The 13th of June 1924 – Delano, Pennsylvania

(found by the knife with the blood and the bandage with the blood and the picture, drawn in wax crayon, of a sun with sunglasses and a smile on its face)

To Octavia,

There must be a nature to humanity. Or maybe there isn’t. But I would, I really would, like there to be a nature to humanity.

Something consistent. Something fundamental.

The Harrisons have had another child, and I was invited over to celebrate. There was quite a bit of champagne.

My point is that I wish we had no choice. Or, at least, that we can condemn those who exercise a choice as doing so out of cowardice more than anything else.

I want us to be feeling creatures. I want there to be no choice, no other option. I want us to be feeling creatures who cannot control what they feel, who cannot feel anything anyway other than intensely, painfully, brutally.

It is easy to weigh the benefits and risks, easy to make the safe decisions, easy to claim that a switch in the brain can be flipped to send the train down a different set of tracks.

But we have to love. Everything and everyone.

Love, Octavia, and love desperately. Love without hope or expectation. Love only to feel the world for what it really is, nothing less and nothing more.

If you want simple pleasures and simple joys – well Octavia, if you just want to be happy – then go down to the butcher’s and find a nice steak, marbled with plenty of fat. Grill it, pour a glass of wine and shut your window.

If you want truth, then, Octavia, love. Send tendrils of love out from your heart at all times. It is a challenge, and it is painful because you will feel the pain and suffering of all the world and all at once and because there are those whom you will love but who will not love you in return.

But we are all connected. And we all can do it.





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