and gave up writing altogether.


Today in academic philosophy, though, the only acceptable form is a closely reasoned argument. Verse is allowed only in rare cases of discussion of ontology, cosmology, and the paradoxes of modern physics, and then only the limerick. Why not one timely aphorism, one good cartoon? I once knew a philosophy student – Bill Holly, wanted to make a cartoon: Pascal sent after death to the lower reaches, there to sing a million times “This train, don’t carry no gamblers”


Publish your stuff – offer it free if they can’t pay and still want it, at least to friends. Or if it’s worth some money, and they have it, good.  But then again some trains, like gamblers, people who stick their necks out, risk, allow existential wonder to meet its day.



“In this time of equal darkness and light we affirm the equal importance of both as teachers.” Or whatever they said.

Ruth & Jean MtGrove

Winter Solstice poem – Fire poem

By Elsa Guidlow

Summer Solstice: Marge Piercy?

Spring Equinox: Woman Flower photograph

By Ruth?




Announcement in Winter Womanspirit: call for tapes of songs to go into a Womanspirit tape of sacred song.


Question for Women Writer’s Group – Are we here …to answer the question “How good is this writing? How worth while to hear?”    …  For each other?





Tonight being the night of the Equinox – how could I have imagined I would not observe it, keep watch. How far from myself I get! And yet, it happened anyway, and here, on the first night of Autumn, brought to you by Coincidence Incorporated, the first fire.

Call Lavinnia; arrange a Wednesday Latihan, tell her yr not there Sunday (or did you?)

I hope Libré is having a good equinox vigil at my house.


Sharing a Solstice ritual with a few friends might be nice this year. Whatever.

And maybe you are too tired to write further of Diane or suicide tonight.


Once when Sandra and I were falling asleep in each others arms, I thought for a while we were in a small spaceship, a cylinder, just room enough to stretch together. The round walls around us were lined with books, row upon row of women’s books saved from the destruction. Naked, asleep, we floated together, fleeing down the darkness and the stars.


I dreamed last night that I introduce Dianne and Sandra. Isn’t that odd? It’s the first time I’ve dreamed of her since he death. (NOT CORRECT) I can remember very little by now … Only that all three of us were doing something together, that I was enjoying seeing them both together, seeing their similarities and their differences. I remember really wanting to look my fill at Dianne again; but somehow I didn’t get to. I was still terribly in love with her. At one point in the dream, though, Sandra was in one classroom, with a class, I think – Dianne and I were in the next room, an empty classroom, talking. It was nice to be with her again, and yet as we got reacquainted, I found myself remembering some of the ways things can be hard for us, and appreciating anew some of Sandra’s virtues.


Interesting. That’s just the sort of experience one has in life – as relationships change and evolve and one meets old friends to measure where you’ve come, to check in on one’s own present life from another angle. Even tho she is dead, I can still have that experience, such a necessary part of healing

Today Sandra and I and I went to the beach at Bandon – A beautiful day – time all too short – back to pick up the kids, come here. Supper. Fire, settle into cabin – attempt erotica but know/find

(1)I have a hard time being open because I haven’t touched base in solitude in ever so long – being with another person so continuously – is pleasant – we had a nice day today, for instance, and I enjoyed being together. But tonight I could not sort thru all those selves we have been together and find the creative, deeply touching lover self.

(2)Well, we drive back tomorrow nite. Next day is writer’s meeting – don’t want to miss it – I’ve finally written something I’m excited about. Tonight is last real possibility to look it over.




Sunday {September 22, 1981}      New Moon in Libra 8:09                Now 5:20

On the Beach at Bandon



Things I want to bring here next time –

Camera, B & W film, lens?

Photograph Face Rock, the Buddha the Clementina Howarden Monument,

The Moon, etc. for Womanspirit. Or yourself.

B & W


Writing stick – candles, kerosene lamp


Incense and holder


Friday – Oct 2 {1981}

Got back home Monday night. The writer’s meeting was postponed. (Sandra had a hunch; called Summer to make sure it was still happening the next day, it wasn’t.) So we stayed – Saturday it rained, also I worked with Bud on getting a post to repair the one I’d knocked over Friday. We ended up cutting down a myrtle tree – I stripped its bark – the soft yellow wood turned purple after a few minutes in the air. Sandra and Anneke decided to repaint the mailbox – a sentimental journey as old addresses were revealed beneath the paint. (Sandra has known the family since her married days in California.) Anneke imagined telling her children about this day when they painted the mailbox. Two-year-old Theran wheeled his tricycle on the basement floor and watched it all.

Sandra told Theran she would send him a postcard that would come to this very mailbox. “And you’ll take it out, and it will say ‘Hi, Theran!’” Theran wheeled his trike for a minute in silenced, then: ‘Postcard doesn’t have a mouth.”  It’s touching – how they do and don’t live in the same world we do. He can say “American Top-40” with the perfect intonation. It touched me to think how rich is his own internal world now, how soon to be taken over by a fascination with the acceptable reality.

Being with people, it being pleasant, overindulging in food, coffee, m.j. too, enjoying the light in the house in the evening. I gained a few pounds. S & I tended to have long, leisurely mornings together, waking late, fixing breakfast, bathing together. One morning we had “Eggs Benedict” together because that is Deborah Kerr’s favorite breakfast and it was close to her birthday. We found a lemon for the hollandaise sauce, Bud and the kids had left English muffins from their breakfast earlier. It was very elegant, terribly rich. “She can’t eat this too very often,” we said.

Sometimes we’d spend the whole day together. Once I went to the beach by myself, it was on the Equinox, on Tuesday, to keep watch. It was definitely scarrier going alone – watching what cars were there to see me going to the beach alone; coming back was scarrier, too, and I felt more vulnerable at the beach – settled for sitting still a lot in the dry sand near the back –thinking, remembering, watching how the sunset turned the clouds and beach to pink and blue and silver, like being inside an opal.

Driving back from the beach alone on the Equinox I was stopped by the police. My tail light was out. I said thank you like an upright citizen but the cop was suspicious. “Do you know of anything else on this car that doesn’t work?” “Try the headlights the signal lights the brake lights.” “Are you currently employed?” “is the car insured?”

It’s a shock realizing how others may perceive Deborah as she ages. (Still, she has new fans, too. The boy at the garage talks old Audi’s with me with enthusiasm.)



Well, anyway, Sunday, Sandra and I went once more to the beach for the day the moon was new in Libra.   We got there mid afternoon. We explored for a bit, then decided to latihan. There were quite a few people on the beach but we sat well back, and one of us would keep her eyes open to warn “act normal” when strollers came too near. I became braver and the beach emptier, went out to dance along the shoreline. When I came back, Sandra had drawn a big circle Mandala with the balance scales.  In the circle, sun and moon balance, horizontal and vertical, right and left hand prints.


We meditated a while longer, munched crackers, then strolled together down the beach. We stood to watch the sun go down, golden tonight, sinking to a spark behind some far clouds, outlining them in molten gold. There was, though, a bit of garbage right in the sand, a printed bit of paper.  Tried to ignore it, but couldn’t. Well, I said to Sandra, it could be a message. I bent over it “Oh,” I said, “it’s just a menu.” “Eggs benedict” laughed Sandra, “look, it’s the first thing on the page!”

We walked and watched the waves and tried not to feel the wind. “I love you,” said Sandra, “and so does Deborah Kerr.”

It was cold but still we couldn’t leave the beach, with the pinks and purples so magnificent. So we stood on the sand. I sang, in honor of the sunset and the day, and Sandra harmonized beautifully, a heartfelt rendition of Benedictus Eggsi.


We watched the last of the sunset from the warmth of the Carr and as the moon approached new at 8:00 we did some silent meditation and sang “Om” as a kind of prayer for peace in the world.


And as the moon crossed the sun somewhere just over the horizon, and as we finished our chant, Venus, bright and golden, hung just above the face of the singing woman rising from the water.

Do you think it was a sign?

Must mention that we finished off with a wonderful dinner.


Thursday night, Oct 8 {1981}

Marcella is asleep in by the fire, but I’m not falling asleep, so I think I’ll write as this is my only chance for a while.

Marcella went back to John’s Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon I latihaned with Beaver, then came home to fix supper for Sandra and Lucia (now Cia), a young woman from the writer’s group  who is staying with her. Then we went to the opening evening of the women’s space at Oak Street. It was hard to maintain myself in a crowd, neat to see the place they’ve put together. Sylvia Goodman was there; I talked to her about the fires that came so close to her place, but was not up to bringing up that I’d heard that her son had killed himself.

I was surprised at the number of women who came up to me to talk and hug and give me some good energy. Sandra said my exterior presence was very warm and friendly. Funny, when I was feeling fairly ill-at-ease.


Anyway, I’d planned to spend Sun – Wed in solitude working hopefully on writing … but it did not work out that way. Sandra came home with me “just for the night” – I had to be at the garage at 8:30 the next morning –  and ended up staying until just this afternoon when I dropped her off an hour or so before Marcella came.

It’s hard to know how to balance things out. She is so loving and so beautiful and I love her so much …This time we had an especially close, lovely time. It’s gets so hard to be without her… (until, that is, until I suddenly find that I am over-extended and have needed solitude for some time. But that didn’t happen this time.) It’s so lovely to sleep next to her, to wake up to her dark hair, her face so close to mine, a close up view of her eyes and lashes and eyebrows, the smile-lines around her eyes and the onyx sparkle in them, the soft trembling in the corners of her smile when she’s feeling vulnerable.

It’s myself. I mean, if I need space, she’s willing to give it to me; she always has things she needs to do, yet she’s always willing to spend time with me when I want to. So it’s my decision. Sometimes I feel her as a pull away other important things in my life; but, really, the pull is to a great extent one within myself. It’s very hard to turn away from – a lover who is that loving and lovely. The constant offer of sexuality. … And maybe it’s all all right. After all, in so many ways it’s just what I’ve been wishing for and needing. So why not drink my fill?

Only that I have work to do that I’m not doing. (“Well,” said Rosemary Dalton, “if I had a year off I think I’d play for 10 months then work like hell for two.”) and that I just don’t want to get too dependent. I know I am basically all right alone, I know, too, that there are things I have to do for myself, that there are things I give myself that no one else can give me.

But there is so much that she does give me sometimes, and kinds of healing that can only happen with someone else –

the seductive joy of shared worlds, shared lives,

the kind of support she can give me when I’m down on my own case,

the healing of our love/sexual explorations

and the delight of communication that can come when two people know each other really well

the kinds of freedom certain friends can offer each other, freedom to be kinds of ways that we don’t know how to give ourselves, alone.

The highlight of our time together this time was an erotic fantasy game we played together all night one night before the fireplace… … it’s a little hard to write about it so all you jumpy and critical readers skip this next part, will you?

A few times we gotten into acting out some sexual fantasies… Maybe the first one of any complexity and length was the night we’d watched Bonjour Tristesse. Now, I have mostly been as chaste as the driven snow in my thoughts and imaginings about Deborah Kerr. … But I did mention to Sandra that even when I first read the book and only imagined D.K. as Anne, I’d somehow always imagined that Cecile was really in love with Anne. It was not her father being taken away from her, as I’d felt it, but Anne. In the movie Deborah’s best scenes are with Jean Seberg – and there’s one spectacular shot of their two faces in profile, looking to each other, so close, and Deborah’s hand is on her face … a scene I find immortalized over and over in my high school art class drawings.

“Yes,” said Sandra, “and what she said about Anne how she looks in the morning, how she moves and smiles as if she had the most wonderful secret in the world. I wish I felt like she does then. … you know, we could do it differently. You could be Anne and I could be Cecile…” It was so tempting. I was, as often after seeing Deborah Kerr, feeling like Deborah Kerr; it’s my favorite way in the whole world to feel.

I’d wanted to make love, but even more wanted to stay with that feeling. Having to relate to Sandra seemed as if that would lose that feeling, for I’d have to be “me” to her, and her knowing, seeing me would feed back to me that I was me and so I would be me and not Deborah Kerr. … But now  if we turned the lights off and I pretended to be Anne and she pretended to be Cecile….

Still, I’ve always been so chaste in my thoughts about Deborah Kerr; I don’t know if I can or ought to imagine her and sexuality in the same breath.



On the other hand, it might be a good thing to do, and a healing way to experience that movie, and a chance to sort of play Deborah, too, or at least, Anne. And so I made a little asking to the universe that there be no harm here, and I said yes. {This is the first thing I’ve written about Deborah Kerr that I’m not sure I would want her to read, eg, if I were dead. I think she might consider this an invasion of privacy in some ways. And yet …once Summer and Sandra and I were sharing writing  (the day the bee swarm sent us dashing inside). I read Mary Pierce and embarrassed myself, as usual. Probably that is why we were talking about sexuality. In the course of something I said “Clitorises, now. I’m pretty sure that Deborah Kerr does not have a clitoris.” Sandra smiled at me. “Yes she does. It looks just like yours.” Well, anyway, if the “real” Deborah Kerr ever finds out, I hope she will forgive me for imagining this, but anyway, it was all done in love and this is what we played,}

I was quite a while ago now; I don’t remember a lot of it. Cecille said “Anne. Anne. It’s you. It’s you I love.” And instead of suicide Anne learned there was lots to live for yet. Anne gave with her great kindness her love to Cecille, in her little bathing suits.

For both of them, it was their first time making love with a woman. Often it was Cecille who lead the way to the next unfoldment into sexuality, Cecille who first offered out her hunger. Making love to her, Anne seemed to find she knew, somehow, just what to do, moving from the inner knowing of her own body.

Truly, now I can’t remember if Cecille made love to Anne; if so I have modestly blocked it from my memory.

I know they lay together afterwards, marveling at the melodrama that had brought them to each other and how little it mattered from now on, for either of them, what Raymond did in the woods or with whom.


Well, it was lovely. It was a very open, gentle kind of sexuality. And I do remember that my breasts were more full of feeling (than in a long time.) And it was so much fun to be somebody else.


…Another time, when we were in the cabin in the woods on the Coast, one evening we pretended we were both teenage girls staying overnight with each other. You may be imagining that we jumped right into the sexuality, but actually we never even got there. We lay in bed together for hours and talked, gradually opening up to each other our thoughts and feelings – a whole kaleidoscope of feelings – talking over things that had happened – Bringing up worries and rationalizations: It wouldn’t hurt to “practice” kissing so we’ll know how to do it with boys..

thru confessing to not wanting, really to be with boys, to, finally, “I’ve always secretly loved you, too.” In sweetly wandering succession, taking hours.  When we did begin to be a little sexual I was the one who mostly took the lead, we got as far as touching each other’s breast; a highly charged moment, may I say. But we had to stop there; it had gone on for hours and I just didn’t have a teenager’s energy any more. We did make love, not as they would have done it, but as ourselves who know each other’s bodies and are at ease by now in giving and taking our pleasure.


Tuesday night, then. I think it started with the blue silky pajamas she’d resurrected from the ‘hand washing’ bag. They were shimmery and silky and nice to touch and nice to touch her body through… It put me in mind of my mother and other women one has seen in one’s life in such attire. “We could pretend,” she said “we could pretend that I am a young girl and you are a grown-up woman,” mostly joking. She looked a long time into the fire, sending in her streams of smoke from time to time. My mind had long left the topic when she said “I could be your Aunt Sarah who’s come to take care of you. You’re home sick with a fever. You’re mostly better now, but you still have to say in bed, and you’re bored. Your folks have gone for the weekend, and I’m taking care of you.” She glanced up at me briefly, smiled. “Or we could do something else entirely.”

Well, we decide to do it. At first I didn’t think I could talk. I’d been feeling rather uncentered that evening; if I couldn’t even manage to be Tangren how could I be someone else? But it turned out to be just what I needed. We’d both been tired, and yet it went on for the whole night. (That’s one thing aunt Sarah likes to do is stay up all night. “Your mother and I look at things very differently.” Aunt Sarah remarked, frequently. “We just don’t talk about it with each other.”)

Aunt Sarah has pulled the bed to in front of the fire, Jeannie was so bored off in her room. She gives her a back massage, teaching her about “bone walking”, walking with your fingers along the bones in the back, the sweet bedtime ritual her mother had done with her. “bonewalking.”

Sarah’s taking off her clothes for her turn at a back massage prompts a discussion of nudity. “It’s one of the things your mother and I don’t agree about. … where I come from women … and girls, too, … don’t worry about it. They take baths together, and steam baths, and go swimming and things all without any clothes on. They don’t are if other women see their bodies. I think bodies are beautiful,” she said, ‘and there’s nothing wrong with seeing them.”

“That’s what I think, too,” said Jeannie, not for the last time, learning fast. If only you could know what a sweet progression it was, how absolutely natural and open and innocent.

“oh what a time it was, a time of innocence, a time of confidences” the song sang next day – we looked at each other and smiled, remembering in wonder some charm from the night before…And in this special night with no clothes on because of the fever it was only natural that Jeannie should offer some confidences about “cunny walking” and that Sandra should return such positive, loving energy. That some anatomical questions should eventually be asked , and that Jeannie should eventually get to see what a grown up cunny looks like,with Sandra being so loving.

Opening and opening. Secrecy is sworn “cross my heart and hope to die if I tell a lie” its limits are carefully delineated “If I had a friend could I ever tell her some day?” “Well, if you have a good friend, and you ever do cunny-walking together, sometime, then I’m sure it would be OK to tell her” … “because then she would be One of Us.”

We are both actors and audience, laughing in appreciation, laughing in joy at our lovingness, our dearness, our inventiveness, our characters, laughing in delight and diving back into the story a easily as dolphins, breasting … or is it breaking…

It is hard to tell this story… I am afraid of some hearers. We need at this degree of oppression to be able to say categorically about those myths about sexuality between gay adults and children are just myths – and certainly the number of lesbian mothers, lesbian teachers, lesbian nurturers outweighs the (possible) occasional sex involving children in a ratio of astounding purity when compared with what we are learning about the heterosexual community.

And right now I have to be on my high horse about this because we would not survive if we were not so … … and because of this paranoid situation most of us would never take the risks for the children that actual sexual opening with them might involve. –

Still, in our hearts we know that in a loving land it could be otherwise – and here, here was the freedom to create that happening. Without fears about consequences because we were only pretending. Actually we were two very much adults very consenting to attempt to enact a healing.

As the night evolved looking became touching, feeling, exploring. “Oh, there’s it’s like a room inside you here … a soft room” “Oh, your little hand feels so wonderful.” Such lovingness. Passing on the secret of “The Best Place”

Seeing Sandra give me love as she gives it to a child, the ways of talking, the ways she smiles at me, as a grown up treasuring a child.

“You always were my favorite,” she said.

How we nurture children with reflecting back our delight at their intelligence, their imagination, doing them the honor of giving them our full attention – (a chance which comes easier, perhaps, to the Aunt Sarahs of the world than to the harried full-time mothers saving shreds of themselves.)

How lovely it was to be a child and to bask naked in the firelight and in the joy of being appreciated, heard, seen, treasured…

So easily defenseless, so easily opening up to solemnity; “When I get my first period, you know … that summer, let’s take a trip to the Grand Canyon together. (Conveniently, Aunt Sarah is rich, having earned her fortune writing astrology columns.) “That summer,” Jeannie dreamed, “we could go together to the Grand Canyon and go down to the bottom and camp there. And when our periods come, then we’ll share our blood together and then we’ll become blood sisters. We’ll mingle our blood together. That’s what you do, you know. I’ve read about “blood brothers” – they cut their finger and they mingle their blood and that makes them into “blood brothers” … forever …They have to cut themselves to do it, But blood sisters, this is the way we do it.” “In fact, you know, I’ll bet blood sisters were first; in the beginning, I’ll bet, it was ‘blood sisters’.”

