Sunday, July 15, 2012

Enough of the working out, and the eating, and the recipes.  On to something else I love.  Reading...

There's an awesome website I visit called Letters of Note. You should check it out. 

These folks catalog these fabulous letters from famous people to fans and foes. Letters from people like Bowie, Springsteen, Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Marilyn Monroe & Einstein!  Did I list too many? 
There is a sort of hidden wisdom in the letters. Reading them often feels like unearthing a secret. It feels voyeuristic. I'm posting two below, but you can search the database by writer OR subject.

Here's one of my favorites from Steinbeck to his son Thom.  I'll let you decide.  To me, it feels like good advice. Especially what he says about love.  Remember that feeling when someone made light of your love? It was crushing and crippling.  I love how he addresses that.  And of course, the last line...Nothing good gets Away...

New York November 10, 1958
Dear Thom:
We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.
First—if you are in love—that’s a good thing—that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.
Second—There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.
You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply—of course it isn’t puppy love.
But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it—and that I can tell you.
Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.
The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.
If you love someone—there is no possible harm in saying so—only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.
Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.
It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another—but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.
Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.
We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.
And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens—The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.

And secondly one from Harper Lee.. it's in her hand. Second paragraph is one to live by for sure.
 Transcript below.


Dear Jeremy

I don't have a picture of myself, so please accept these few lines:

As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don't think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, "I'm probably no better than you, but I'm certainly your equal.

Harper Lee

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