No. And it’s those nearest one that it’s hardest to say things to. But to-night, somehow, I don’t feel that way.
It’s this architecture. You remember when I used to play with water colors all the while, and say I was going to be an artist?
Father always said I would get over it. But when I didn’t, then it occurred to him that if I learned architecture I could help him in his building.... I thought architecture would be the same. But it isn’t. I can’t see any art in it at all—it’s nothing but engineering.
But Walter, you haven’t gone far enough in it. The art will come later.
No it won’t! At least not with father. He never builds anything that lets me imagine. You don’t know how I hate those blue prints. I’ve been worrying along so far because I didn’t want to disappoint father, though every day I hoped he would see what I really felt. But to-night I know I can’t go on any longer without having it out. If he will let me follow my own idea he will be better pleased in the end than if I stick at this business of his. It will require one good fight, and then I shall be free to show what I can do.
But Walter, what is it exactly you want to do?
I suppose I ought to say that I want to be an artist rather than a builder’s draughtsman, but that isn’t really it. I mean that behind the brain I think with every day there is another brain, bigger and wiser, that keeps asking the chance to show the rest of me what and how to act. In ordinary things the everyday mind gets along by itself all right, but I feel the other self there all the while, wanting me to begin something different, something to let it escape from dreaming to doing. And it keeps threatening that some day it will he too late. Only begin, begin!... Yes, I have worried along so far, but just to-night, for some reason or other, I seem to be standing on the brink. I won’t go another step. It’s in the rain now—I hear it. Oh, the pictures I could paint if we lived in the country!
In the country!
Yes. It comes over me here how much these hills mean. Oh! and there’s another thing, mother.... I thought I was born in New York, I thought we always lived there, but just a while ago I ran onto your old family Bible, and it had the records in it. I—