“What made you think of the Grand Canyon?” Sarah’s smile was so soft.

“Well, I was there once, with Mom and Dad. And you know, I kept thinking, then, how it seemed like a gigantic Cunny. Of course it didn’t say it to anybody, but to me it kept looking like a great Cunny of the Earth.”

Of course, this turn of events would have to be a secret from Mom. “She’d bust a gut!” Jeannie had dug the phrase from somewhere and was overusing it tonight from its sheer appropriateness.) “No, your mother wouldn’t likely understand,” Sarah agreed.

They would take some trips together ,sometime. They planned. They would write.

I’ll send you a letter, Jeannie said, and it’ll say


Dear Aunt Sarah,

Do you remember

Our Secret still?




“And I’ll write you back


Yes! I do remember

Our Secret!

… And about the Grand canyon.

Aunt Sarah


Such richness that pours forth in a relationship sometimes! Such goodness and so much that is precious, that could be captured. Since we’ve met it’s been this way from time to time. It gets so rich; and yet it absorbs all my time and energy back into the relationship and there’s none left to write about it. And so it bottles up in me, there’s so much to tell that I can tell nothing, and so am inarticulate. “I don’t write about relationships” I repeat over and over in my journal. … maybe part of what I need to do is to write about this relationship – it feels schizophrenic not to – as if the part of me that is so in love with her dare not ask space from the part of me that is trying to save myself from drowning in her.

And I do. And I need time to be myself by myself, to be who I am, to give myself the peace and quiet and solitude I’ve created this space to have.;

And time to be the responsible, accountable person I am in my myriad human relationships.

Time to learn again to listen to my body in other ways than sexuality. To remember again diet and exercise and yoga and temperance.

Time to putter and play house here, in my grown-up playhouse, so cozy in the rain. And time to birth myself as a writer.


Sometimes I feel I am lost in her,

Sometimes I fear I am drowning


Well, Jeannie kissed Sarah’s cunny, and explore it with her tongue and lips and Sarah showed Jeannie what an orgasm was by having one and Jeannie, lying on her tummy, felt it in herself from Sara’s tummy.

Once Sarah cradled the head with its fine hair in her lap: “You know, “she said, caught up in the spirit of young solemnity, “we could have lockets. Those little necklaces strung with a heart? The heart opens and there are two little heart-shaped pictures inside.” “…Yes, we could. ‘I’ve always wanted a locket. Yes … And the two pictures, they could be of our two cunnys, yours and mine.”

Sarah was very touched.

Of course, in that case, they’d have to be very secret.” Well, Tangren, “they could open with a secret little button so that nobody could realize that they were really .


“Good idea!”

Sarah smiled Dianne’s smile for having an amusing thought, “and the secret button,” she said, ‘we can put it right in the Best Place.”

Jeannie made expresso and she was allowed sniffs from above Sandra’s pipe – Sandra thinks it’s good for kids to get stoned now and then “to alter their perspective a little.” (and for grownups to get stoned around kids, to alter their perspective, too.)

And towards the end Sarah stroked and explore her young love’s cunny , exclaiming over its soft and simple forms, and with the lovingest of kisses taught her gently of the pleasure in her loins. Tangren got just too turned on to ever find release – so much was unleashed, so much need and intensity that no answering sensation was ever full enough to be enough. But she was full of the feelings of longing for a long, long time, and then in time, even without a coming, sexuality ebbed away naturally. The girl, of course, was opened, in any case, to trust and to such a being in love. And Sarah, too. Saved from all the worries a real aunt Sarah might have at this juncture … will J. become dependent, and was she sure this was the right thing to do. When such worries hovered, Sandra was glad to remember we were only pretending.

{That’s the wonderful part of “only pretending”; you can have the experience without having to bother to weave it into the space-time sequence called “real life.”}

They fell asleep, curled together, as the sky began to lighten.

…when we awoke in the morning, I couldn’t remember much of my dream

only this I knew quite clearly:

It had really been Jeannie’s dream I was dreaming … Aunt Sarah was there. We lived in a house together. …A power machine of some sort was being installed under the floor … probably into the heating system. It was an elegant, new, power machine, cone-shaped, and complex and simple. Carefully, respectfully, we were cradling it into its place….

“All I remember,” I reported, perplexed, “is that we were installing some machine in a house.” I didn’t really see why I would have dreamed that, and yet, somehow it had been a wonderful dream…. Thought about the night we’d just played through. Remembered Jeannie declaring earnestly “This is the happiest day of my whole life” and smiled again at the dear, reckless reckoning of the young.


11:23 Oct 12 {1981} It’s a Tuesday evening. The moon was full this morning.

I am home sick. Sick, and home, where else should I be? Well, Rootworks was on the schedule. Ruth and Jean came to Stay Overnight on Friday evening. I had run a large number of errands and was trying to work in catching a talk on “The Medical Effects of Nuclear War” (The college was having a symposium on War and Peace) But that was 4:30 and R & J {Ruth and Jean Mountaingrove} might come anytime after 5:00. At 4:35 I gave it up – S & I came up here. I was beginning to admit and realize I was having an earache. So much to say, do when R & J are here – I was very tired. But after we’d all lain around for an hour or so listening to Kay Gardner’s new flute music tape and talking a little, I found the energy to get together the slide projector and find the slides and we showed the pictures Ruth took of the little old cabin at the top of the trail that the lived in when I first knew them. By he time everyone got clothes washed and bathed and bedded I was tired, and my ear hurt. It was nice to have Sandra here, nice to be open and easy about touching her, before them; nice to have her to check in with – to keep from being swept away with Ruth-and-Jean reality. In the morning the phone rang – it was Edison, Sandra’s Indian friend (telling her of a gathering that weekend.)

I crawled back into bed and tried to recall my dream:

There was some complex thing going on that I can’t remember – we were all involved in it. For some reason I was on the road. And my car broke down. it turned out she was broken down in  about three ways that would have to be fixed before I could go on … (I remember the distributor was one thing.) so I settled down to wait a few days in the area. …To pass the time I took little trips out into the surrounding countryside, … per impossible, in Deborah. But just as I was driving over a pretty, arched bridge I felt a thumping in the rear; a flat tire. Finding a wide place in the bridge, I pulled off. I was just climbing from the car, trying to remember where the tools were and how to change a tire – when the phone rang.

Up, breakfast, Ruth returns from taking Jean to the airport. Ruth volunteers to cook soup so S. & I can go hear the talk on “Feminism, Non-Violence and Nuclear Disarmament” before the writer’s group met here at noon. The talk was a waste of time for me. I’d been thinking about feminism and disarmament but it was my own thoughts I wanted to think about, not hers; which had little to do with mine.

Home at eleven; dash upstairs to Marcella’s room for a groping smoke and a peak into my journal to see whether I could read it or not. Somehow, how little time I’ve allowed myself for my writing. Somehow I wrote that piece before leaving for the coast and have scarcely allowed myself to return to it since. {Maybe that is what you’re resting up for. Love, yr wife.} It does need, some of it, to be in shape by Nov 1, not that far away.

Well, my friends are encouraging me not to get on my own case. “I think,” said Chia, “that you should just do exactly what you want to d for a while.” “Yeah,” I said, “and I do want to do the writing, so at some point I will do it. Right?”



Thursday noon – {Oct 14, 1981}

A strangely moving long dream just finished itself … Someone and I were at Mom’s. Some men with a truck came, gardeners. It seemed they had a tree to plant – shaped like {Typist’s Note: There is a small drawing of a plant, forked into two branches near the base of the plant.} – I didn’t want them to guess where it should be planted, so they did some other work they had to do. They put out some lovely, natural looking outdoor furniture, then they began to dig the pond. By the time the pond was pretty big lots of people had gathered, and when they started to fill it, some kids started jumping in to the  muddy water. “See there?” I said to Mom and Dad, “You’ve created an attractive nuisance. We went down to the pond, and it was so attractive I couldn’t help jumping in myself, clothes and all. I surfaced to at least put my glasses on a convenient shelf, and noticed Mom swimming beside me. There were lots of people in the pool. Someone swam up to me and kissed me; I wasn’t into it and so he swam away. But before he did we had a conversation – he was a young man, a friend of the family’s. We talked about astrology – he’d looked up the charts for people in the family. He shook his head about Mike’s chart – “All those kings and princes.” A bit later he and Mom were floating together and kissing – for a long, long time.

“8 1/2 minutes” somebody told me – “and do you know, that was the last time he ever kissed anyone”. I looked at him to see if he was going to drown or something – he seemed fine. Strange to look at someone and know he was to die soon. Then it was as if I were watching a movie about his life, little glimpses from various scenes.

I remember a scene of great alarm Running and shouting… some dramatic social movement. School buses driving though fast on some mission or other. It was some sort of antiwar movement. I remember wondering indignantly why I’d never learned that all this had happened. But the school bus this man was on was in the hands of the government, the young man wouldn’t fight in their current war, so the were driving around rounding up conscriptees. He was sat in the bus, a helmet put on his head, a rifle in his hands.

Later he was talking to his father about how much he hate life working for the army. “Now days,” he said, “if just to remember who I really am I have to start the day with marijuana or alcohol, maybe even cocaine.”

A scene from later in his life when he was living in England. Stills, really, photographs of the smiling eyes of two lovely young women. They were giving a dinner party after a movie – there were to be eight people there. They were rather worried that they wouldn’t do things right. He said to them “You two are the people I most care about in the world. If it’s the way you want it, then what the other people think doesn’t really matter.” This made them feel good, the next picture was of the two of them together at the head of the table waiting for the guests, relaxed and happy, sipping wine.

Then came the scene of his death. I remember a tall sort of structure made of rough pine – 38 stories high. Somewhere up there I glimpsed a coiled rope with a noose knotted into its end. The structure was open on the front side, and many people had come to watch the send-off. Even the Queen was there – I saw her arrive at the back of the crowd, and wave to the person in the structure. Though nothing seemed odd or remarkable about this at the time, the person was not a young man now but a middle-aged women. She was slowly being raised on a sort of boom up to the top of the box. She had one of those wonderful English faces, her wrinkles spread themselves in such a kindly way as she talked to some little boys who were accompanying her the first part of the way. Her husband was saying, from the ground, “Now after this we’ll go by the grocery store” – she neither agreed nor denied, just smiled at him. The band was playing. Standing there on the edges of the crowd I felt such love and admiration for this woman. {Now that I think of it the music was like in the Wizard of Oz when the Wizard leaves in the balloon. The scene had some of that feeling all right.}


Monday morning {Oct. 18, 1981}

Got up early this morning to write – couldn’t do it. Have spent the day so far – it’s 8:30 – sitting and thinking about everything. The Slumber Party here after Martha Courtot’s  poetry reading – talking with Tee, talking with Martha, Sarah – Hannah… Called this morning to see how Mom was – she’s been having a very bad time with her stomach – fewer and fewer foods does she seem able to tolerate without diarrhea and now  vomiting. She has an appointment with the doctor today, this afternoon –  guess I’ll take her. It comes and goes – every third day or so she gets very sick – she’s lost a lot of weight. It is worrisome….

Trying to get centered back in for writing, I read over the dream I wrote down a few days ago. Glad I wrote it down – many of the details that meant nothing to me at the time are now clearer. I haven’t let myself worry too much about Mom yet – surely this is another thing that will come and go and our lives will go on as usual. … Yet … the boy who kissed Mom turning into an older middle-aged woman at the point of his death –  The “pine box” 38 stories high. (Sandra’s mother was 38 when she died – S. is 38 now, regards it as something of a dividing line.) 38 stories high with the ominous noose waiting at the top. And yet, the band, the joy, the feeling of gaiety as at a balloon-ascent send-off, too.

And the tree shaped like {Typist’s Note: Here is a small drawing of forked branches.} I recently saw a picture Ruth took on the path to their old cabin of two trees with that shape. … also an image from Bergman’s Wild Strawberries comes to mind – a fantasy sequence – wind, a cradle, and arching above, tree branches from the same womb shape. I believe the feeling of the scene was being cast from the womb.

And that part about the Dinner Party – oh, the Dinner Party, I get it. Anyway, I was to  give a Slumber Party on Saturday night for which I spent a good deal of Friday and Saturday preparing. (As well as for Martha’s reading, which I was in charge of.) I didn’t know how many or who would be here – but altogether, as it happened, there were eight of us. Parts of it were hard for me, especially anticipating – liking Martha and wanting to be friendly and worrying she would dislike me for my privilege – she is a very $$ poor woman. And then Saturday when Hannah told me Tee and Caroline were coming – Well, I’d been hoping Tee would come to my house some day, hoping she would like it. … In general, I was getting all off balance towards what other people would think, because they are people who mean a lot to me. And I could have used someone to say to me, “You are the person I care most about in the whole world. If it’s the way you want it, then what the others think doesn’t really matter.”

I am still trying to say that to myself. I’d been looking forward to seeing Tee – it would be the first time I’d seen her since Oct. 13. … Since I’d seen her last, then, I’d written Oct 13 and sent it to her, gotten a friendly letter back, then began the tentative beginnings of a love affair with Caroline, which ended essentially because Caroline wanted to be monogamous with Tee even though she lived in New York. When Tee had moved out here in the spring, I  sent her a welcoming note, and a picture of my altar/mantelpiece, with her famous photograph on it, and didn’t hear from her, and knew how busy she must be. Still it is hard that she seems to have forgotten about the note altogether.

When they first came into the hall for the reading, she seemed to be avoiding me, quite pointedly. I was rather punctured, worried about what she may be disliking me for – I could think of several things – at the break I was so surprised when she friendily asked me to stay overnight at their place after Martha’s workshop Monday night. Later I asked her about it all – she said no she was not avoiding me, just had felt a little off-balance coming into a new place. So all that worry was for nothing; makes me see how unready I am to know Deborah Kerr. Still we had no personal time together, she was mostly into Caroline… They did look wonderful together, and openly full of sexual feelings for each other. That was nice to see, actually, and didn’t make me at all jealous, only to wish Sandra were here so I had a breast to nuzzle too. But it was a little hard just realizing that what I had taken for avoidance was really only a space-out of me; that I really just don’t mean that much to her one way or the other, while her art has brought out so much of “the best in me.” Still, she did like my house a great deal, and gave me a nice hug on leaving.

Having everyone here felt so good – we lay around in the late evening before the fire, the lights low, nuns singing gregorian chant in the background, talking, touching – when people began to settle into bed, I still wasn’t sleepy, went to get my journal to stay up and write for a while. Caroline said ‘Oh, are you going to read us something from your journal?”


Tuesday night: {Oct. 19, 1981}

There was a workshop with Martha Courtot Monday up at Golden. I went up with Chia and Sarah Halslep and stayed overnight with Tee and Caroline. Just got back around suppertime, pretty tired.  Went over to see how Mom was – she had a terrible spell Monday and was gone to the doctor’s when I left – Thanks be … she has salmonella … food poisoning.  A treatment with an antibiotic should be all that is needed. Not the trump of doom this time after all! Came home, ate black bean soup and went to sleep for a few hours; just woke up before midnight. Coffee, cookie, fire – I am ready to spend the night writing. But so unready. Had a good talk with Tee and Caroline after breakfast this morning, about managing time for relationships and creative work. Partly, they made me see that I should not be too hard on myself – that the first part of relationships tends to be like that….

But also, Tee said, about doing creative work,  that it’s easy to let thins get too big and nebulous and unaccomplishable. “It’s not really a matter of time, having time. You could go the whole year and not write anything… Look at Martha, for instance. She doesn’t have any time that I can see, never has had. But she’s committed to doing her work, and she is quite constantly prolific.

… Not accomplishing things, not finishing things can get to be a habit. What one needs is to take some small thing and finish it… Then go on to the next small thing and finish it. That way you gradually change your habits so that you have the expectation of finishing things, turning them out.”

It makes a lot of sense to me – and I think I am very much into the former habit… of necessity, having so often to leave works underway midway and never return to them. (and not only about writing. Just in general when I get going and do something I’m often surprised at how easy it was, and quick, to  do it; compared to the amount of time I spent worrying about getting it done, imagining it, putting it off. Action is hard for me to come by, often … Yet I do save myself a lot of trouble often by sitting and thinking.)

Anyway, it’s time to finish some things, turn them out. The Womanspirit deadline is Nov. 1. One of the topics for the winter issue is Suicide. I’d like to write something for them, have begun, of course, in here and in my last journal. I need to look over what I’ve written, think about what else there is to write, etc. but I also need to write in my journal for my own sake, new stuff, more of the endless raw material that pours forth. Ah, well, tonight is only the first of many nights – many nights leave time for many things, tangren. Breathe.

I don’t know why I expected it of myself jumping into heavy writing – How could I expect to be centered – so much has happened lately – and just coming home from having been away and just coming off of being with other people into solitude.

… That’s one thing. It’s wonderful to see Tee Corinne get her mail, several letters and envelopes – connections to the creating of women’s culture – several a day – more than come through my life in a year to talk with her and Caroline about relating and creative work – Tee says not to view them as necessarily opposed – to look at things the relationship is giving you, the sources of creativity and confidence.

Yes, well, there’s good advice in that …and yet, it is a different thing to be a writer and a photographer. And it’s a different thing to be me writing than anybody else – and the amount of internality required to do what I have to do just does mean solitude. Tee can take Caroline into her darkroom, have he sitting in her workroom reading. (“Caroline knows how to give solitude even when she’s around.” That’s true.)

But I need real solitude – am I wrong about this? Remember Martha, Martha talking about “cunning” (Robert Bly’s word) in the doing of writing –Cunning required to get solitude. Remember Martha affirming the importance of solitude. So – Tee can help but she is different from you, too.

I can’t help it, it’s exciting to know her.

She took a roll of pictures of me just before I left. Relax. Breathe. “I’ll be taking pictures of you for the next 20 or 30 years, so you might as well get use to it.” She used up a whole roll of film – “a person can’t stay nervous forever.”


What a month this has been. After drenching rain the last half of September, the weather has turned beautiful. Sunshine, warmth. No storms have come to strip the leaves from the trees, and their colors have never been so beautiful, the yellows and golds and reds lit by the sun. everything is in full color and yet in this magic moment not a leaf has yet fallen. It is such a pleasure to go anywhere.


Well, I see by some notes I took at Sandra’s workshop on Astrology and Feminism that this past weekend Jupiter touches the Moon in the chart of the birth of the 19th Amendment, which she’s been using as the chart of the women’s movement.

Well, anyway,

women’s culture       and the moon

and Jupiter, the planet of expansion,

the social sphere,

so … expansion into the larger social realm – yes. Exciting contacts with Martha, Tee, Caroline, other women, stimulating.


Oct 26, Sunday is the date now, but I’ll try to go on with the chronicle of the last weekend… I’m hoping to write other things tonight, actually. Only a few more days to go before the deadline for Womanspirit, and I so much want to have something ready for them on suicide; also on Planetary Suicide, Diablo, Abalone, etc, etc. So many :”etcs” I don’t know where to start sorting them all down. various pressures ,too – doing everything besides writing – making yogurt, stacking firewood, mending the dress Marcella wants to wear for Halloween. And when I do finally come to write, the question of which to work on – to try, finally to work on writing about D’s death, or to try to sort through what I’ve already written, or to write in the journal, catch up with myself.


