© 2018 . All rights reserved.

End of June Photos, Thoughts and Capturings

The only surviving letter of Willa Cather to Edith Lewis:

Sunday 4:30 P.M.
[October 5, 1936]
Shattuck Inn, Jaffrey, New Hampshire

My Darling Edith;

I am sitting in your room, looking out on the woods you know so well. So far everything delights me. I am ashamed of my appetite for food, and as for sleep — I had forgotten that sleeping can be an active and very strong physical pleasure. It can! It has been for all of three nights. I wake up now and then, saturated with the pleasure of breathing clear mountain air (not cold, just chill air) of being up high with all the woods below me sleeping, too, in still white moonlight. It’s a grand feeling.

One hour from now, out of your window, I shall see a sight unparalleled — Jupiter and Venus both shining in the golden-rosy sky and both in the West; she not very far above the horizon, and he about mid-way between the zenith and the silvery lady planet. From 5:30 to 6:30 they are of a superb splendor — deepening in color every second, in a still-daylight-sky guiltless of other stars, the moon not up and the sun gone down behind Gap-mountain; those two alone in the whole vault of heaven. It lasts so about an hour (did last night). Then the Lady, so silvery still, slips down into the clear rose colored glow to be near the departed sun, and imperial Jupiter hangs there alone. He goes down about 8:30. Surely it reminds one of Dante’s “eternal wheels”. I can’t but believe that all that majesty and all that beauty, those fated and unfailing appearances and exits, are something more than mathematics and horrible temperatures. If they are not, then we are the only wonderful things — because we can wonder.

I have worn my white silk suit almost constantly with no white hat, which is very awkward. By next week it will probably be colder. Everything you packed carried wonderfully — not a wrinkle.

And now I must dress to receive the Planets, dear, as I won’t wish to take the time after they appear — and they will not wait for anybody.


I don’t know when I have enjoyed Jupiter so much as this summer.

Willa Cather and Edith Lewis

I once asked my mother who were the handsomest actor and the most beautiful actress ever to come out of Hollywood. Mom said quickly not so much thinking as reacting to the question: “Tyrone Power and Elizabeth Taylor.” Her answer certainly dated her, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, to be sure, but those choices are worthy of debate even today. For me, this photo by Burton Glinn is very charming; it casts a spell; and you can see Elizabeth Taylor, the consummate professional, isn’t thinking about how beautiful she looks, but does the illusion work.

Liz Taylor, photo by Burton Glinn


Photo by Daisy Fried

Folks in Philly kneeling to protest ICE and their kidnapping of children. This is very effective I think: to kneel: it is in solidarity with NFL players for sure, and also is a symbol of those who kneel to pray, humble defiance; there’s nothing like it, and it is in the spirit of those who protested with leaders like Dr. King and Gandhi in the past.

June 16

Leave a Reply