Not necessarily, I was merely a bad case, and required a desperate remedy, earth and air and freedom from others’ will. I need the country, but the next man might require the city as passionately. Don’t imagine that only the hermits, like me, live instinctively. It can be done in New York, too, only one mustn’t be so sensitive to others.... After all, friend, we were wrong in saying that this power lies outside the world of skyscrapers and business. It doesn’t lie outside nor inside. It cuts across everything. Do you see? For it’s all a matter of the man’s own soul.
We can’t live in a vacuum. The more you feel the force, the more you must act. The more you can act. And in the long run it doesn’t matter what you do, if you do what your own instinct bids.
Then I could stay right in the midst of it?
Yes. And if you were thinking of writing poetry, it might even be better to stay in the midst of it. Drama, you know ... and it’s time for a new drama.
It isn’t that, with me. I can’t write.... I had one splendid teacher. He used to talk about things right in class. He said that most educated people think that intellect is a matter of making fine distinctions—of seeing as two separate points what the unintelligent would believe was one point; but that this idea was finicky. He wanted us to see that intelligence might also be a matter of seeing the connection between two things so far apart that most people would think they were always separate. I like that. It made education mean something, because it made it depend on imagination instead of grubbing. And then he told us about the history of our subject—grammar. How it began as poetry, when every word was an original creation; and then became philosophy, as people had to arrange speech with thought; and then science, with more or less exact, laws. I could see it—the thing became alive. And he said all knowledge passed through the same stages, and there isn’t anything that can’t eventually be made scientific. That made me think a good deal. I wondered if somebody couldn’t work out a way of preventing anybody from being poor. It seems so unnecessary, with so much work being done. That’s what I want to do. Thanks to you, I—
Here’s Rex! Rex, know my good friend. I know you will like him. Rex always cares for the people I do, don’t you, Rex?
Of course, I see one thing: it’s the people nearest one that make the most difference. Mother, now, she will understand.... You don’t believe in marrying, though, do you?