Mulling over what Tee has said and understanding that I would never finish the article before Marcella arrived the next day, I did accomplish something: wrote the little poem about the space ship. It made me feel so good about finishing something that I got a great burst of energy and have taken on and finished a good many things, since, none of them literary.

However, I did go for walks these last two days and get a lot of wood stacked and the laundry done and the costume worked on and my birthday here and gone.

Spent my birthday Thursday exactly as I wished – by myself here at home. Mom, Sarah, Summer, John and David all called to say “Happy Birthday”. John brought Marcella up in the evening; we sat and talked a while about very old times for us ‘The Side”  and his old girlfriends he was just over when we met. “The side,” I said, “that’s where you told me you have been born with a silver spoon in your mouth.”  “Yes,” he said, “that’s an old German phrase.”  … So, that explains it, twenty years later … almost to the day. That was the first time we ever spent together; the first time we met outside or German class. We tell Marcella what it was like, the dark wood, the narrow balcony ringing the place, lined with tiny booths… I am glad of our relationship now, and proud of it.

Well, anyway, it must have been Friday then I at least wrote the poem.

And I wrote another poem last Monday night at Martha Courtot’s. if I can take credit for it – almost all of the words were contributed by other women, on a list hat read “Words that Move like Flowers in the Wind”  we each got a piece of paper with a list category on it – it got sent all around the circle, each woman adding a word. Then we made them into a poem. I used all the words.


Flowers that Move like words in the Wind

Miffed carnations whisper discontents

like pollen into the air

carried wosh! by breezes bending

poppies of alliteration softly

rippling           flowing           undulate

rhapsody       leaving

marigolds       marveling


Marcella’s poem that she told me on the evening of my birthday: It came, she said, as if she were not writing it – writing itself faster than she could write it down:


Who believes in fairies?

Neither you nor I,

But maybe someone little

Way up in the sky


Someone who flies high

On little tiny wings

And sits upon a holly branch

And sings and sings and sings


Someone who is little

Someone who is shy

Someone who is mischievous

And very very sly


Someone who is full of fun

Someone who loves moon and sun

Someone who is never scary.

Could that person be a fairy?


Well,  think I’ve talked about everything else. Will I ever talk about Dianne? Two things to write, really. About her death a year ago; and about the poem she sent me last week. And about my dream the night she died.

Wanting to write at least some of this for the Womanspirit article on suicide – and yet all of it is so terribly personal to me and the only one of importance to speeak to is myself. (Actually, it does feel more like speek at the moment, it’s so hard to squeeze anything out in the way of words. I am a little* frightened of beginning. (* quantitatively, several hours, 10 or so puffs, 1/2 ql)

Also, the matter of just having written to her mother – speaking my heart to her – but being, oh so careful, as I must. It touches a different part of me that speaks deeply to myself. Also, in attempting to share what was happening with me with Sarah and later Tee and Caroline – it just couldn’t mean to any of them what it meant to me.


Oh, the private life is the long, thick tree

And the private lie is the life for me.

Gertrude Stein


Oh, Dianna of the Rashamons


I did a hundred things that day and towards evening came across the picture – Maxwell Parish – and put it out to have to look at it once again. Purple shadows.

Then I found my winter clothes, and decided on the blue pantsuit with a high collared femmy blouse – for the faculty meeting next day – the only time in years I’ve worn it. How odd it felt, this costume, this coming transit to faculty meeting after a half year away. About the private life, see, you are not leading it right now too perfectly – you are writing things to explain even as you make a commendable effort at getting a running start on this jump: let me say two things

A} You could write about suicide for this issue and write nothing at all about Dianne – or at least not the definitive work… another year would do as well. Your problem really is that you have way too much to say. Maybe. What’s their longest article?


B} You can always write this more than once itself. You’ve been waiting a long time to write this down

to write

how after I found the faculty disguise, … I built a small fire and lay down before it to prepare my body for resting. I was about half way through the yoga stretches when the phone rang.


I see I’ve written all of this better around the time it happened.


Write down a gender-changed version of

Magic is afoot, God is alive.”

Did she cut her wrists?”

No. She shot herself. In the heart. They said she died instantly.”


Well, after sitting before the fire thinking all those first thoughts

And finding though all the thoughts and wonderings and feelings –

⒊Now I’ll never get to send her what I wrote her” I said to Sue – almost first – but coming very quickly to the understanding that “Now, she’s read it anyway….” Not seeing it through that veil of anger, but in the light of perfect peace and completion about all that.

Imagining how it would feel to be making very clear of the location of one’s heart – a life and death matter –

Knowing that now I am more free to write about her than I ever was when she was alive … A hundred memories of her, loving, defenseless, funny, angry and rejecting…



A A Milne: “Prince Rabbit”

The riddle: The answer:

rasberry or doormouse

as in bronx rasberry

or a in sour and sweet at once

or consider doormouse:

The doormouse is asleep again,” said the Hatter and he poured a little hot tea onto its nose. The d. shook its head impatiently and said, without opening its eyes, “of course, of course … just what I was going to remark myself.”

“Have you guessed the riddle yet,” said the Hatter.

“No, I give it up,” Alice replied. “What’s the answer?”

“I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the H.

“Nor I,” said the M. H.

Alice sighed wearily. “I think you could do something better with the time than about riddles that have no answers.”


Think about exploring Caroline a an editor. … Maybe have her edit or suggest re WS article.


Tell Dad to watch for good log for making a wood cradle.


Solstice presents:

Some tapes for Ruth and Jean

Mine and musical: Jeritree, Mellow Morning Program

Ask Tee about the technique of doing self portraits in the mirror.

Inquire about longer trigger cord for camera.


Tree placement:

1 or 2 .. say, Maples below shed



Chair from David’s – string


To turn shed into cabin

(1) Find another storage, workshop space.

(2)                                 Under front deck, solar thermal system


Jars – a solar water heater. Optional – shutters to cover in summer


{Typist’s Note: There is a page with drawings of layouts for making the shed into a cabin.}


Monday Night –

How will I ever get to this writing? Stayed up most of the night to do it. No distractions. A day spent in solitude and taking it easy. Still, I just can’t seem to do it. Finally took the one ql I had saved for over a year … Seems that more than anything it put me in touch with my own body … I did some enthusiastic yoga stretches – my body energy seemed very mobilized – I danced and sang a lot – understood a lot of things like the doormouse riddle and how to covert the shed into a unique, independent living space, but could no bring myself to a place of being able to write about Dianne. Finally went to sleep about four, slept until two in the afternoon. Up, oatmeal, my stomach not feeling too well, tired. Back to bed. Up again at six – Well, at least I can say I am on a night schedule. But now here I am again on the wrong end of the tunnel, how to get back to that place where I think and feel.

It’s so much easier to have good ideas than it is to do something about them.


What about fear

What a sudden blockage

I called Beaver. You’ve got to empty your mind, she said, so it can flow through you. She prescribed taking “the word that means the most to you, whether it’s God or Peace or Holiness or whatever, and keep bringing your mind back to it. We agreed to do a quiet time and latihan. The word that came was “Home” and with it a remembrance of what I’d written of Dianne in Beyond Judgement. One could begin with that …. Home … Home … Home … hear the OM? Home where we always are … Home

How can I be Home and write?

How can I be Home? That’s the only question. Writing cannot be more important than being home or it all goes wrong. Maybe you’ve let writing become too important…? Or is it “not important enough?”  and if I only had the to trust – this deadline is scaring me. And the thought of speaking to others on this matter is so deeply personal to me. Well, one solution that occurs to me then is not to write about Dianne for Womanspirit this time – you could easily write a whole article and never mention her. Or mention her once or twice         And then you will free to write about her to yourself, for yourself, for now at least.

So your article could be about all that other stuff you mentioned when you wrote at the cabin. Which leaves you free to write about Dianne for yourself tonight – or not to. Tonight may not be the night.

Oh, the tedious hours and says spent pursuing the muse – clearing, quieting, processing, feeling into the body – writing as shammanism is exhausting.


Listening to Emotive-Metaphysical Utterances I hear again Joan Baez read the cummings poem I gave to her, beginning “when your face appeared over my crumpled life, at first I understood only the poverty of what I had had. Then its particular light on woods and meadows on the sea became my beginning in the colored world in which I had not had my beginning.”

And ending “I am conscious that the minutes are short, and that the colors in my eyes will vanish when your face sets.”

Will that happen?” I asked, from my fear. She smiled “They won’t vanish.”


And so they have not. Tonight in latihan I thought of all the other women in my life since then, and all the surprises I could not have imagine then.


I can’t seem to get over the fear at starting to write about it maybe I will begin: it’s just the expectation that this will create great literature that paralyzes me, I don’t feel that much in touch with my feelings – I am afraid of simply parodying myself. … I keep adding more to the mix: a little more caffeine, vitamin C, smoke, cookie, my ritual propitiating all my fears. How did they get so much power? How inarticulate I feel tonight – when I am inarticulate with other people it’s a sure sign I need solitude and time to think things over, that in the situation as I perceive them defining it leaves no room to say what I need to say.

Well, not everyone has been able to solve the journal a private space-vs-shared space dilemma – lots of people keep their journal writing and their public writing separate.

(It’s a new art form,” said Vivian “Inventing a way to share your life experience in ways that are entertaining and interesting and moving to people. It’s a totally new art form.”

Well, shucks, I guess it is. Nice to be seen. Ruth and Jean have said similar things.


But anyway, why am I inarticulate tonight when I’ve been alone for a long enough time? When Sandra comes home tomorrow I have been alone, but the thought of this article has me Buffalo-ed, the thought of trying to speak publicly, ex nihilo about the death of Dianne. I’ve said I could take myself off the hook about that so what’s still in the way? A being off center because part of my head is trying to start ex nihilo  as an article must which keeps me from being able to remember myself who I have been in moments past and what I have come to know. Why do I get to caught up in the mind-space of my audience? You may well ask? Perhaps I ought to pray daily for strength in my own vision.

Announcement in W.S. – some future issue. I am currently compiling material for a book on Dreams and Visions of Death and Dying. It is my belief that our dreams are one of the places we find new myths new images in which to speak to ourselves of death – to heal and to come to peace through vision. So I am beginning to collect stories of dreams and/or visions about death and dying. Where possible, I want our voices t speak for themselves. Send reports of dreams, what you see them as meaning if you want to say, poems, tapes, artwork, etc. to:

P.S. Though I don’t intend to limit my search to women only, it is especially important to me to hear women’s visions, and I expect the large majority of the sources will be women.


Yes – why not float a balloon, see what kind of response you get. But can I invest energy there? The right time is when it becomes important to me to have another income source.


Letter to publishers. Here is my book. I have printed it myself the first time round, to make sure I could create exactly what it was I needed to create. However, distribution is a problem.

A} So I offer you rights to the second printing in return for distribution


B} Distribution is not so big a problem as you thought. Why did those articles on women starting their own business come your way? Just tonight? Maybe, indeed, tangren, becoming a writer you do have a lot of pentacles fascinating things to think about too.

Libré could research the historical part. Would mostly be contemporary, though.

Could be a chapbook of sorts, a book to open anywhere and find something interesting. Could advertise in Ms. Of maybe get an article?

Well, anyway, you don’t have any dire need for money at the moment, do you? Only a plethora of other projects –

Winter projects – edit tape of Grandma for family for Xmas.

Grandma’s death and visions – actually, visions of death and dying are best seen when woven into the cloth of other concerns, daily life and all that. That book sounds a little like a diet of candy only. If it were read sequentially, of course. Still, it could be good and an idea nearer to something publishers recognize as an area of public interest. Of course, being very much in the public eye is not something you relish. There might be easier ways to make a living.


Writing project – note to Julia and Sarah. Yes it’s time. If they aren’t publishing it, or even if they are, offer it to Thyme and Womanspirit.


Letter to women’s newspapers about offering fiction sections. Serialized autobiographies,etc.

Sometime before too long I’ve got a bout of pentacles writing to do, and will probably be energized to clear some of it out of the way. Well, OK, you want perfection, to write exactly the books you need to write – edited journals. That is a big project – and you probably do need some practice in sorting out and making smaller doable things – and I have – another poem jelled last night – the flowers one – so after years of not having anything I’d call a poem I now have two to send around.  Just call it practice in “playing writer.

Anyway, it will probably help if you can just sit down and start editing a journal – pick any one, begin at the beginning or the middle, admit to yourself that you’re writing volume N out of order, promise yourself you’ll write a synopsis later and begin in the middle.

So much to think about, waking up as a writer again. Solitude seems mandatory: Sandra seems to be enjoying her stay in the cabin at Bud and Tina’s –  she’s getting in a phone to the cabin, getting in firewood, lining up work for Bud and Tina, and in two weeks will be going back with her camper (which has kitchen and many supplies.) so she seems to be setting herself up there to write and enjoy some time by herself. I know it will be good and strengthening for her to take that much solitude, and there’s no better gift she could give me than in affirming a strong and happy self away from me. For what I need to do, vast amounts of hermithood, hermitude are needed.

And when we spend less time together we send the time together in intense ways – though intensity itself takes time.


Home                         Home                         Home                         Home

Home                                                                                                                                                 HOMe                                                                                                                                      hOMe                                                                                           hOMe


Will I ever begin to write about Dianne and the letter?

Maybe best to read some to get in touch with myself:



Monday afternoon, then,   {October 25, 2006}

Was it that short a time ago?

A week ago today

After finding out that I wasn’t needed to go to the doctor with Mom, I gradually packed for an overnight trip to Wolf Creek – it’s hard to remember about packing – I almost forget the toothbrush – Then to call Sarah and Chia to tell them I’ll be by for them momentarily –

Stopping by the mailbox on my way out, there’s one letter, for me from Greenwood, Nova Scotia. It takes a minute to realize this is a letter from Dianne’s mother. And she has sent the poem. I read them over a couple of times, but couldn’t really let myself feel them at the moment,

Luckily Chia has driven Deborah and loves to drive her. So I can lie down in the back seat and read them over and cry as much as I need to, Cradled in Deborah, as the tree tops flash by, Hoping my friends in the front seat are understanding how god it is to cry, how well I am becoming.

Well, first of all, her mother has sent the letter to MR Tangren Alexander … that had not occurred to me. But it was a very open letter.



The hour latens and still I have not written it. Soon the night will be over. I can’t help feeling a little like a vampire snarling in startled interruption by the first rays of the daylight.



3:30 in the morning, Friday morning {October 29 ?, 1981}

Was up all night last night – I mean Wednesday night- (but :”last night” like “yester day”)

I finally did it, write a long thing about Dianne – Got so turned on to writing.* I want to go on tonight, to fill in more of the story

yet, re the making of a work:

While there is more to the story, and it’s all very interesting, still– more than 29 pages of straight Dianne may not be the best way to do it. You’ve got more than enough for a Womanspirit article now. It’s just that there’s so much more inside of you. But in practical terms it may be better to polish what you have. Still, the letters and the poem are all part of the story.

However, in your own creative energy you may be bursting with the thing to tell, the telling of ‘Dianne          or not.

Hold Nothing Back – Now – You can always rethink it later. Just write.


I had become so sensitive to the rhythm of words that when I listened to the news or talked to John or Marcella, I’d pick up rhythms in what they said, rewrite what came next to carry on the rhythm.


Having contacted her mother is really a worry in some ways. One of the things you also thought early on was how her death freed you now to tell her story. But if it’s something her mother or parents read and want suppressed? Well, the rest of the things that came to you that night were true visions – Perhaps it’s still true – that the telling of her story is one of the  “phoenix seeds singing for freedom” that night. Come on, tangren, don’t get hung up on that worry. You’ll think of some elegant solution.

Fame will not come upon you overnight, never fear.


Anyway, about the idea of “Dianne” as a novella, it would work, perhaps, but really why not just let the pieces rest where they lie..

You see, what you really need to do is to write “Sense and Sinsemilla”, (“La Plume de Ma Tante”?)

The Autobiography of Deborah Carr”

Yes, a picture from the inside, from the driver’s seat would be good. Or out the front windshield – try taking it from the back. If you print it yourself you can put photographs where you want.  and All the Rest of Them, Too.


And to tape a series of readings to be figured out how to distribute later. Just make it happen.


But anyway as I was saying, Submitting things to sinister Wisdom, Womanspirit, etc. is good for exposure, etc., still, ultimately, the magazine article is not your ultimate form. The book, the tape, they are. (Well, never call anything “ultimate”.)


Black and White Photography


Deborah Carr

Picture of “Dream Wife”


Color slides

“Deborah Kerr”



My, I’m sneezing – sneezing –

But I’m also having a good time. How I love writing. But I’ll never be able to write all those books if I don’t clean off my desk! I’m tempted to start another desk in the bedroom – but how would I ever get to my other desk then?


Nov 1, 1981


This too shall not pass.

Ask Tee: SASE: for Ms or not? Lesbian Herstory Archives



300 words per page/longest article


Deskwork: order LL:CL start with issue #1. Tell them where you saw it.


Thank you                 Thank you                 Thank you


Nov 16 {1981} about 3;00 in the morning

Got up about two hours ago Latihaning with Beaver yesterday I realized my throat hurt and that I felt very tired. I’d spent the day reading a book I’d borrowed from Marcella, “Autumn Street”, by Lois Lowry, the woman who wrote “A Summer to Die”. Quite a revelation about what can be in a children’s book. Marcella by now understands what good writing is; it’s been fun to read through Zena Henderson’s  Pilgrimage with her as we have done recently – when I chuckle or exclaim over a particularly felicitous phrasing, she’s been enjoying it, too. There has been a lot of rain lately. Friday was a terrific wind-and-rain storm; a particularly lovely time to be inside by the fire watching and hearing it. We both had to be out in it; I went down to pick up Marcella at the library after school but missed her. Did a couple of errands and hurried home hoping to catch her, but just caught a glimpse of her walking down the driveway as I drove in. She was soaked; her legs didn’t feel as though they could possibly be human flesh.

But we dried her off, stirred up the fire and made some hot ovaltine; and she seemed none the worse for the wear. That night we watched the Deborah Kerr movie Libré had taped for me while I was gone to Rootworks. ‘The Eye of the Devil” – a late movie; poor Deborah, running around an old castle looking scared. A role of absolute helplessness in a world that conspires to disempower her. Poor Deborah, that that’s the best the world could find to do with her talents. “Sounds like she needs a new script,” says Sandra.

Friday and Saturday during the days I stacked wood when it wasn’t raining, got most of it stacked and under cover. Went for a walk around the hill Saturday. By evening I was too tired to read much with Marcella, but Sunday morning was rainy again so she couldn’t ride. We tended the leaks under her skylight again, built a fire in the kitchen stove, made french toast, and spent a couple of hours after breakfast reading, finished Pilgrimage. After she left, I picked up Autumn Street and didn’t put it down till I’d read it through, chastising myself a but; but when the heroine came down with a sore throat the feelings were somehow familiar. Guess I’m battling a bug.

Well, that’s the simple part to write about, the past few days. Before that I was at Rootworks for a few days, working on WomanSpirit. And before that spent some time with Sandra and some alone working on typing and a final editing on  the Raga Dianne. (I had less time than I needed to do that and to take care of other pressing matters, because of having spent so much time with Sandra at the beginning of the week; got very tired then, with no time to recover before going to Rootworks.) and before that was the wonderful Halloween night with Tee and Caroline. And before that I was finally in the nick of time having wonderful creative breakthroughs – wrote the Raga Dianne. The copy place was having a sale, so I made a couple of little books from my manuscript; and in the bargain invented a birthday card for Caroline/Halloween card. Such a great feeling, actually doing something – and as you do it, new ideas come along as to how to do it better… such fun.

