A Letter

From John Steinbeck to his son. (Snagged this one from the lovely Estelle)

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.





Random quotes found in random journals, not my own words:

All of life, and not just childhood, is an ongoing process of disillusionment, of trading innocence for knowledge.

How is it that a certain narrative comes to define a person's life?

As morning wasted into noon...

She learned to read the clouds.

What the best writers and scholars do is to help us cherish the times and places we are made strange to ourselves, when our heads are split open by the paucity of our definitions and we are rendered helpless by the limits of our knowledge. There are we most human; there do we learn empathy; there do we begin to reach and expand.



The first photo is a still shot from a film called 'Heaven'. I saw it a few months ago and when I try to think of something beautiful, the last scene of this movie pops up in my mind. It's one of those scenes that leaves your body vibrating for hours afterwards. I don't remember which website the second photo came from but I'll give credit when I figure it out. When I think about a live/work space, the plants and windows and cushion look pretty ideal.

Sarah Lippett

Fantastical home.

Tristram Landsdowne