Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Feb 5, 2013

My Brief Correspondence with Anais Nin

I discovered the Diaries of Anais Nin in the early 70s.
I was book dowsing - holding myself still for a moment in the public library, feeling all the books and ideas and words held there - feeling the pull of them. Then holding myself still and allowing myself to be intuitively drawn to one aisle, one set of shelves, where I closed my eyes and let my hand be drawn to a particular book.

 It was one of the Diaries that day, not sure which, but it was one of those books that disrupted my soul, that excited me in that intensely painful way that some things do because fires are lit inside.  Fires are lit and you are burned unless you answer the call to dance around them, to light some of your own. You must move, you must do, you must act....when a book comes at you like that.

At some point, I had to communicate with her.  And I wrote her. 

She wrote me back. On a lovely purple postcard emblazoned with the symbol of Pisces. 

I wrote her again and sent a poem. I am not sure where that poem is, but I remember it was about a room and filled with womb imagery.

She wrote me back on a card contained within a package. In the package were copies of Under the Sign of Pisces / Anais Nin and Her Circle - a newsletter published through Ohio State University.  She said she was ordering her book, Novel of the Future, for me.  And later, it arrived.

I wrote back once more to thank her, but did not hear from her again, nor did I write again.  I felt I had gotten such lovely gifts from her already. To ask for more would have been greedy.


 PS. My mother always wrote letters to writers she admired. She had no reticence about it, nor about sharing her own writing journey with them. Often they wrote her back....William Saroyan, Paul Gallico, John Fahey...all the letters are lost now, but I remember seeing some of them, hearing her speak of them. She also told a wonderful story of meeting Robert Frost, how the room was hushed and reverent, how a line of people silently shook his hand in the reception line, and moved on. How she shook his hand and quite distinctly said," Hello, I'm George-Anna Harbeson and I write poetry, too." Mr. Frost looked at her and said, "Why, I've never heard of you."
 (Happy Birthday, Mom - I do miss your wonderful stories and the way you told them!)

picture with Nin quote came to me from a Facebook friend, but is also found here.


At 2/5/13, 2:41 PM, Blogger Linda Sue said...

Oh my- so sincere- too late to let her know how splendid you did become!Perhaps Patrick can let her know, I am pretty sure they must have met in common love for you...

At 2/12/13, 12:24 PM, Blogger Kim said...

Wonderful and amazing story! Thanks for sharing! :)


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