Writing the Raga Dianne, whose name only came to me after the piece was finished, was an intense experience, realizing I had ten times too much about suicide for a Womanspirit article, I decided to just put together a few things and write them through, and see how long it was – a nice way to start, copying thru a lot of stuff that was essentially there already got me to a place to go on. I don’t remember if it took one night or two – I only know that one morning the sun had already come up when I sat there writing through the last part about the dream, working and reworking, finding that the more closely I described the events of the dream, the more it came out many-leveled poetry.

And now – oh, I keep having the feeling there are still impossible obstacles to my time, but perhaps there aren’t. “How many pages have you written?” Beaver asked today.  Had to say “only 25,” but wanted to explain how I’d not only written them but typed and retyped and proofed and corrected and pasted up and done the graphics and lettering. Still, it is only 25. There is so much more even to that story, (though Tee, when I said that, said ‘But that’s what art is; making a small part speak for a whole.”) and there are so many other stories in me. Do it, Tangren.

Also, today just finished George Wicke’s biography of Natalie Barney. I had put off reading it for a long time because it was written by a man. I found his account surprisingly understanding and sympathetic, and fell in love with Natalie.  I am glad she became famous in spite of her dictum: “Fame is to become known to those one has no wish to know.” She might have liked to know me, and, at any rate, I am benefiting greatly from knowing her. Today I read through her later years and death. In her nineties she fell in love again, with a woman in her fifties. And her loves remained, loves, or friends, or in devotion to their memories. How I wish there were more of her writings available in translation! Wickes is as I said, nevertheless, he scarcely knew her. How much more interesting it would be to read her own account. And, as usual, it’s frustrating it’s inevitably a man who is writing and publishing and getting paid for it all.


Today will be the women’s action at the Pentagon. Our hearts are with them.


Well, I’m still in love with my latest piece of writing … As usual. “unblinking eyes” I think – how perfect to describe a doll, and the vision which avoids nothing, which looks at all of it – I didn’t realize all of that when I put it in; I just though about Jackie and how she looked.

Anyway, though I’d like to be hurrying on to be creative tonight, or to do the ultimate reading of the Raga Dianne, if I am tired, I can see why, looking at it,  and “working on my writing, however wonderful it is, is still not the same thing as writing in here. I’ve missed you, I feel a real need to visit with you and catch you up on some of the things that have been happening in my life. It will help me remember them myself. I feel bottled up and am only now beginning to remember the mental and physical housecleaning and ordering that for me seems to be necessary before I can touch down deeply with my creativity.

–    She writes. … But she fills up her pipe and takes a toke. Why?

–          Well, she’s feeling very moral, really, not having smoked in many a day for one reason she was at Rootworks and later in various forms of purgatory. Had a terrible “bust dream” at Rootworks – at the end, I remember, contemplating the reality of jail ahead. I was saying to myself philosophically, well, I guess this means I’m not suppose to smoke dope for a while. Maybe I’ll get into meditation instead.

Wish I could take that advice, she writes, exhaling her third puff. My lungs do not feel at all well, and my throat, as I mentioned, is already sore on its own.

I wonder why Dianne’s mother hasn’t written. There are several possibilities, to be sure.

You do have a habit of writing letters that are difficult to answer.

Because 1) your correspondent may feel that nothing short of poetry is a proper reply

2) you tend to raise some touchy topics, but allude to them so lightly. Trudy may be wondering whether you did or did not come out to her. And if she perceives that you did, she may have some things to think through about her daughter. Anyway, she has her own life to worry about, too, and you already indicated to her that you trust to timing. But I just hope that what I did was not wrong. I see myself still making mistakes every day; and on days like today it’s hard not to agonize over every one. And when I’m at my highest and most reaching I still am not immune from them – in fact, I tend to wince the most at some of what I can do then. I get so full of self. Well, I know some compassion for myself is probably in order; I do mean well, and my friends probably know that. I do mean well, Trudy, Dianne. Surely, Trudy, you could not mistake the love. Still, she may be jealous of whatever intimacy I had with Dianne; it must hurt to know that D. had talked to me about the possibility of ending her own life long perhaps before she – Trudy – realized it was possible. T. may also be asking herself how well she does want to get to know her daughter. And I do feel to some extent bound by what D. chose not to reveal to her parents – though death changes some of those considerations.

Well, I must be on my way to getting centered; I am starting to make lists:

Tomorrow”                 “When the rain stops”



And I would also like to make a list of things I need to tend to – and projects pending


My body: yoga, garlic lemon honey, sleep, rest, less smoke

Raggedy Anne’s body: fix her arms (one is in a sling right now)

Put a face on under hers

And while you’re sewing, make some curtains.

Deborah Carr’s body: get alignment, have Jean Patty fix shifting gearshift. Change to winter tire, but 2 new ones?

The house: Chimney cleaned; skylight caulked.

Life: laundry, dishes, eventually have Gma’s clock repaired, water plants; work on stuff in     closet, desk really cleaned

Enabling tools: tape recorders gradually fixed.


A lot of this takes money. All of this takes time, I feel so impatient! When do I get to return to my love, my writing?


You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned Sandra. Luckily she seems inclined to accept that I need solitude and to take care of other business just now. And it’s a good time for her to do so, too. She needs to manifest some money. And Charles is just leaving for two weeks, so she’ll have a kitchen and bath a well as her little cubbyhole behind the furnace. It’s hard sometimes to banish her there, but mostly it’s just hard to let her go for fear something will happen and we will never find that closeness again. I know this is an irrational fear, in its proportions, yet things like that have happened to me. Still, the colors didn’t fade, and new forms of love and intimacy appear ever in my life.

(At Rootworks, as I worked on my piece, one of the things I pondered was how to put down that I lived in Ashland, Oregon, as they would usually have done, using my format for my name. Anyway, that night I dreamed putting down that Dianne lived in Phoenix.


Note to future biographer: Phoenix is a small town down towards Medford. Among other things, of course.)


A good idea anytime and fairly easy: work on tables of content for your journals.


Farther future

Write about meeting Deborah Kerr


Farther future

write through one book

or several




But the list I really want to make is about writing.          Projects


Pentacles – more or less –

Write to Julia & Co. re Jan 1980

Send Jan 1980 to Susan Griffin

& to Thyme


Read The Raga Dianne and The Box


Recopy or patch parts of The Raga Dianne.

Send copies to Sue Libré   Sarah Sandra               Thyme       Hannah         Yourself   Carol C.   One to pass around, or two. One to keep maybe sometime to send to Deborah.



That’s 10, why don’t you make 13?


6:00 and still dark. What wonderful long velvet nights. And when it’s raining I feel so safe even with no curtains. No one’s likely to lurking around in a downpour. And how the creek roars in the canyon – a real presence in the night. There’s been so little rain this year – we can’t afford another dry winter – so lots of us are glad. I wonder how animals feel about the rain? Do they just huddle, wet and miserable? Or do they have a better way of coping?


And congratulations Tangren for getting on an night schedule. But C – for smoking a whole pipeful and considering another one – for what? Haven’t you the patience not to have reached  ecstasy (see spelling list) ec stasia, get it?

Probably if you need to get even better acquainted with yourself you should be reading not writing. One thing I like about N.B. is that she saw no need to fictionalize – To report on one’s own life was after all, all the more interesting for having actually been lived. But perhaps it is also instructive how at the moment her literary estate is all tied up because of objections from the heirs and relatives of the people involved and the general touchiness of the subject. I do wonder if I am under some sort of obligation to let D’s parent know and if they would try to stop my writing if they knew. If she is even now pondering the question. Or if she still feels we have “a meeting of mind and soul” between two who love Dianne. Well, Deborah just said ‘you know I don’t hate you’ on my tape.               Consider the possibility.      possible.


5;30 Tuesday morning

Went to bed around 7:00, got up at 3:30. What a stopper-of-momentum sleep is. I feel I was much more in-the-flow yesterday afternoon, tired as I was – there was more energy and focus than there is now after being up for two hours, even after mj. and coffee and a bath. If I could only learn not to let sleeping take me so far off the track. Strange that it did, actually, in that I felt a good deal of satisfaction sleeping. Can’t say what I dream or if I dreamed – I think Caroline was involved. … Mostly I just remember images of satisfaction, organization, things being ordered rightly..

But how to take hold again in the “real world”? Well, there are differences between now and last evening. There you were in the flow of the practical world making phone calls, etc. now you are asking yourself whether you can return to art. Whether you an do a reading of The Raga Dianne or The Box         both needed.


There was not one word tonight about the Women’s Action at the Pentagon – on public radio – though on Sunday they talked about how it was going to happen.



Nov 20, 1981

Dear Diary,

Well, Sandra and Chia may be headed towards becoming lovers. Or, rather, maybe I should say to being friends who are opening up to sexuality together.

-Got this far in writing, when Sandra called –


Anyway, so far they’ve only slept together a couple of times and talked about it. But they plan to go to California together when S. goes in December to see her kids, and it seems pretty clear to me that it will happen that they’ll begin to make love.

I’m having a little harder time with this than I expected I would. – Or maybe it’s just my chemistry / own internal changes at the moment. Wednesday, the day she had told me they had slept together the night before, I’d been having a hard time anyway – after a couple of nights of sailing, my long days had landed me back on a day schedule. Wishing I could be creative, not wanting to stop the hit from working on my writing, but with a fistful of lists, a clear day to caulk the skylight, a desiccating harvest to take care of etc. etc. and the pressure of its being my last day alone for a while..


November 25, Wednesday Very Early in the Morning 1981

Trying to start rewriting – or, how should I put it – reinscribing it? Writing it through in my own handwriting one last time. There have been a few changes since I last did it. – nearly a month ago now and nothing much seems furthered…. Hard to say what I have done since I got back from Rootworks.

I’m champing at the bit to get this one last write-through done; and yet I can’t seem to get very centered to do it. How can other people just “sit down and write” three hours a day or whatever? Trying so hard not to grab the pipe in my hurry / anxiety. My lungs feel rather  … rotten. Terrible at the moment. I think I’ve only had three pipefuls since I came back from Rootworks and still just that had made my lungs feel this way. I just can’t really smoke at all.

Not at all centered. Sandra has been here – Sunday night, Monday, Monday night – took her home around noon yesterday. Picked her up again for latihan this evening. trying to concentrate on latihan, taking a look at her writing – I was miffed when I picked her up because she was a little late and I was trying to coordinate timing with Beaver and Lavinnia by phone. Feeling impatient, upset – not really wanting to / knowing how to handle interpersonal stuff just then. Painful – after how close we had been that very morning, and the day before. We finally did talk it out, enough I think.

Chia is coming here for Thanksgiving. Will it be now? Will it be ever? I would guess it will be now. (But then I guessed Chia’s birthday and I was wrong.) (As I found out in that phone call a few pages back.) So hard, but worth struggling for, as they say. Non-monogamy, that is. Funny, tonight I was asking Sandra about Chia’s next visit. “She’ll be coming here for Thanksgiving.” “Oh, and how long will she be staying?” I asked, as casually as I could. (Vivian is there too, and I don’t want to give away the significance of the question.

Anyway, as she answered, “I guess she’ll be here the weekend” I realized I’d slipped my foot up the stove to where it was terribly hot and burned myself, asking that question.

“How symbolic” I wanted to laugh to Sandra – but she was seeming glum and distant and I couldn’t explain with Vivian there.

But that’s just what I’m afraid of – wracking on the shoals of my own jealousy, pull-backs or whatever. I was rather surprised how hard it has been sometimes … My fears. I really do believe in freedom and I don’t need any more time from Sandra than she is sure I’ll continue to get. And I don’t believe in dependency or possessiveness – it’s so clear to me that we always remain separate persons, each with many loves. And so often I’ve been on the other side, and it’s been so clear to me that one love opens into another – that nothing is taken away from A by loving B also. And even at the moment I have many loves, if only one lover.

Yet I have also been very hurt in opening up this way. John and Connie has left its scars, I find, in the form of fears, fears of becoming the odd person out, fears of inadequacy, fear of fear. It probably comes from having been monogamous together for so long – not by agreement but by the unfoldment of our lives. I’ve had “the best of both worlds.” “What’s the matter with you, tangren? You know you’re not that weak and dependent.” Yes, but I also feel I’m not through learning what I have to learn from her, and in a corner of my mind Art Garfunkle sings “Endings always come too fast.” “I don’t want it to end yet!” I said. “Neither do I,” she said; “
so let’s not do that.” So simple.

Later when I was seeing her face up close and beautiful, I couldn’t help think that while I know other women think she’s attractive, still, there is a kind of beauty she has, soft and open and up close like this, this is when she is most beautiful. So far these looks of hers have been my secret; shared perhaps with lovers (and children) safely in the past – a nice bond between us, after all, I’ve felt – between those of us who have known the secret of how lovely she can be.

Still, for here and now this beauty has been my little secret; looking at her just now I suddenly felt a little jealous to think of Chia seeing it too. “Then Chia will be looking at you seeing how beautiful you are; and you’ll be seeing how beautiful she is ….” … “Yes?,” said Sandra, “… and so?” Well I couldn’t really think what was wrong with that, come to think of it.

Well, it is  all an adjustment “…and.” I said to Libré Friday, “there’s just a certain kind of visceral shock … a kind of unreasoning elemental shock to its actually happening – a little as it might feel to learn that your daughter had lost her virginity.’

“Well,” she said, ‘I think it’s just as you guess … you need to experience it and feel it working this time.”


At first it was so hard to perceive her as Chia’s lover; to feel that if Chia was her lover then I could not be.

That perception backed by forty years of reinforcement that if a person was someone else’s lover then they could not be yours.

But even as I felt the pain I knew that that’s just the reason or part of it, that I will not chose to participate in couple-ness, exclusivity. I will not add to that sort of loneliness in the world.

and yet we do lose something – there are some nice things about the kind of intimacy and trust that being someone’s exclusive lover brings about. But to agree to it, to commit …

Shortly before all this came up,  I remember a conversation with Sandra by the fire. About Deborah Kerr. “Sometimes I think it’s not really fair, Sandra, that I so vastly appreciate Deborah Kerr. I suppose that really you are probably are a much more aware and loving a person than she is. I guess it’s that she has seniority….”

Sandra hugged me with her smile. “Tangren,” she said, “don’t ever fall in love with  anybody who won’t let you go off into the sunset with Deborah Kerr. … That’s just part of loving you…”

And there’s Trudy Verbieren, Dianne’s mother. I was becoming a little anxious at not hearing from her … I believe I’ve recorded a bit of that. Anyway, just as I was taking Sandra home yesterday there was a letter from her in the mailbox. The delay was a matter of slow mail and the fact that she had some color prints made for me – two paintings done by Dianne that last summer, and a color copy of the poem.

And after she had told me about the cats and the squirrels and the chipmunks she said

So glad you turned out to be a woman. Narda and I were sure your name was John. I asked some members of the Eng dept if they knew you, guess I miss asking the Greesens. Couldn’t find any address in the apartment. I thought of you then and felt you should know. Strange, isn’t it, how one’s mind can function in grief.”

⒊So glad you turned out to be a woman.” And what she said afterward, not at all denying the importance we may have had to each other.

And, do you know, she said she does look very much like Dianne. How funny.

Trust tangren. Trust to the flow.

It’s been so hard tonight not to smoke. Not to try that last ultimate step, that hope for that rush, that wonderful feeling of zoning in on home.

Forcing myself to patience while panicking that Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and then Marcella until Sunday and where has this week gone? I need more solitude – How can I be so fearful about Chia. Well, of course, basically I’m not, I guess. I never wanted to take it on to be anybody’s staff of life. What I mean is I could really use more time alone and if she and Chia should keep each other warm, keep each other high, keep each other feeling love and beautiful

while I stretch out for a long visit with myself and my writing and my house

well, all the better, it seems to me.

Funny … you can hear morning come. That’s how I first notice it. The sound does not change, it’s only the roaring of Lithia Creek, the crackling of the fire – but somehow there comes a moment when you hear the sound change, the creek sound muffles, moves further away, as if the air had thickened.

“Oh, it’s started,” you think; you look, the faint outline of the hills is again visible, just. Another moment, another shift of sound – and the sky is lighter still.

Morning seems really to come, not smoothy, but in a series of small, smooth quantum leaps.

A few rushes of erotic feeling. Sandra could be just in bed now, perhaps she is touching herself and thinking of me.

Twice. The last two times we’ve been together, she’s taken me from a glum state to a state of happy trust and relaxation.

I don’t seem like two different people to you? How can you want to make love to this one?

Oh, when I see you so sad and things being so hard, I just want to put my fingers into you. I just feel like ‘Here. Let me comfort you. Maybe this’ll help.’”

She also said, “Everyone needs to feel loved. And since you are loved, it’s good for you to feel it.”

Well, I guess I needed to write in here. I can tend to making yogurt or getting in firewood without centering in first but I do not seem to be able to approach my newest world-child without first getting reacquainted with myself in the present.

Tangren – you grabbed the pen instead of the pipe. Perhaps the solution to your problem (see above) and your problem (How can I write without smoking?) are identical. Perhaps there will be longer stretches of uninspired writing but you can surprise yourself sometimes

and journals are cheap compared to hospital bills

and you do know it’s many times possible to write your way home.

Actually, several people have cured addictions by journal writing and you know how much you need to journal-write. How often you use to say “I need something to be happening only about half the time. The other half I need to reflect on it all.”

Stopped up. With so much unsaid, unwritten, unreflected-upon.

Lack of energy often equals bottled-up energy. The more energy you put out – in the right way – the more you have,

Yes. Write. Breathe in permission t write. To write journals worth of boring stuff. Libré will still read through it for you, as will Caroline, and pick out what interests you. And so will you.

Also. Don’t forget how much you can accomplish in one night when things do start to flow.

“What you need is to ease up on yourself,” Sandra said.

(Years ago, Dianne said, “You give yourself a bummer of a premise. You assume you’re no good and then try to prove that you’re not.”)

Breathing in permission to forget and repeat yourself – the journal is of all places ought to be someone to whom you can repeat yourself without getting apologetic. You can never break it off half way through – the point of the journal is to allow oneself freedom from the normal restraints of communication. To open up communication with oneself, and the kind of intelligence that is free to know itself.

Yes, maybe there is a grain of truth in that “three hours a day” commitment to writing. I never thought of it as possibly a commitment to spend time journal-writing a opposed to “creating” – working on some writing project or other. But with me, I must remember, to write and clear away and to practice describing things and moments and to open up to what needs to be said next and next and next is all part of your working on your writing. Often times you hold the starting of your writing ransom to the filling of the pipe. Such anxiety. So much like meeting a lover again after a time spent apart –

The stretch back to remembering who we are to each other – in both cases the temptation to smoke to hurry things along, to help reach deeper into significance.

But what was new in those situations with Sandra those last two times was not the cookies which I had been eating anyway, during the previous days betroublement; no, what brought you from a state of some anguish, (if low-key) to to to smiles and finally not even feeling the need to fortify with cookies anymore, feeling trust restored, feeling reminded of many things to love and be thankful for about life at this time,

my friend, naked beside me, sleeping, waking, smiling to a world turned to clouds, to rain and the world disappeared; beyond the manzanita, nothing. Cloud, silver light. Soft silver light. A day so dark. The fire. Warm food, coffee, the face of my friend, her touch in me

That is what was different.

