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#1186: Willa Cather to Dorothy Canfield Fisher, June 22 [1933]

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My Dearest Dorothy1:

At last the Herald Tribune3 article4 did reach me, and I sent it straight to Isabelle5. A reply has just reached me. Both she and Jan6 are delighted with it. Isabelle says she wishes to see you to tell you how much she likes it. She would certainly be the hardest person in the world to please in such a matter, so I think we may say "a good job" without reservation. As for me, there is nothing in it that I don't like, and much that I do, and I'm very grateful to have so good a front presented to the public. if a front To me, myself, articles about myself never give me much delight, no matter how sympathetic and generous they are, simply because they make me for the moment self-conscious. My chief happiness (probably yours, too) is in forgetting the past as if it had never been. No, I don't mean 'the past', but myself in the past. As soon as I think of myself as a human figure in that past, in those scenes (Red Cloud7, Colorado8, New Mexico9) the scenes grow rather dim and are spoiled for me. When I remember those places I am not there at all, as a person. I seem to have been a jumble of enthusiasms and physical ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩sensations, but not a person. Maybe everyone is like that. How can anyone really see himself? He can see a kind of shadow he throws, but not the real creature. I have been running away from myself all my life (have you?) and have been happiest when I was running fastest. Those last three winters of my mother10's life held me close to myself and to the beginnings of things, and it was like being held against things too sad to live with.

So Sally11 is getting married, and my oldest nephew12 is getting engaged! My goodness, where have all the years gone to? It's all terribly perplexing, my dear. But I enjoy life immensely–when I forget it.

I'm off for Canada13 next week (Whale Cove, Grand Manan, New Brunswick14) Please let me know where you are going this summer. Not Germany15 now, I think. Thank you dear for your kind judgments, and your loyalty to early memories–memories of early youth, when such little things could produce wonders of excitement and joy.

Lovingly Willa