This is a long disquisition, but I just had to get it out of my system; yet I can’t, it bothers, and confuses, and perplexes, and hinders, I believe. Better brush it away for practical purposes and have the Will to Believe, for thence cometh strength. Pragmatically C. S. works out with certain people; and to them it is Truth. I wish it were so with my doubting mind, that I could believe. I am willing to be cured tho’ I do not understand and cannot believe, and this they say they can do. But it has not been done with me.
Lunch broke into this discourse, and then a walk. This time on the other side of the house, the other side of the hill. There I found a new world. Palms, huge ones, thirty feet across, with their dead branches strewing the ground, making a coarse woven carpet; and pines, large ones, yet not so gigantic as yours on the road beyond the creek; and acacia in full golden bloom, glorious, yet modest tree, a very rare, non-self-assertive tree, a truly Christian tree, beautiful but not prideful. Bamboo in great clumps, erect, yielding but not to be broken—wise, tenacious orientals! And I walked on the off-cast seed of the pepper, and beside cacti higher than my head with spears of crimson, and across a sweep of lawn over which oranges had been dropped, by the generosity of an up-hill row of trees that were saying, “We must make room for the next generation.” The flowers (oxalis) and leaves I enclose made a mat, close clinging to the earth, a mat of white, red, and lavender resting on these clover-like leaves that rested in turn directly on the ground. And all about, a hundred plants I did not know, into which my footsteps sent quail and rabbit, that did not fear me really but could not quite say that Man is Love.
I have written you a long line, may it serve for a time as a word also to your dear Lady, whose letter and rare bit of verse I have also received. I do hope that you soon master whatever ails you. Don’t lose faith in yourself, above all things. Believe that you are all that your friends believe you to be—a Civilized Medicine Man. Be as deluded as we are. Affectionately,
To John W. Hallowell
Los Angeles, February 21, 1921 my dear Jack,—It is Sunday morning, very early; the sun is trying to get out of bed, a mocking bird is hailing its effort with great gurgling. I am sitting near an open window looking down into orange trees, which are a very dark shadow, and I am just as happy in my heart as I can be with a bum heart, and no home, and a scattered family. But —! Bad word that “but.”