And if I may say so, perhaps you might also find yourself writing yourself closer and closer to home. Learning to let it be, learning to let yourself do what you’re yearning to do. Write it down. Practice pouring it out. Rough. Ok, you can always forget you did it. You can repeat yourself. And do it better.

You can feel how good it is to let yourself write. Lots. All the time. Until you, too, go out the top of this m.j. loop, just like you always hoped to do.



Ways to raise money without going back to teaching:


1)   Write and sell book on “Dreams and Visions on Death and Dying” That of course being the subtitle.

2)         Fix up shed and rent it out to sister recluse. Advantages: if fixed up, could be independent living space. Could do work for trade. Someone near at nights. … Well, possible: compare to going back to teaching. Could be dictatorial about pets, music, lights.

3)         Travelling Life-As-Art Supply Store and Literary Event.





Good names

On ‘Only Pretending’”


Only Pretending”


Reread Me” or “Learn to Listen to Yourself”



The address of Women in Philosophy.

The Journal of Unfinished Ideas –

Get a copy, maybe back copies.

This became Hypatia, the feminist Philosophy Journal  TA ’91



  1. Well, I’d like an electric typewriter for those unavoidable times. I’d settle for my manual’s being fixed. If I had my choice I’d take both.
  2. Then I might want a lathe, someday, you know, for making wooden pleasures, perhaps. Perhaps. In other ways a lathe would be handy. {Michael wants to sell his business. … Careful, though.} Lathes are not too high on the present list.
  3. Well, it took you three to remember “peace on Earth”. But I didn’t really mean that kind of wishes; but you have to keep a sense of things, too. Peace on earth is definitely more important than a lathe.
  4. In the mundane category, I haven’t finished, please – a down pillow (new); a white soft thermal blanket or two, a source of durable reflective fabric, for my sewing machine to hold up, for some wooden dowels and some time to play house.



{Typist’s Note: There are three black and white photographs attached on two pages.}


These are pictures taken on Oct 31, 1991 {?}

1 Sandra and me kissing

2 Me in my Faustcoat

3 Me presenting Caroline with my gift, the very first copy of the Raga Dianne


Ideas for making money

  1. Make custom-made insulating shades for people, with wood etc.



Solstice and Equinox postcards, see p. 81



Jean’s suggestions for places I could publish:

Feminary                                           Rara Avis

Lesbian Insighter     Inside Her      Inciter Insider

Conditions                                        Common Lives/Lesbian Lives

13th Moon (poetry)                           Sinister Wisdom

Black Mariah                         Womanspirit



Address of Publishers

Rara Avis P.O. Box 3095 terminal Annex

Los Angeles, Calif 90051

$8 subscription; single issue $3    issue #5, $6 Fall-Summer 1981


Sapphic Touch Pamir productions PO Box 40218

San Francisco, Calif. 94140

Ed: Jeanine Karen  Sue Skope

Issue #1, $7.00

Heresies PO Box 766 canal Street Station

NYC, NY 10013

Only accepted on specific themes – MS typed, double-spaced, submitted in duplicate. Pays a small fee. Subscription  1 year  4 issues  $15, back issues $5 each




Nov 27, 1981

In this Book:

Thanksgiving, see ‘fat and dumb about computers”, p. 4


Winter Solstice tarot reading: p. 55-80

Winter solstice p. 46-48

Christmas Morning dream of Dianne: p. 8-90

Non-monogamy, p. 2, p. 3, p. 16-18, p. 26-45 … and writing

Solstice tarot reading on: p. 76-79


Dreams of Deborah: p. 1


Reading ‘the box” p. 6-13


success” p. 20-24





Pictures: Deborah Kerr and the Knights of Cups p. 59

Items from Caroline and Tee’s house p. 49




Nov 27, 1981 Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving


Just woke up from another teaching dream; the usual troubles about finding the classroom, getting things underway; don’t believe I ever did. That’s the second one this week – strange; I thought I was through with such anxieties.

Woke up in a cold fog, lit a fire, now, a few minutes later the sun has come out.

Anyway, picked up my journal because earlier in the night I had dreamed of Deborah Kerr. Wish I could remember more of it – I was visiting her and her husband (Peter Viertel, this time) – seems to me they were showing me photographs and bits of movies of things she had done more recently. It was a lot of fun to see them. I remember Peter saying “Oh, here’s one I’m sure you’ll like a lot – a movie, a scene where she was in bed, propped up on her elbows as in the Sundowners.” I guess it was a sort of holograph. (We saw a TV show last evening on computers and holography and art.) There was a beautiful view of her in profile, very close up that was just opening up my heart. I did notice that she had several irregular bumps on her face. I leaned over and touched the largest one with my lips – a sort of kiss, but no impropriety since this was only an image of her. There were several other glimpses of her but nothing I can call up now, only that lovely feeling of the richness of seeing her.


Nov 29, 1981 Sunday morning very early, 4:00 or so.
Yesterday was to be a larger Subud get-together at Vivian’s. I hadn’t seen Sandra for several days. A time or two we’ve met at or going to a gathering with other people – it hasn’t felt right to feel so little centered in with each other. So yesterday she came up about noon. At two we went to the Subud thing. Dinner afterwards, home and to bed about 7:30.

Such a hard, painful day. there were things that were making me sad or upset, events, I mean to say, and yet I’m unsure how much importance to give them – if I’d been in a better frame of mind they need not have been upsetting.

Anyway, by evening I felt so miserable and weepy and hopeless all I wanted to do was curl into a little ball and lose consciousness. Change my mind for the nth time about S. coming up here for the night. She was miffed but called after M. & I had been home for half an hour or so to tell me she loved me. That she’d remembered my tears earlier in the day and decided I needed a friend not a foe.

Marcella was sweet and understanding, too. Made me some ovaltine and gave me some shy little hugs and was happy to agree to go to bed at such a ridiculous hour. Five hours later I woke up – tried for about an hour to go back to sleep, finally got up and stirred up the fire. The night is clear and cold. Read some of Lolly Willowes waiting for the mj. to make its appearance in my blood.


I have been depressed about:

1)   Worrying about mj. Out of cookies at the moment, eating buds of which I have a few cooked. Trying to face the fact that I dare not smoke at all. I have had four pipefuls in four weeks and my lungs feel rotten. Part of my new moon quest for this time is not to smoke once for a month. (Part of, I said. I wonder why. If there is more, I don’t know what it is.)

2)         Sandra and Chia. I was sure they had made love this time. As it turned out, they hadn’t, but do sleep together, are loving, hug and kiss. The thing is still on its way and still coming.

3)         On the other hand, the continued scarcity of time alone and the fact that I haven’t gotten anywhere new on my writing since last time.

4)         The fiasco yesterday at the Subud meeting. (No one but me brought food for the potluck. {Poetic justice, I’ll admit. So often I’ve been the one who didn’t bring food.)


Well, 4) may be what puts things in perspective.


Causes of my mood other than the things I am depressed about:

1)   Spending all day Thanksgiving and Friday evening too with my family. I don’t understand the first thing about computers, am fat and don’t run; my life seems to me almost empty and suicidal, in their context. At the same time it’s a little reassuring to be with people who don’t think things are fundamentally, hopelessly wrong, who expect there to be a future.

2)         Perhaps my period is coming before too long



Things to feel good about:

1)   Raggedy Ann and Laura finally have new hands. (M. & I made them Friday.)

2)         Sandra still loves me.

3)         So does Marcella, in her way.

4)         The harvest is finally done.

5)         I’ll make it through this month, money-wise, if I don’t buy any new tires, even tho I did buy five videotapes and 20 60-min audio tapes.

6)         My wood is virtually all under cover.

7)         There is some reason to trust the universe. Once or twice yesterday in my misery I remembered that, with such surprise. How so often one turns out to have been on the path all along, no matter how lost one feels.



Dec 3 {1981}

Reflections on re-hearing “the Box” –

Surprise at how good it is; how funny, how many-leveled, how magical, how funny. How ready to imagine “a different 1984.”

It seems to me I’m grimmer nowadays about the possibilities.

How … stony.

Can’t be because I used more marijuana then

perhaps  my system was less jaded… or perhaps it is “living alone’ that’s important

or having so much change and openness and an open future –

perhaps it was vision questing at Point Reyes,  I thought – wondered if I couldn’t go back there; knew that the murders there may have changed the place forever.

Feeling the difference such deaths have made in me since then, the reality of so much oppression in the world my sisters face – the theft of freedom from people who are different. From women who want to worship at the ocean, celebrate on the mountains with the Moon.


Dec 8

I was to be in a cultural evening at Oak Street – to read something – Lavelle thought a half-hour was too long… the shortest I could possibly read “The Raga Dianne” in. and I didn’t want to feel pushed. So much of good reading consists in taking the time to let the meaning happen, let the words be heard. Also, several people there had already heard it. I was also thinking about “The Box”. After re-hearing it, I decided to do it, to read something stoney and happy. It felt dated in some ways – Sarah called it “naïve”; I would say at least it feels more hopeful than  feel right now. But I still feel it is par of the way out to imagine “different 1984”’s



Send tape to Adrienne Lauby

934 W 4th

Eugene, OR 97402


Actually, it was neat how many women came. Six women came in from Womanshare (out of Grants Pass) including Zarod, and Adrienne Lauby down from Eugene and Jean who was in my first writers’ group many years ago and who told me later that my little fantasy “princess charming” had made her think about some things and understand some things that resulted in her becoming a lesbian.

And Tee and Caroline came, having driven all the way from San Francisco (Tee just finished up a tour) that day and coming straight to Oak St. without even stopping for supper.

Afterwards, several people told me how beautifully I read … I guess I am beginning to not be surprise when someone ways that. And I heard one woman say to another “I didn’t realize she was such a good writer” and the other one said “Yeah, she really is.”

All this in spite of three interruptions and not having been able to find even the ms. or the Pachelbell record until a couple of hours before performance, and not being able to make myself read through it even once for practice till an hour before performance.

Well, there was really quite a crowd there – (I don’t where they all were the next night for the Kay Gardner concert … probably only 35 women or so – I was very surprised.)

Instead of practicing I just tried to get centered. Called Sandra, she said she was concentrating on “raising her power”

I did it pretty well – I don’t think more reading through would have helped. The hard parts were dealing with the interruptions, the tape player not working, etc., etc. and just the pressure of putting it out. Once I started reading the teacher persona or a near neighbor of her took over. The actor, perhaps. I’ve certainly been more open; it could be read much better – still it was all right. For the next while I felt awfully externally focused. (Small wonder, though with 7-8 extra women in my house. (There was slumber party that night for writer’s workshop women, and the next day, a writer’s workshop)

Anyway, I lost my center so much; when I asked for feedback the next day and got both Lavelle and Sarah disliking the story – and not much said in my favor, it was very hard to take. I have always had a hard time with Lavelle’s criticism; and I would really not have expected her to like the piece; and Sarah’s anger at “naivety” is well come by through her recent bust and despair at trying to make a living in the country. Hannah sort of came to my defense saying the way I read was so … what was the word? … “sincere” I believe, that she almost didn’t care what I was reading… hard treatment for the work I love the best of all my children, think it is the greatest gift to have written, the one I will think of when my plane goes down. Lavelle did like the art with the music a lot – “powerfully delicate” she said, but found the first part boring… she had been in an in-and-out bouncy energy all evening; I’m not surprised. But what does one say? Didn’t you get it? It may not be a exhaulted as the end, but how about those neat ideas for making a living? How about the poetry of the marijuana growing, the white puffs of late snow, how about the first love-making? I didn’t know how to say all this, it didn’t seem appropriate. I listened in silence, which seemed appropriate, tried to remember what I know about hearing criticism… Each person’s reaction is each person’s reaction…. Take what is useful to you, what reinforces your own instincts, let go of the rest… So I sat there “just listening” –  but was left feeling disempowered. Like all those other times when I “just listen” … to parents, to bosses, to friends whose world is so different… and, not speaking my own truth, find it harder to find it again for myself.

Luckily we broke for lunch afterwards; I went up to the loft and busied myself straightening a doll house and feeling I couldn’t be in the same group with Lavelle; it wouldn’t be worth it to try to expose myself, my writings, to the effect she has on me.

I still have some doubts about all that, but it seems more manageable now that they’ve all gone home and I’ve had some chance to center in. (But will I make it to real writing tonight?) To be fair, after those other remarks, both Tee and Caroline said rather astoundedly that they had “liked it”;  and Caroline told me later she found the part about the store not dated, but rather very far forward-looking. She’d been especially struck this time (she said she’d read it several times before) by the Tape Recorder idea; that Ruth MtGrove was working on a piece of writing about the uses of tape recorders.


Insert – a couple more things I want to remember: Tee’s saying again (she said it last time she was here) “What a beautiful house!” I said “What?” just for the pleasure of hearing her say it again. I’m glad she likes it. And the mirror box in the bathroom I fixed with pictures from her poster (for “Lesbian Sexual Imagery in the fine Arts”)


Note: another feedback: Zarod said she liked it all – “even all the little ‘dedications’ and ‘notes’ beforehand.


It really had been a rich evening – Chia and Hannah started us off with a bit of bluegrass music; Sandra read her column and talked about the month ahead, I read “The Box”, Pat O’Scannel played six wonderful songs – including ‘coming Home’ her lyrical coming out song and ‘the beard song”, a wonderful bit of consciousness raising. (Even made me stay my hand on my own plucking for a day or two – till the feel drove me to bare my chin again today – what a relief. Don’t know if I’ll ever get over the ‘blick’ that hairs have no business on our faces.) Then Sarah read some poems. It was neat to feel the room quieten as she began to read, to feel the listening that was given. I am beginning to appreciate Sarah more and more as a poet. Then two women from Myrtle Creek talked about their experience of opening a natural foods store there, what it was like to go into business for themselves. Very interesting. And lastly, Hannah and Chia played and sang. (at first the music stand was between Hannah and me. She moved it “so I can see my groupie” I was honored, somehow.

Anyway, that evening later Caroline said to me “I’m beginning to believe that what Tee said is true when she called Oregon  a ‘cultural center for the women’s culture’. At the time I took it as an instance of Tee’ sense of humor, but she said she’d meant it. After last night I see why. The evening was better than most things you’d find happening in the cities.” “Well, every group compares themselves to the Bloomsbury Circle at some point, I’m beginning to suspect” I said –  but still, I, too, think there are many of us doing exciting things – I also think Tee and Caroline are in a position to make such a judgement with some knowledge behind it.

After the evening up here, at the slumber party, Tee showed slides – lesbian herstory part II/ Clues to a Lesbian Aesthetic, and a show on the Photograph Ovulars at Rootworks

With many  wonderful pictures, especially some great ones of Ruth and Jean, especially a wonderful soft focus one of Ruth’s kind face peering down into a camera.

Tee also suggested to Sandra and I later that when she comes down next week to do her slide show … well, she didn’t know what our fantasies had been but if we had thought about having her take pictures of us making love that afternoon or the next might be a good time to do it –  since Sandra will be going away for a bit.

I really didn’t know what to say … It’s a wonderful idea – we had fantasized about “someone” taking pictures of us making love – I thought Tee wasn’t into that anymore. (“My interest has been rekindled” she said.) and anyway I never would have thought to ask her. … If I had thought when I put that Sinister Wisdom picture up on my mantelpiece that in a few years Tee would be my friend and would be taking pictures of me and Sandra making love!… Still, I don’t know about the timing – It would certainly be better if we had more time to center in with each other – this is in the midst of Marcella and producing her slide show – and  Sandra’s leaving and being very busy. It would be so much better in the midst of a “three –day ERA (Erotic Re-Affirmation; Sandra’s term.) after some more time to explore our fantasies and our sexuality with that in mind.

Also, nervousness at such sudden self-disclosure with Tee, feeling on the spot about my sexuality – and my naked body… though I know Tee wants to photograph other than traditional bodies… Nervousness about seeing myself what we look like making love. Still, perhaps one ought to seize the opportunity … who knows what the future holds, how long Tee will want to, when there will be another chance, what Sandra’s and my relationship will be like after this coming separation and nigh-certain step into non-monogamy.

Yesterday morning, sleeping next to Sandra, I dreamed: an actress making a movie. The story called for her to jump out of this 1 1/2 – 2 story-high window to the pavement below to try to kill herself, then go on to do other things. The director was actually planning to have the actress go through with the jump, and if she lived to go on with the movie. I was shocked and worried – but looking down at the pavement I also thought “It doesn’t look all that dangerous.” (S. will be gone 1 1/2 – 2 months)

Well, finally to that other matter

Well, maybe I’m still not ready to turn my mind to that … I am feeling tonight how much I am looking forward to this time of solitude and centering in with my writing – how much I want her to take her time in California,

Part of my fear in this move to non-monogamy is I think fear for the relationship when the strength of my own pull away has some reason to assert itself. But it has reason anyway – I have writing to do. It will be just a well if Chia keeps her from being lost and lonely in my absence. Anyway, I am much looking forward to some long stretches of time again. Soon the nights will be getting shorter, I sometimes think in a panic. I have loved these long long nights. “I feel like building myself a covered space where I can go in the summer” I wanted to write, but thought the idea silly.. But at the moment I am wondering … perhaps it’s a very good idea. Perhaps all I need is a good set of dark curtains. But it feels so ungrateful to shut out the light and air. …? Well, there are nights, even in summer.

Well, I’ve been trying to get back to the subject of performing writing. After the reading I felt a little perplexed at how hard it was, in some ways even “unpleasant”. Such anxiety – such a transfer of power to the audience – a validification. There were  moments of feeling the reading reaching through to the audience. But still, overall, it was more of an ordeal than I’d counted on. I kept saying “ Surely it gets easier with practice, with time.” Later Tee and Caroline said  ‘I’m not sure that it does.” Tee still feels nervous before performances. And Laurence Olivier, Caroline said, still throws up before every performance. (Add K. Gardner’s face as she strode up the aisle to begin, and Deborah Kerr’s testimonial.) ‘That’s a lot why these successful people tend to get hooked on alcohol and drugs.” “Well,” I said, “ maybe the terror is necessary to give one the focus, the energy to do it.”

But … but …
1) Can I stand it? And why is it grueling? This should be the ultimate reward, to be saying the words I have to say with passion and feeling, to have them being heard and heard back to me. That’s ultimately the reward of writing, to me, To share it, to create it anew, to love it. This is what I want to do, this is the reward. I can’t let it be such an ordeal. There must be a way to get around that. (Raising one’s power?)

2) Is this what I really want to do? Can I stand to go on tours? (Sandra did a reading for Pat O’Scannel today; Pat is having problems around her own success – women are beginning to listen to her, know her songs, learn from them and be nourished. … it’s a lot to adjust to, and not so easy as one might think.)

Well, I don’t feel too worried about that. It’s true that the last three lovers have fallen in love with me from hearing my writing. That’s the best kind of result I could have hoped for – and lost of other women (Tee, Ruth & Jean, Vivian) have become my friends because of my writing; they see me and know me as friends never did when they didn’t know my writing. Also, who my writing speaks to is a good way of choosing friends. If this speaking of my heart doesn’t especially interest someone, that’s a good clue as to what kind energy not to put out to them … I was going to say “that we should not be friends”, but of course that’s not true: I have things to learn from lots of women who would not be especially touched by my writing.

