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#1439: Willa Cather to Yaltah Menuhin Stix, [February 27, 1939]

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My Darling Yaltah1;

Tonight your Abba5 telephoned me that you have a horrid bronchitis. And I want to tell you how sorry I am, dear child. I am so glad you are in a warm place3 where cold ought to be soon overcome. But anything wrong with one’s breathing always makes one feel so sick and miserable, and my heart aches for you. Here is your little orange tree beside me, all green-and-gold and flourishing, and my little friend herself is probably hot and feverish. I wish I could take care of you as I have of it. But I know that my girl has great vitality and courage, and that heavy feeling in the chest will soon be gone.

And Yehudi6 really is in Jaffrey7! He telephoned Moshe today that he was is there, and the country is covered with snow, and that he loves the quiet. So you see my happy dream about his having a retreat from the world in the Shattuck Inn8 with nothing to look at but the snow and the star stars and the long undulating line of the mountain—well, the dream has come true after all. I am sure the rest will be so good for him. I was telling you about Mozart9’s writing to his father10 “Happiness? That is in the imagination.” That also means that people without imagination can never be very happy, and we cannot make so, not if we cut off our right hand for them. Mozart knew that imagination is really the finer kind of sympathy and understanding. That it is the eyes of the soul, and sees the spiritual meaning behind all physical things; the eyes that show all the great glories and splendours of the world. With the eyes we take to the oculist we see only the shadow of things—even of material things. Something has to quiver inside us somewhere when we really see! The real eyes are in the brain, or the heart, or the nerves—somewhere. I don’t think any anatomist has ever found them yet.

And now I am going to imagine that you are much better tonight, and that the next time I hold them your dear little hands will not be thin as they were a few weeks ago, but plump as they were last Winter. And it will come true, as imagining Yehudi at Jaffrey came true.

Good night my darling Yaltah; it is getting late, and I hope by this time you are fast asleep.

So lovingly, dear, Your Aunt Willa.
Mrs. William Stix1 Los Gatos3 California P.O. Box "P" NEW YORK N. Y. STA Y2 FEB 28 1939 430 PM 1939 FROM CATHER 570 PARK AVE4., NEW YORK CITY2 TRIKI-TRITXA2 J J