I was going to announce Sarah’s poem in the  new Sinister Wisdom and Sandra’s, Hannah’s and Tangren’s pieces in the new Womanspirit but asked Sandra if she wanted to announce herself. She didn’t really want to put it out at all – afraid of creating jealousies, distance, a mystique. I hadn’t thought of all that … I’d mainly thought they might like to read some more if they liked our stuff. And also, that they’d be glad to know we did it. “One of us did it” is how I feel when someone has a success. It’s good news, makes me feel good about our milieu and helps me to know that maybe I could do it, too, if I wanted to. (Both aspects are realities, and the view is different from the other side of poverty.)

… Not that I don’t have ambivalences  about “success” when it comes anywhere near in sight; we still haven’t decided whether I could survive (I did smoke a pipeful in desperation before the performance even though I have about decided I just cannot some at all. {The pain in my chest is quite noticeable. Not uncomfortable, really. In the sense of “pain”, more like a sore muscle, but always “there.”}

We never did decide whether I could survive let alone keep my center while touring – the being with other people (let alone dealing with whatever their trips one happens to become involve with) – maybe what I need to do is just to hide out here and make tapes in the middle of the night … But I feel deprived of an audience, the energy that can give one – and the sense of experiencing the reality of one’s writing in the presence of others, something I need, to make it feel real to me in the more public parts of my life, my mind. So far it has been very good to put my writing out. – I like the results for the most part and the failures don’t seem to stop me from writing. (Though perhaps they help make it harder.) (And the successes make it easier, no doubt. (and no doubt the writing would proceed in any case.)


Came across this little poem this evening in Tender Buttons

…well, looking for it I came across this:

A success, a success is alright when there are rooms and no vacancies, a success is alright when there is a package, success is alright anyway and any certain is wholesale. A curtain diminishes and an ample space shows varnish.


Also noted recently:

“The sister was not a mister. Was this a surprise. It was.”

Ah, here’s what I was looking for:


“A purse was not green, it was not straw color, it was hardly seen and it had a long use and the chain, the chain was never missing, it was not misplaced, it showed that it was open, that is all that it showed.”

Well, I’m not sure what Gertrude had in mind other than a purse but it occurred to me that it might make a good introduction or closing to a pieced on S & M.


Mostly I don’t understand Tender Buttons at all but now and then I think I do. I am never very sure however, but it does give me some interesting ideas to read it. I do wonder how she got it published; if she brought it to the writer’s group I think she would get quite a lot of helpful criticism about making herself more clear. (I guess she published other more linear things first.)


Dec 14, Monday night {NOTE TO READER: This will probably be boring – it’s therapy writing, “hassling about relationships.”}

Sandra is here in the kitchen working on her Capricorn column; I am going to try to write. I do feel that my writing self and the self that is with he are very different selves; we don’t really relate much about my writing – There’s a lot of my writing self she doesn’t know, and I’m not sure how much she cares about it… Though she does make understanding comments about it from time to time. Anyway, if both my writing self and my romantic self are to survive and thrive they ought perhaps to meet more often … Though it’s hard, as now, to be in touch with my writing self and hard to fill the pages of this journal with such floundering.


To report in: this weekend just past, Tee and Caroline were here; Tee did her slide show of Lesbian Sexual Imagery in the Fine Arts. I produced it: we just made expenses all round; not too many women came. Still it was an enjoyable evening – and as we came home Sandra and I realized that it was exactly a year ago that we’d first seen each other and first hugged, exactly a year ago that I’d read about seeing Tee’s slide show (“Oct 13”) for the first women’s sharing night.

Tee soon dozed off; Sandra and Caroline and I had a good talk – about “incest” and about anger in relationships and other topics – Tee woke up again when we came to talking about our pending verge into non-monogamy. They warned against it, saying it might well take my peace of mind away for writing. Tee said there is a great danger of the whole thing taking up all one’s time and energy, even for the lover who is not involve with someone else –  What Chia does and feels affects me. “Yes, I can see how you would be concerned anyway, that you would become ‘involved’” “Don’t just make that a general ‘you’,” Tee said. “You, specifically, you especially are like that.” It’s true; I am that kind of person; I already experience my freedom and spontaneity being curtailed by worrying about Chia’s feelings.

Well, it gave me a lot to think about – much more was said – that showed me how I was invalidating my feelings because I felt they were silly or unreasonable. So they are, but I don’t cease to feel them for all that. Anger denied becomes tears and self-hatred. And also becomes an inability to explore the possibly real dangers and causes of anger.

They also made me see that non-monogamy doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. That there’s a big difference between a friend or old lover in another town with whom one might sometimes make love and undertaking an on-going relationship with another woman who is also in the daily , immediate circle of friends, a much more complicated matter of things to work out.

Also, on the matter of trying to make it be all right to see one’s lover giving smiles and hugs to another lover – It’s true, Caroline said, that one can get past the perception of that a hurtful – with a great deal of love and caring and working on it by everyone it is possible to unlearn those feelings of rejection, abandonment, anger; but they are very strong feelings that reach back very far in us to old wounds, re-opened many times in our life – and it is not an easy matter to learn to change our perception.

And there is the actual danger of loss (But isn’t there always?)

Tee said to me “You’re very lucky. Be careful with what you’ve been given.”

Tee asked Sandra what her fantasy was of what it would be like for her to come back here with Chia as a lover … I‘m not sure I remember her answer.

Sandra said to me “Say what you want. I feel as if I get double messages from you. It’s all right and it isn’t. You saying it won’t make it happen necessarily, but it would help to be clear about what you want.”

When I mentioned “feeling betrayed” as a very clear example to me that my feelings were out of line with reality and were coming from an old place Caroline said that in a way I was betrayed all right, in that or relationship had been monogamous, in fact, so far, if not in theory… I’m not sure how that amounts to a betrayal.


But it all did help to get some validation – it helped me admit my own fears  and angers.

… I really don’t know how much to listen to them. They are both pretty monogamous and want to find a kind of togetherness with another person that I feel I must guard against for myself.

I really don’t know what to think, what to decide, Sandra and Chia are leaving for points south in two days, some sort of decision needs to be made. So many different thoughts about it – yuck on writing about relationship worries. Or having them – non-monogamy – remove it a little distance and it seems a good idea and very unthreatening. But up close at hand it’s almost impossible to bear.

One thing I think about: we both felt near the beginning that maybe this was the worst part – the fear – that once it was over, once it was underway – their becoming sexual with each other, I mean – then I would experience that it was all right, that I would not be abandoned, that Sandra’s feelings for me wouldn’t change, and then I would relax and it would all be all right.

Now I am afraid of something else, though. My own reaction. My own anger, fear, pulling back. I think of the day when I thought perhaps they had done it the night before. Walking down to meet Sandra half way, walking back up with her, wanting to ask, but not being ready to hear the answer, wanting first to establish some sense of who we are with each other, not having seen each other for a couple of days, but because of having so much on my mind not being able to remember who we are with each other, feeling dumb and fumbly.

When we got home she embraced me with such love and friendliness – and what I felt was ‘Oh, I know it has happened. I recognize the openness that comes from having been open with someone else. That’s fine for her, she feels all open and loves me; but nothing’s been opening my arms, nothing has made me able to touch her.”
The awful powerlessness I felt, waiting miserably to hear.

It turned out they had not, they had “only kissed” and slept together – or was that another night? Anyway, it hadn’t happened and I was glad to hear it, but such agony I had paid. Some time just after then was when I spent three days weeping uncontrollably until S. offered to declare a moratorium on non-monogamy until they left, at which point I found the tears stopped entirely.

Ah, such Sturm and Drang!


Sometimes I think. Well, I’ll lose her anyway, sooner or later. Sometime she will be with someone else, so I might as well get the pain over with now, might as well correct that perception that there is an “us” when there is only a “her” and a “me.” But it’s also occurred to me that to lose a person is one thing – there comes the pain of loss, but one knows what to do – one hangs on through it and turns to oneself, the rest of one’s life and self, oneself in aloneness, one’s strength in aloneness. But one doesn’t try to stay open to the other person – that’s part of the pain, trying to see the way to stay open, to be vulnerable, sexual, inspired et. al., keeps one so open to the pain of risk, of loss.

I don’t like how weak it makes me feel. Recently Ruth MtGrove lost her three front teeth – and one could just feel, at first, how self conscious it made her, how bad it made her feel about herself, one could see it in every step she took, every word and movement, the uncertainty. She’s her old self again now and maybe I would recover as quickly, but for now I recognize in myself that same awful uncertainty, weakness, inability even to spell words right when I’m just writing about it.

And then I feel so angry with myself for being prey to all these dumb and inappropriate feelings

and frightened that I will reveal parts of myself that will cause S. to become disenchanted with me

and bring it all down around my own head

and yet to ask for monogamy – or to make some rules around it – “only women not in Ashland,” “only away from here,” “not Chia,”, “not now”

feels so wrong. At first it was simply unthinkable, something I would never ask. Because I can’t say what I need? Can’t feel I deserve it? Can’t protect what I have, feel my own rights? T. & C. were beginning to make me think so … and yet it’s much more than that, I think now. and more too than a commitment to an ideal of non-monogamy –

It is essentially wanting a relationship based on freedom. I don’t want anyone to put constraints on what I do or feel and equally I don’t want to do that to anyone else.

Sandra says that if it would change our relationship, if it would lessen things between us, it would be her choice not to do it – Chia is not that important – or, rather, Chia is an important friend in many ways and it is relatively unimportant whether they move into sexuality together. “So far.” “Now” I think.


Sandra doesn’t want to hurt me, still cares more about our relationship, and probably would feel that way even if she and Chia did evolve a relationship. She appreciates my good qualities, she understands many of my real strengths, and in lots of ways, as she has helped me to see, I am a loveable person with a lot to be gained from being with me.

I am, she pointed out only last night, gentle and loving and sensitive and imaginative. I have great cleavage and a sense of humor of a kind she appreciates. I am mature and generous in many ways. Etc. etc. they are qualities she appreciates, being much the same sort of person herself, and we both know that such a fortuitous combination of good points is rarely found among the women one meets. … (And neither is appreciation for these particular virtues so common that either of us is overwhelmed by would-be lovers on a day-to-day basis.)


To be briefer, she does appreciate me and love me and Chia is not likely to change that fact; though she is ready to give S. certain things she wants/needs that I am not – time and a constant kind of companionship at least for a short time – a willingness to “hang out” together and to follow S.’s lead (She is becoming S.’s astrological apprentice, comes into S.’s space, etc.) Still, I am not afraid of S.’s leaving me entirely for Chia; and I could well get by with less of S.’s  time than she gives me now; and, conversely, she tends to be lonely if by herself in the amount of time we are not together now.

I am not afraid of S.’s leaving me for Chia ; but I am afraid of it being too hard for me long before that. Of my resenting the hurts and fears I’m put through. I am afraid of my own anger.

I really don’t see a good way out.

I don’t see how I can take the time I need  be a writer and ask her to just sit on the shelf when I don’t want to be with her. I don’t see how our relationship can go on as well with this new complication if it does happen

To look at some dark corners.

Part of me says: Maybe your relationship simply is changing, will change, maybe will end. Maybe there’s no way to stop that now that this has come up. Maybe a certain amount of disengaging at this point is an inevitable necessary unfoldment of the relationship here. When Sandra pointed out during one of our interminable talks lately about all this that one of our options was to enjoy these last few days together and then just free-float – to not define in any way what our future relationship will be but to see what it is when she returns … Not to say we will be primary or anything else – … the thought seemed unthinkable to actually do, and yet, the sense of relief. Just not to fight it. If withdrawal is happening, just to accept it. And yet I guess how much pain there would be.

Perhaps relatedly

Sometimes I wonder how much my urge toward angry, hurt withdrawal is simply the manifestation of a need to withdraw that is internal to myself, a need that’s been given no opportunity to manifest until now …
… I am so lonely for myself. And champing at the bit to get to writing. Longing do for the self who understood herself enough to know her own needs for silence and time to reflect on life. Longing for the self who can only be amidst the riches of solitude, the self who is free to know all she with her unique life does know, free to communicate to herself in all the tongues she speaks. To be with another person is to be tied to the self one is here and now more than I can be and do the writing I have to do. There is even a part of me that longs for the end of this relationship so that I can get back to being who I was before she came along. Perhaps, I think, I submitted myself overhastily to the transforming fire.

And yet I’m also afraid of the other one of me, the self-hater who can make me suffer so, and whom Sandra can conquer for me sometimes when I can’t seem to do it myself. To relax into being loved, being touched and stroked and pleasured, having my sense of humor tickled and my eyes gaze into – how often lately has this fished me from the depths of insecurity and self-loathing and left me amazed and happy?

But perhaps it is not the time to be saved, but the time to drown and be reborn. To sit out the self-hater until she relents as she will if one is patient long enough. Still she can hang me up for weeks at a time; she meets me every morning fresh and strong from the night’s sleep.

So I am sensitive to my strengths in aloneness, and trust to and even long for them. At the same time, I remember that I was lonely, that I was never touched, little known to the people around me, and little appreciate for who I am being in this living. I was fearful of reaching and felt a lot of pain about sexual closeness when I thought about it.

God I’m inarticulate. It’s so much because all these things are generalizations that immediately bring to mind the reality of exceptions, other ways of looking at it, other gestalts and generalizations – and the general vocabulary so vague for what I’m pointing to.

I long for the clarity of this coming time alone. Part of the problem is that I’m trying to sort through all this without taking/having time to be alone. When S. and I realized this was last 2 weeks before she was leaving (for 6 weeks) and that we had a little lost touch with each other in the last while I decided not to strive for the time alone I’d been planning to take./make, but to see her as much as was possible. Now the two weeks has become three, but still it seems like the thing to do to spend time together, for soon enough she will be gone and I will wish I could hug her, we could talk, and know the feeling of each other’s presence so fully.

But in all this I’ve had very little time to check in with myself; and I don’t feel I can really know my own mind until that happens. I have t get alone to understand myself. Also to be really open and clear and appreciative of S.

Oh blarfle blarfle blarfle.

I do long for time alone; that’s a fact. I’ve been sick, too, this past 3 weeks. Everytime I try to stay up all night and dose up on cookies and caffeine I again start to come down with a cold – sore throat, tiredness, now sneezing. Nice then to resign oneself to some caring companionship and not trying for the depths of solitary creativity. When the body says so clearly to rest, since I can, I don’t oppose it. I’ve gotten a great deal of sleep. Is it gain when it’s spent resisting a cold? Is it money in the bank or just “making payments’?

I suspect it’s both. I suspect it’s my body saying “Wait. The time isn’t right. Rest, read, take care of yourself, enjoy companionship. All in good time.” Too bad I can’t have the patience to call a truce on my energy demands before I threaten to get sick.

But I also know that low energy can also come from not doing things, from inactivity when one needs to be active. I would not be surprised if once Christmas is past and I can take up my creative work in a concentrated way, my energy should suddenly increase dramatically and my health improve.                     We hope so.

I am afraid of loneliness again and the holding against the pain of having no outlet for tenderness.

And yet, I know that right now the thing I care about the most is the writing. If it cannot happen within the context of this present relationship then that must change. I have been loved before, I could bear not to be loved at this point in my life; I cannot bear not to do the writing.

The thought of spending these next two years happy and loved and involved in a love affair but not writing is a thought of anguish. If I have only a short time left it is the writing that must happen. (I can write about love that has been as well a love that is.)

Sometimes I feel confused thinking about throwing over love for writing. For why do I write? Isn’t it essentially for love? To touch women and be known by them. Caroline, Hannah & Sandra all came to be open to loving me through hearing my writing. So now I’ve got that already – won the prize when I’d barely started the race. Love has come to me. How much love can I use? I’ve already got more than enough to keep me busy. And as happy as love from another person can make me.

So what is it then that says writing comes before love?

Is writing more than a means to an end of getting love? Does it mean something in isolation from the possibility of being loved?

Part of the answer: I don’t need more love for me the person who lives this daily life, in all my complexities, all my selves, Tangren the mother, the lover, the daughter, the friend, she is well loved; loved enough. But Tangren the writer needs a great deal more love. Her works need to be loved, with more love than any single person could give them, unless it be Tangren herself. But the works need to be shared. I need to b known through my writings, loved through my writings. They are a part of me that still feels essentially unknown. Probably more so than is true. Sandra shares quite an understanding of my work when she does talk about it, {but she’d rather seduce me than read my writing. (But didn’t I write in the hopes that someone would seduce me?) (No. Or, that’s only one aspect of why you write. It’s also so you don’t need so much to be seduce by anyone. Also to remember and fully appreciate past seductions.}

And Caroline told me she’d read ‘The Box” several times. Friends who do hear often make understanding comments and cherish me the more so for the reading.

Still, there is so much I’ve written that no one who knows me has ever seen. Or not enough that it’s real to them/me, like the cups we see every day; like the facts we acknowledge as common realities….

Don’t I know that I need this from anybody; or that anybody except myself can really do it. But then solitude is required. Nobody else needs to fall in love with my writings and listen to them over and over, but I do.

It’s all illusion anyway.

The need to be a writer seems so ultimate. More important than love. More important than health. I know that’s wrong, it can’t be that ultimate. Not more important than one’s spiritual path, at any rate. But then I think that to write is part of my spiritual path; I am called to it so strongly. And it is good as a reminder of kindness and hope and sensitivity and the spiritual side of things.

And yet such ego involvement. Such a subordination of the trip to the writing. Part of the reason mj. doesn’t show me the things it used to – spaces, silences, the glory of the moment, timelessness, even – is that it has become for me such a tool for writing, primarily a way to “remember A with A”, access to the self which is a writer. Sometimes some of the above qualities manifest through the writing – but I seldom experience the magicalness itself in the way I used to.

Probably I am too much involved in manifesting as a writer – but I really don’t feel any doubts that that’s where I need to  focusing now.

Tee told a story about a woman artist who was very talented and very self-motivating to be an artist or writer or whatever she was. Her intensity was draining on other parts of her life. Her friends told her to relax, to take a vacation. Tee’s feeling: a vacation is not what she needs. She needs to do the writing. Maybe in ten years when she’s created herself as a writer, when she’s a success, then she can enjoy a vacation, but not now.

Well, I felt very befriended by that little story. I appreciate very much how Tee does ‘befriend the artist’ in me, the writer.

And it’s true, the writing is my vocation and my love, my path and my self-indulgence, the line of least resistance, and the Way.


What do you want from your writing?

What is recognition as a writer?


Heartfelt response



Just to create it.

The writing itself.


{Typist’s Note: The following is from a loose sheet stuck in the journal. It was apparently written by Sandra}

Motivation Meditation #1

From Sandra

Who Loves You

Dear Tangren,

I think you are a woman with vision. I love your writer self. Offer up your writing to your Higher Self.

Your Journals are as much of my memory of you as your blond hair and your wonderful blue eyes. I love your writer self.

Whenever your Mother gets you down, shedding your work upon you and weighting your creative self – just open the window wide – and woss-woosh – the fresh spring air comes swilling in to free all those bits and pieces into the universal archives in the sky.

Clear light opens the Window                   Fearless         Less fear

Go fly Little Bee – Maybe


Dec 22, 1981 Winter Solstice

Stayed up the night last night doing a sort of Solstice ritual. First real centering in I’ve done since Sandra left.

Worked on sewing in the morning – Barbie doll cloths for Marcella, ran errands in the afternoon. Saw Marian Telerski in her new house, bought a cup, decided to wait for a smaller bowl than the one she’s made. Then downtown – several errands – and some purchases for stocking stuffers. Was wondering how I’d get them to John, let him know that I’d gotten them, hoping he wouldn’t be duplicating them. Just as I was pulling out into the traffic his car appeared behind me. I pulled over and stopped and delivered the goods. Nice to see him, too. Serendipity may still be working.

Home – Lavinnia called from Beaver’s, I invite them for supper and latihan. Meantime Sasha (now Dove)  arrives to deliver a wheatgrass juice for Tee (Tee is having an upsurgence of cervical cancer cells – Sasha has cured herself of cancer.) It was nice to see her – she’s always been on the periphery of my acquaintanceship…  I’ve always admired her. Conversely, she likes my writing a lot, enjoyed seeing my house, and told me that she, too, used to be in love with Deborah Kerr. (In fact, she said, at the Kay Gardner concert she and a friend were sitting behind Sandra and me; she was telling her friend about us when she noticed that I was actually looking like Deborah Kerr, my face, and my expression! Her friend saw it, too! Wow! Nobody’s ever thought that before, least of all, me. Though it makes sense I would at least have some of her expressions. (To be fair, Libré and Sandra have both said that I do sometimes have her expressions.)

Then Dove was gone and I was cooking; then Lavinnia and Beaver came, supper and latihan, a good, strong latihan. Some talk, they go home.

Coffee, cookies, then I gradually settled into the night, slowly assembling things for a sort of altar on the floor beside the fireplace… Deborah’s picture, my journals over the past year, Womanspirits with my writing in them, winter Womanspirits with some poems by Elsa Gidlow – including a wonderful poem on sleep I hadn’t noticed before, a Solstice picture of a woman keeping watch in a hut beneath the moon and snow, mementos of Mu beach, the writing stick, the Mother Kali stick and the round box wherein I kept my mj. then, photographs of Marcella, Pearl, my house site, and the round box Sandra gave me for my birthday filled with juniper berries, some incense from Sandra. I read over my journal writing from the solstices and equinoxes of the year past …

Reading last year’s winter solstice entry was especially enlightening –  hardly felt like I needed to do more this year – the answers were amazingly clear. Especially asking about the suicidal aspects of marijuana use and getting the answer “solitary creativity.” … One thing that puzzled me very much then was getting such negative cards about Hannah and Caroline, and yet, when I asked about sexual healing, getting the beautiful “strength” card; so affirming … Little did it occur to me that Sandra was about to enter my life.

Also loved reading the words: “So, a branch to the fire and a wish for life and health to live till next Winter Solstice, to live till then with voice and breath intact will take me to that wonderful place Solitary Creativity. I could wish with all my heart for that — and the ironic sense of how easy it is within my power to grant it.”

I had been just sitting there, feeling solitude come to me, feeling the stretch of time just ahead, knowing how absolutely I need it, and how the time must be enough.



Sing Heavenly Muse                       Journal Issue $4.00

P.O. Box 14027

Minneapolis, Minn. 55414

A straightish well-produced journal who may have to go out of business

Graphic Details: Starr Publications

P.O. Box 5586

$4.00              Phoenix, Arizona 85010


Victoria Ramstetter                          (513) 591-3058

1653 Bruce

Cincinnati, Ohio 45223                   Looking for Lesbian Erotica



Pictures of things from Tee & Caroline’s house. I’m surprise how good they are.

{Typist’s Note: on this page there are drawings of a woodstove, teapot, kettle, lampshade, mobile, and a framed picture of birds flying (over water?)}


Dec 27, 1981            Sunday Evening – Just home

From the writer’s workshop at Tee and Caroline’s – the last of a long series of other people in my life – Marcella, Christmas and the next night at Mom and Dad’s, feeling fat and dumb about computers – fortunately I see I’ve already written about that for Thanksgiving – and before that several days of making Barbie doll clothes; before that Solstice, before that Kirsten and Marcella here for the weekend, before that more Christmas shopping and Barbie doll clothes. Before that Sandra.


Ah … Now, perhaps, some solitude will begin. Deborah barely made it going to Tee and Caroline’s and back. Each way she began gradually to jerk and lose power as I got closer to home. Also to die immediately if she got no gas to her. I had two trips of equal length planned soon – a “previous lives” meditation at T & C’s we’d hatched today for a new years’ eve – and Lavinnia wanted Beaver and me to come to her place for a latihan.

I really realized on the way home, smarting from some realizations about how deeply the money I do have is resented by much of the women’s community – feeling my anxieties about money on the other hand – and realized I really couldn’t afford to get Deborah fixed for a while. So far she still runs on short distances … At first I felt sorry for myself; but by now I’m beginning to think it’s just Deborah’s way of giving me what I need. Called and cancelled both trips with a sense  of relief, both financial and time-wise.

Needing so much for it not to matter so much what other people think, needing to get other people out of my head for a while. Being faced (albeit in a caring and non-confrontive way) with the fact of women’s resentment about my money did hurt, make me want to withdraw; I feel unseen, lumped together with doctors and lawyers and people who could afford to hire interior decorators. I was just thinking on the way home – in the past few years I’ve either given to women or loaned out in money I doubt I’ll ever see again about four times the amount I have in savings today. (And that’s there so I can pay taxes and insurance when they come around each year.) I’ve also hired several women and in general recycle what money I can to women. I don’t go to restaurants or movies except very rarely because I consider them ‘too expensive’; while some women who owe me money frequently afford themselves such diversions. And I’m shocked by waste like leaving the window open and the heat on and such things I’ve seen poor friends of mine do. I do try no to judge about the ‘diversion’, I know our lives are different. Still it’s hard to be seen as Ms. Moneybags when it doesn’t feel that way… In fact, at the moment I feel rather desperate  about what I’ll do in a year or two. Suicide seems the most rational alternative at times. … I may be saved the decision if my lungs keep on hurting – I feel it nearly constantly, little twingings, burnings, achings, in the top of each of my lungs – or on the bottom of my brachial tubes. It seemed useless to go to the Dr. before – they would first off tell me to quit smoking, something I can prescribe for myself without paying $20 for the privilege. But now I’ve smoked nothing for a long time and still the twingings continue. So I did make an appointment for mid-January. Not sure I want to know – if it’s very bad news that could take up all my energy and attention; or perhaps it would mobilize me, streamline my life to take care of the essentials. Anyway, maybe I’ll know more sooner. There, too, I feel determined not to spend a lot of money on the medical establishment. The thought of death doesn’t frighten me very much right now. But then I thought I could handle non-monogamy, too.


{Typist’s Note: There are a few columns of numbers.}

So I can make it and make up to savings what I need to. Then in January $150 for est. taxes. Soon: to pay tax accountant; maybe taxes?; Deborah repaired, tape recorder repaired. Anyway, thank you so much for the electric typewriter Dad gave me for Christmas ($50, a use one from Don; for any future envious biographers) and clothes from Mom – (2 pr jeans and a shirt, new; $100, would you believe?) (But I do need the jeans; I’ve outgrown all my jeans. See ‘fat’)



Things to do soon:

Send magazine to Sue                               shorten jeans

See Carol                                          make curtains

Write Dianne’s mother                    stack wood

Clean off desk                                              Write Julia Penelope and S. H.

Write about solstice ritual/Tarot reading

Take care of your body/mind                     yoga, walks, meditation, etc,.

My deed:


Grandma’s will: Call Lawyer { petition filed yet? What about $ remaining in acct?

Write { Ruth Henry { remaining $

Coins, other possibly valuable things if any


Things in good shape:

Food in refrigerator

Laundry done

Christmas over

Raggedy Ann is all fixed – new sub-face (I found that taking her head off, which had so distressed me at 25 was not so hard at 41. I guess I identify things less with the physical now.) new hands, new body-skin and new dress.


Monday Morning Dec 28 {1981}

Find myself still smarting from thoughts of women’s resentment about my money; trying over and over to justify/defend/explain myself, frustrated at not being able to say it to them. Trying to “consider the source”; trying to put a shell of protection around myself and a rainbow around her … Resentment at the amount of resentment there is among women who would not consider making the sacrifices most people make to have what they have. Wondering what they think I should do, anyway?

“You defend yourself so well; and then three days later I find out you’re still suffering from the accusation, John said once. I think about the self-righteous assuredness  of women like my mother and Cleary Sage … wonder if I wish I was more like them … but it doesn’t feel right to me.

Wish I could get beyond dwelling on all this.

… Trying to sift thru the layers on my desk, came upon the Envelope from the Scottish Exit Society. I’d sent for their book on how to kill oneself, feeling this won’t be information available for very long, that it’s a lot of power to have to have the Exit option, and a responsibility we ought to assume to know how. It’s only in case of emergency… I don’t foresee using it soon; the chances are fair that one can have some say about how it comes, when the time comes, if one has the right information.

Anyway, the envelope arrived bearing four stamps with faces of the queen, and not one of them had been cancelled. (I‘m sure it’s the first time I’ve ever gotten an envelope with uncancelled stamps.)

Anyway, it’s interesting to think about the symbolism of that.


Well, I’d like to write a little about the Tarot reading I did on Winter Solstice night.


The first question I asked was for a general significator card: “What is this reading  about?” The Ace of Pentacles, the Tarot replied: yes, of course, a good reminder: the Material world. I have come seeking prognostications for the coming year and my current concerns; they are all, from plates to stars, configurations of matter, transient moments in the burning universe.

But also, from Gearheart: “The Gift of Gain (Prosperity) the announcement of the strong possibility of wealth … The card suggests that the querent has attained or will experience material and/or psychological gain and success … Traditional meaning: Perfection, prosperity, attainment, ecstasy. Contentment, security, appreciation of the good things of life. According to Waite, the most favorable of the minor arcana.”

Well, Gearheart always has a slant on things firmly entrenched in the pentacles world. Still, a nice reminder of what I have been given and may still continue to be given.

Looking around at the objects assembled for me I pick one – the pile of Womanspirits in which I have published: “What of the writings I have already done?” I ask. The Four of Cups: She gazes in discontent and worry past the three full cups before her, even while a fourth cup she doesn’t even realize is there is being proffered by Heaven.  An old friend of a card, a god reminder of what is given.

Graves reads this as a card of unnoticed opportunity. Gearheart on the other hand calls the card “Reflection … Deliberate withdrawal and refusal to participate in relations or even in ordinary day-to-day functions. A surfeit of people, or disgust and disappointment at failure of communications in relationships. / Emotional and personal isolation (self-imposed) … A withdrawal from others to process previous input and to clear the circuits. Self-touch or grounding. / In general, a period of re-assessment, stock-taking, the search for new values.” I’m not sure how to read this – as something about my present relationship to my old writing, or as what it is in itself, where it came from. Or polymorphously.


What of all the things that lie still in my old journals? I asked next. And seem to be indicated two cards. SEVEN OF PENTACLES: the significator for the reading I found so important in ’77, kept up as a mobile all these years; so, first off, I might ought to think of the writing then as the record of what those years were about.

Graves says: Patience. … As the fruits of life’s endeavors are often long in ripening, so the harvest will be greatest for those who wait and watch for the moment of maturity, remaining calm and satisfied in the knowledge that time is a necessary ingredient in the fruition of all activities.

Gearhart: Anxiety for produce. The figure has planted and it looks like there’s to be a good crop, but the harvest is not yet ready. Some doubt exists about the possibility of marketing the crop. … Also, the possibility that the productive efforts made in the past may be wasted by inaction in the present.

And the other card: ACE OF CUPS Calm water, lotuses float, and a golden cup, from which, like a pink wafer rises a radiant sun.

Graves: Renewal; The rising sun symbolizes the bringing forth or continuance of an existing situation by its repeated renewal. (and “the essential symbolism of the cups is one of productivity and potential”) The single cup standing on the waters of the infinite cosmic mind-stuff, symbolizes the body of man or even of mankind, who … maintains an awareness of the past. The sun … symbolizes the god-like nature of man coming into being through the manifestation of his mortal form.

Gearhart: THE GIFT OF THE SELF: The offering to oneself of her emotionality and sensuality and of her own pleasure in creativity and self-expression. The offering to women of what already belongs to women {the waters of the unconscious and intuitive knowledge}… For the querent, a promise of creativity and inspiration which will result from openness to and close rapport with the subconscious mind.

Traditional meaning: Fulfillment, fullness, abundance, happiness, contentment. Productivity, inspiration, creativity. A very good card.


“Well, all right!” as Sandra would say. Or, as I would say, Trust. Trust. Trust. Trust Trust.


Then I came to the picture of Deborah Kerr. “What of Deborah Kerr in my life?” Around the picture of Deborah, the only current one – an Avon ad – I had placed two pictures of myself taken in a mirror one day. There are only parts of me present – the eyes in one, my shoulder, my hand to my chest as Laura Reynolds might have done, in the other. I took them one day when I was feeling like D. K. and trying to present some of my deeper selves to a photograph. “What of Deborah Kerr?”


{Typist’s Note: on the following page are the three photographs just described.)


I took two cards; one that seemed to me to be more about me and one that was more about Deborah. And got two cards: Knight of Cups; Death


{Typist’s Note: Thee are card-size drawings of the two cards here.}


Well, it’s scary to get the death card regarding Deborah. Both of my books remind me that it is a card about intense change, not death. (And both cards came upside down, so maybe their meanings are reversed anyway.) But the death card has been about real death both times I’ve drawn it before. And death does figure into my thoughts about her; fear she will die before I write to her, and the sense on the other hand that where we touch is in a place beyond death.



The similarity in form of the two cards is interesting. And it would make a lot of sense if read as a commentary on two levels of reality… Deborah a the knight, holding out to the world the waters of emotionality and intuition (she with her grand water trine.)

And the ways in which I am also like her as I manifest in the world.

And death, that other level, that other Deborah, that other me. And do I not expect she will come to me with a rose for a sign, when the time comes to consign the earthy to its skeletal remains?

I see I drew both these cards last year: Death – again inverted – one of my fears. The forgetting of the true nature of death? Or a time of no change? Stagnation?

Does this mean that the earthly Deborah is not likely to change? Graves gives no reversed meaning for the Major Arcana – I gather some people read it always upright.

And the knight of cups: Gearhart: The New Weapon also the Search for Intuitive Knowledge: The suggestion of a new way to go forth to battle in a very unwarlike way. The ‘weapon’ is a cup, a receptacle, as if to suggest that victory lies in being filled, baptizing, giving drink. The gift of imagination, intuition, emotionality seems held out not so much to the querent as to the world at large – to the patriarchy, perhaps given by the querent. The knight is  protected by mail, but, except for the cup is unarmed. The wings suggest she is a bearer of information, of self-knowledge, perhaps, that is the answer to patriarchal alienation. Danger rides in the fact that she rides alone.

The card also signifies the querent’s determination to fill her cup at the stream of the unconscious; an active search for intuitive knowledge.

The armor, then … What’s it doing on the skeleton? Indeed, what is there to protect in the face of death? And her ‘weapon’, then, the flag of the dark rose.

Gearhart reads the reversed meaning of Death;

An indication that whatever is happening will continue to happen. A feeling of no growth, no activity, either inner or outer.  Stagnation. Deepening ennui. // The Querent’s life is not changing at this time. The systems that support her are intact, the values unquestioned. Things may not necessarily be quiet, but simply unchanging in their pattern.


Reading on the reversed knight of cups:

Graves gives no reversed meaning; but says on reading reversed cards in general; it doesn’t mean the opposite, but that the same truth/situation is being looked at 180˚ differently. Gearhart reads the reversed knight of cups: PASSIVITY (also Repression of the Unconscious) Failure in the use of “the new weapon” perhaps because of lack of understanding of its strength, or because of the querent’s repression of her emotional/intuitive side. Weakness, passivity, inability to withstand the behavior of the enemy.

Defeat in bringing the message of self-love and self-discovery to others, perhaps because of too much faith in the recipients, perhaps because of lack of preparation, perhaps because of the recipients’ fear of getting in touch with themselves.

Hmm … hope it’s not a prognostication; it could certainly be a description of me with regard to her at the present time. And death – mine? hers? both?  Looked at from upside down , how it frightens me! Looked at rightly, what roses and sunrises are found within the fear! And how important that aspect is for this relationship. (‘The levels I have to go to be in touch with her)

X                                                                                                                                                                     X                                                                                                                                                                                    X


Well, what else? I asked about Womanspirit, my obligations, my role. Am I supposed  become  an editor? The Wheel of fortune, reversed.

Graves: The inevitable Wheel of Fortune, the cycle of life, the virtue by which the upliftment is the result of a casting down // No action can be known in all its ramifications and hence the effects of causes are invariably under the influence of situations and energies that are beyond our cognition. Under the influence of this card are all the cyclical natures of existence, the seasons, the rise and fall of empires and universes… // In meditating, place the concentration of your vision on the center of the circle, the axle whereupon spins the wheel. This single, immovable point, a point of no dimension, is the doorway to the rest of the keys.

A wheel, filled with mystic signs. A bearded woman, two snakes ,the bull and the lion. (The two animals I have dreams about.)

Gearhart: “Reversed: Bad Luck. Some misfortune or downward turn of luck; an unexpected setback in some enterprise, or a change of conditions to something more challenging. // For the querent, a period of opposition, or a demand for extra energy, attention to some particular problem or affair. Traditional meaning:  … unexpected outside influences that don’t help matters.

Just as I knew in my heart; As good a thing as it would be to do, I can’t ask it of myself at this time.


What then of my own immediate present? Of my own writing? I asked, indicating my present journal.

Two cards: The Knight of Swords and The World

Swords: the mental, air, duality: Graves: ‘The ability of the (two-edged) swords to cut both ways, so to speak, is the to understanding the meaning of the suit. In all the ways and means which man uses to understand the universe and to communicate with others, his basic operation is to divide the unknown into parts, … then stands back and announces that he “understands” it.

Day and night are divisions…

He cannot survive without it, yet the seeming power of his methods may blind him to the inescapable truth that remains in the essential oneness of all things.

… To completely understand the suit of the swords is to cast out forever any fears of the conscious experience of life, for just as there exist both pain and death, so also are there comfort and reawakening.

Of the knight, he says, “A young  {wo}man who has taken the sword and turned to face the world with the decision that is forced upon {her} etc so long as she holds the sword. She must and will defend the balance define by the sword even if it cost her her life, and here that life which she may lose is the life of the three other suits.: the material, the emotional, and even the spiritual … She is determined and will meet the tasks that lie ahead with conviction.


And The World. In form, an echo to “The Wheel”, a woman, a wheel, the bull and the lion (and the bird and the angel “a human” says Graves) Upright, this time.

Graves “A nearly full-length figure of an almost contemporary woman …(I might add, she has red hair) … is looking out at the reader. In her hand is a flowering rod.
Meaning: Totality … all things attainable on the earth plane.

“Seek not the world,” this card declares, “for at the moment it is spinning beneath you.”

And Gearhart: COMPLETION

“The satisfactory completion of some cycle. An enterprise accomplished. All details are accounted for and nothing extraneous interferes. A short period of stability , and then a new movement will begin … Now creativity may take place in earnest. Although a card of completion, not a card of endings.

Traditional meaning: Synthesis, crystallization. Perfection, cosmic consciousness. The path of liberation.


X                                             X                                             X


What of my time not working?” I asked. “How will I be able to live? Must I go back? How long will I be able to hold out?”

Looking at the card Summer had left on my car I found after my last day of teaching.

“Good for one flight to freedom”

SEVEN OF SWORDS It answered; the same card I’d gotten years ago when I asked about my job and time. Then it was reversed. Then I’d read it as two days of work and five “stolen” to live my life. In a way, that’s what I had; but the five were never stolen far enough away – in a sense the job took all my time.

Now I see that I paid more attention to the upright meaning than to the fact that it was reversed. Reversed {of the figure has stolen some weapons – but not all – from the patriarchy’s battle camp} is “Narrow Escape” – failure to complete the plan. … Beware of attempting such theft without support or planning, that burns and then ensures learning from experience.”


Well, this time it’s upright. “Under the very eyes of the enemy she has tiptoed from the tents with the useful items. … There is some gain of resources from the system. Traditional meaning: new schemes, design, attempt. Unstable effort. A card that suggests caution and vigilance.” Gearhart

Well, maybe it’ll be five years out and two in this time around. Or months?

5/2 = X/9= 45/2 = 22 months out / 1 year in?

Graves reads:

套 the {her}storian at {her} task of placing the accomplishments of language and organized thought into their respective niches. Though it is necessary to free the mind of the cluttering effect of language and conventional knowledge, it is equally necessary to save the accomplishments of such knowledge…”  (maybe in a ratio of 5 to 2) Maybe it’s Sandra reminding me that I am a philosopher, too; and there may be times when that needs to demonstrate itself in my writing. Maybe that has something to do with prolonging my freedom, too.

X                                             X                                                         X


By the way, will the world last? What of war and peace? SEVEN OF RODS, Reversed.

Gearhart: Intangible fears.

Graves: Responsibility. Upright, the man depicted is apparently responsible for the safe-keeping of the rods before him and has accepted his task with conviction and unfaltering steadfastness.

Reversed; fear. The meaning could indicate an office entered into without the necessary conviction to carry out its assignments. So, though the man may stand guard with fair display of strength, he may falter and fail if his position is vigorously attacked.

It’s interesting that when I asked this question last year I got the eight of rods – a phalanx of seeming spears, actually wands, flowers, symbols of the spirit.

Seems to me the man is not so much defending the flowers – he is behind them, as defending himself with is own wand against the surge of growing flowers.

Did this mean Reagan would fail to meet Russia’s ‘threats’ with atomic war after all? Or could they mean the ‘vigorous attack’ would come from within? From the side of good?

…Perhaps the thing that will cause him to ‘falter and fail’ is growing spiritual power. His own weapon/tool, though held defensively like a fighting stick, is also ultimately not  a spear, but a symbol of “the spiritual unity of all things.”



For the round marijuana box that Sandra gave me filled with juniper berries and a tiny white swan – {which symbol Caroline noticed in Dianne’s death picture – in one of the shrines beside the river}

I asked: “What of issues of health and marijuana?” offering an oblation into the fire? The King of Pentacles, Reversed; and the Nine of Rods, Reversed

The King, a pentacle form shielding his heart; behind him, a bull, quite a muscled, stupid- looking brute. The king’s elaborate headdress seems to cover similar horns? But reversed, suspended in the sky, could it be Taurus and All Deborahn?  And is that looming, brute bull really a magic one?

and     The nine of rods, inverted. Graves; doubt or blind faith. Feels like my choices without marijuana. The figure looks a little dull-witted as the spiritual flowers/plants grow up around her. (Upright, read as dedication to causes one only partially understands.)

And Gearhart says: DANGEROUS FATIGUE. Yes, something I am often at … too many cookies is often the cause. But, on another level, forcing myself to attend to everything but the one thing I long and need to do, the thing that gives me energy and hope.

Gearhart: dangerous fatigue: Fighting on without rest. Insensitivity to one’s own wounds; lack of realization of the damage to oneself as well as to others.

Battle fatigue; lack of perspective induced by that condition. Inefficiency in struggling because of lack of care about oneself. Dangerous and unfair behavior as a result of uncared -for injuries – Traditional reversed meaning: physical debility, weakness. Obstacles still to be overcome.


The King of Pentacles reversed:

Gearhart I don’t get – Economic naiveté – Well, read economic as resources/marijuana. ‘the querent does not know how to make things work for her, either with marijuana or in other practical circumstances. Frustrating ignorance in the face of others’ continuing success.” Yes.

Graves speaks of Taurean perseverance and diligence having pulled things together: “Likely, this man has sacrificed a great deal on the emotional plane but we see the many symbols of the future within his bosom have paved the way for others (?) (Is this a reference to my will?)

And promoted the continuance of those cultural forms, the arts and literature, which are inextricably related to wealth.

So, that’s right. Even if I don’t make it to write the definitive form of my work, it could still happen, via my will.


But also, upside down, means “looked at 180˚ out” the fact that I now have the physical plane together can be a cause for panicked pressure or for gratitude, and breathing deeply.

And don’t forget: magic bulls

and All-Deborahn, his twinkling eye, and your promise to her, in gratitude for such dark and star-filled nights.


X                                             X                                                         X


I had gathered together some symbols of Mu beach, of the trust and openness and breakthroughs I was feeling then, and of the writing that came pouring through me then, that sense of connection to the source, of delighted understanding, of meeting in a magic place?

THE ACE OF SWORDS: a sword, pommel upright like the Sword in the Stone, cleaving/growing from symbols of the future. On either side of the double-edged blade a white rose grows. (The guard of the handle seems backwards.) vines, perhaps, entangle it. The sky is pink and mottled.

Graves: the two white roses, symbols of purity and freedom from earthly desires and passions, remind us that only through the process of (scientific thought and) the written word can mankind as a continuing species find release from the oppression of reality.” Does that mean I’m supposed to write (finish writing) about the Mu circle and the vision questing? Womanspirit asks for vision quest writing for next time. It surely would be nice  get that finished up, too.

Hmmm: Gearhart: The Gift of Power  (She sees it, though, as patriarchal power.) Traditionally: power and justice which maintain world order. Success, strength, force. All enterprises will succeed. Excessive degree in everything. A thought comes to mind from something I read today: Witchcraft is the understanding that our source of power is within ourselves. This is why it has always been dangerous to the ruling orders, and always will be. (new women’s times; Oct ’81 issue; article on witch hunts)


Well, some thoughts. I guess I must be satisfied with that for now. Feel I still have some unanswered questions about Mu Beach – especially, how to get back there; in touch with those realities.

X                                             X                                                         X

So, finally:

Any last reminders?

The Queen of Pentacles/ The Hermit, reversed.

The Queen of Pentacles = on that other reading I did, she was ‘the likely outcome.”

She bears certain resemblances to the knight of cups – a helmet topped by a wing. But she faces left and carries the pentacles sphere, watching it intently. (her hair is reddish-brown.) (her cap is full of “future” signs.) she watches intently, but also patiently. She’s got the whole world in her hands.

On one level, both cards a reminder of my other continuing involvements in the world, perhaps,

Graves: “a woman, possibly the wife of a successful financier. She is closely involved with the business of her spouse, and inclined to lend {her} assistance if it is called for. She is responsible and a source of pride for her wife and family. She is most likely involved in social activities, the arts and civic responsibilities. She is active, generous, and intelligent.”

Gender-Translation courtesy of

Your Wife.

Yes. Writers group, yoghurt and sprouts and letters to the city council. Wills and changes of tire.


The woman who built a house for you.

And the Hermit – but how could it be reversed?

“In his right hand he holds a lantern within which shines a star.” Diogenes looking for a star in the night-time, me, silly woman, being my own fall-guy, looking for the good dark in the abundance of night. Or perhaps the star is a twinkling eye.

He may be holding the light for one approaching along the way, or be using it to illuminate the world outside his window.” Graves “A.C.: Virgo. Meaning: Spiritual thirst. “He is alone in the present.”  “The star within his lantern is the star of enlightenment and with it the Hermit, symbol of ageless wisdom, illuminates the darkness of the unknown. He holds the lantern both for himself and for all others who might seek its illumination.”

So … “seen from 180˚ out” that computes to … his wife, of course. Perhaps it’s a reminder of this duality, this alternation; the necessity to thank the wife rather than try to beat her down.

But a wife – a wife as such exists in-relation-to her spouse, in a relation of supporting, caring-for, providing a home and food and touching…but for her spouse. Hermits exist precisely insofar as they are solitary wisdom seekers. Wives exist precisely because they are wives of someone. Therefore the wife is in no danger of becoming the whole cheese in this situation. Her efforts, and she mustn’t forget it, are to minister to her very real mate, her love, the love for whom she labors, the Hermit, the Seeker of Wisdom.


The wife shall have her woman’s day

And the Hermit shall find her night.


I forgot: There were two cards whose significance I couldn’t remember. Now I have. Just after I asked “What is this reading about?” and got the Ace of Pentacles

I asked, in honor of this Solstice Night “Tell me of the dark and the light.” The three of sword and the three of rods, reversed.

Three of rods. Graves:  In this card there is an overwhelming feeling that the {woman} depicted is looking beyond the ships, beyond the mountains, beyond that which can be known by ordinary methods. … The {woman} is a traveler, a time-traveler, who  for one reason or another is not anchored in the present.

Reversed: blindness


And the three of hearts, that terrible figure, that soft, vulnerable pink heart pierced (Hmm, I first wrote “pearced” hmm) through by three steel swords.

Ah! I knew it: ROMANCE

This card demonstrates the social order’s attitude toward love:” Gearhart,

either its excitement fades into mediocrity (is it still there, then, “true love”?), or its exclusive existence (between only two, please) is invaded by a third party, thus necessitating love’s tragic death.”

Oyy…! I really only wanted to ask about that vague stuff in general, Tarot … Not about the pain and turmoil I’ve been personally suffering under this last few weeks, I‘d planned to ignore all that, “get above it.”

“Falling in love” she continues, “Exotic highs. Thrills and sheer delight. Sexual attraction. The romantic mode. All the Hollywood accoutrements. Intensification of relationships in the traditional patriarchal manner. Noble pain and agony.” Oh, no, it’s … Sandra. “Genuine love and the ‘power-over’ mindset cannot co-exist.” Glad to hear it, maybe we made the right decision. But, ouch, that poor heart riven by the threefold sword! “Traditional meaning: Sorrow, separation, absence (of a loved one). Strife, quarreling with love partners.”

Let’s look to Graves for a step back in perspective.

“Conflict between reason and emotions. Not necessarily an unfortunate set of circumstances, as this conflict can and ultimately does result in the maturation of the individual – the occult reading of the number three implies multiplication, growth, unfolding.

Thus as the vacillating world of impressions and feelings are pierced by the unyielding swords of reason, so the processes of growth and understanding are permitted to begin. The forms symbolizing the future appear in this card to signify that where there is loss or setback, so is there hope for a more fulfilled and balanced tomorrow.”

Oh, yes, tangren. Of course. Now I remember!

Remember but a few hours earlier writing

The time alone must be enough.

A more fulfilled and balance tomorrow.

Oh, please yes.

And so the story about the darkness and the light was not a  setting out of “good things” and “bad things”; it was a story about ‘seeing’ and about ‘blindness’, a story about ‘suffering’ and ’trust’.



Well, I do think that’s an interesting Tarot reading. And even though I certainly admit to taking what spoke to me in the interpretations and leaving the rest, still the random chance of the cards making that much sense seems low. The Tarot does seem to be a place where once in while I can sit down and make a kind of magic actually happen…

It was so good to write so much, even if it was mostly copying, still, to feel the pages filling is good practice…

And to copy the word was to impress them on my mind, to stay in that world, that thought, that frame of reference for as long a it takes to write it out, staying there, knowing the thought more intimately, making connections, it’s a nice sort of meditation {and certainly the same is true of original writing – writing down one’s thought and ideas. It helps to make them real to see them slowly (just as it helps to hear them repeated as in “Gertrude Stein.”)}

It’s also been good for me to undertake such a private speaking with myself as a tarot reading is; a fitting exercise to begin this time alone, to care enough about the question to call up all of what I know, to be on my toes for an answer that may speak in the language of any one of my myriad selves.


Dear Deborah,

Well, one thing I’m not sure about is whether or not you love magic? In fact, I doubt it.”


Dear Deborah,

Well, one thing I wonder about is whether or not you believe in magic. I do remember a story about filming in Ireland: it was only after you had said a grudging ‘good morning’ to the fairies that the weather cleared (had it been heavy?) and the filming could proceed. One had the impression you thought that the fairies did not exist and so ought not to be troubled about.

My case is similar. If you do not delight to believe in magic, you will probably not acknowledge me.

But I wonder … How could Deborah Kerr not believe in magic, in the magic of believing what is impossible, nonsensical. In the theater it is called, more appropriately, the “suspension of disbelief.” You are Deborah Kerr. You are not Karen Holmes or Lygia or Laura; they exist only in fiction, in our minds, in the words on a page.

But then you – and we – forget that you are Deborah Kerr, actress, wife and mother, friend and painter. Impossibly, you are not she, but Karen Holmes with her bitter interest, Lygia lighting the lamps of love.

Suddenly Hannah Jelkes lives before our eyes, smiling with your face; Terry McKay touches her mouth with your hands. You are not these women. Perhaps you, as many other actresses feel you must guard against peoples’ expectations that you are your characters.

You are not your characters; and yet is not the magic of acting exactly in this that we all manage more or less for a while to suspend our disbelief in this thing that we know is not true? Only so can Karen Holmes live. Only so is there meaning to drama.

And also, I wonder, are they not you? Parts of you?

When I feel Laura Reynolds heart space open in you? And Hannah’s calm acceptance of “anything human, that s not violent or unkind”? When I see Ida’s easy strength, don’t I know you a little? Maybe a lot? Or Sister Angela’s friendly, passionless way of caring; or Karen Holmes’ passionate, vulnerable way – Flavia’s “yes” so desired, so bountifully given, and Karen Holmes’ anger and growing strength.

When I know how you might walk and move and be in a thousand feelings and situations within and beyond the boundaries of your daily life and feelings – is that not knowing Deborah Kerr?

So the question is, do you believe in believing in magic?

Love, Jean Fitch


Suspension of disbelief … that’s a great way of thinking of it. Believing in magic is mainly a matter of suspending the belief that t is impossible – as in doing a Tarot reading. Imagine that there are real messages just to you. Don’t believe it’s impossible, look and see what there is.

Or it’s believing two contrary things at once. For of course even as you believe in Karen Holmes smiling to herself in her kitchen, you are conscious of lights and cameras. The trick is not to let believing in one truth keep you from believing something else.

P.S. have you ever changed your mind about fairies?

P.SS. sometimes I think of how your mother died, an accident in a rainstorm. Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t important to know heavy weather when you see it?


Tuesday morning:{December 29, 1981} Fragments of dreams:

An interview with Deborah Kerr is on the radio – Marcella and Pearl are having a noisy altercation, it’s hard to listen or concentrate. About half way through I remember to start recording it. I only remember one remark – on the ‘making do with what’s at hand’ theme, about food, about how she will just cook up whatever there is and call it what she wishes it were. Her voice seems small and flat an I’m disappointed it’s not more interesting.

Lying there this morning I also remembered there had been something about sexuality … trying to think what it had been …. To my surprise I remembered … Lying on a big bed with Sandra and Chia – at the moment Chia was making love to me. But I had already come once and it was hard to generate the energy, to concentrate. Plus I was wondering where I’d ever get the energy to give her her turn. Finally we stop and get up. Chia says “it seemed like you were falling asleep.” I realize I was.


{Typist’s Note: There is a 1/3 page drawing of a rocking chair with a blanket/shawl draped over the seat and arms. Near it, as though hung on a wall, is a small framed mirror (?) with a feather sticking out from it.}


Tuesday evening

Writing to Sandra just now about the dream. I wrote: “Well, I don’t know just what it means – maybe a present need to ease up on sexuality and save energy for other things; not wanting to give attention to Chia.” Good guesses.

Since morning I’ve walked around the hill, piled the front porch with firewood, remodeled my 2 new pairs of blue jeans, turning extra cuffs into pockets, read several things, eaten several times, and written to Sandra. How to center in on the night’s work?

I’m finding sketching fascinating … The first time I did it was Sunday at Tee and Caroline’s Tee had been sketching the meeting before, at my house. It was neat to see all those pieces of my room reproduced like that. So when I started doodling it occurred to me that I could try sketching, too. I was amazed at how well things turned out, and how much charm a teapot or lampshade has when it’s sketched. The things to me had the same charm as little miniatures of things have; in fact I almost felt confusedly that the teapot and pot were little miniatures I’d made. And now  I like this rocking chair very much. – I drew it this morning, delaying the start of the day.

I had no idea I could sketch so well – it almost seems like a gift that may or may not stay with me. When I’ve tried to draw before it’s never turned out so well. But maybe I’m getting better at seeing. Or maybe it’s some magic Tee did.


Wednesday Dec 30 {1981}

Stayed up till 4:00 or so writing letters, ordering some women’s writing; got very little written except for writing to Trudy. Got up at 11:00 or so – breakfast, dishes, bath and a walk have gotten me to now: 3:30.

Walking I found Annie Dillard’s phrase came back to me from a space of several years: “utterly focused and utterly dreamed” … yes – what a perfect way to describe what I think of as the stoned state: and one it seems to me I haven’t been to in years. Anyway, the phrase is one of those achievements of description that makes me glad of language, one of the times it is demonstrated to me what an incredible tool language is for expanding our intelligence reminding us of what w have lived, understood.

I woke Christmas morning remembering a dream of being with Dianne. When you haven’t seen someone in a long while and then you do see them, it all comes flooding back to you: yes, that’s right; that’s what the person was like! … So it was.  We were talking about all sorts of things, laughing with her sense of humor. Then I was looking at her dear, beautiful face, just overcome by the joy of seeing her again. That made me think of her mother whose name is Trudy and who looks like her. I was about to tell her how much we’d begun writing to each other when I remembered that the reason for all that was that she had died. The grief came so sharp again. “Oh, Dianne!” I said, the tears starting, “this is after you died!” But she was amused; she began “Well when you do think …” then stopped, seeming to think it was better not to say it if I hadn’t figured it out. But I understood; I too had died, creating my own little stir of grief back there among those I’d left; I almost remembered it now …

The dream went on in an odd way – we were walking up the dirt of Terrace St. to go to my house so we could talk. But at the base of the hill there was a policeman and the body of a dead man – the man had been murdered – the policeman wanted to show the body. We didn’t want to think about it, we just wanted to talk to each other, but the policeman was insistent: the body had no head, he pointed out to us. The head had either been cut off or – more likely – scrunched down between the shoulders (as happens in climbing falls).

Finally we got past him and went on up the road – but now it was down the hall instead.  As we came t the last bedroom at the end the policeman came on down the hall. I was irritated, but also thought perhaps I should be glad of the protection; if there really was a murderer lurking in the house maybe it would be good for him to check it out.

In the rather tacky bedroom there was no one; but the  window was open. Dianne walked to the window. “He came in through here” she announced; then, seeing a wallet on a box she said “he touched this, he put it there.” “And this,” she began to indicate something else. I turned to the policeman to explain : “she’s very psychic; she’s very good at this sort of thing. She does know.” But the policeman was not looking at me, but at Dianne, and I saw in his eyes that he was watching her come to understand that he himself was the murderer.

That scared me so I woke up. “Funny, to worry about being murdered when we were already dead,” I thought. Not sure I understand the last part; still it’s so clear to me, it may mean something. And at least by waking up I was led to recapture the first part, my loveliest Christmas present.


Hmm… Remembering, there is no height around there – Terrace St.– from which the victim could have fallen … I remembered Dianne’s remark once comparing her exploration of consciousness to the mountain climbing I did – the dangers of both … “and sometimes you don’t even know if there’s any mountain”