blood simple

I'm still on the hand-written word and it's because of Marla that I'm adding more thoughts. Some years ago I had a fellowship to the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe with the express purpose of researching and writing a play about Alice James, sister of Henry and William. My Harvard Officer's card gave me access to the Houghton LIbrary where I had to leave everything in the cloakroom, taking nothing but a pencil and a piece of paper past the green baize door to enter the hallowed space.  (They probably allow laptops now?) Inside I signed my name in blood and received two boxes: one with Henry's letters to Alice and one with Alice's letters to Henry, plus her companion/caregiver's letters to Henry as well. (Katherine...Loring, I think it was, have to check).  Anyway, it was then that I got the opening scene, actually the set of the play I was to write. I saw Alice on her deathbed while Henry and Katherine kept vigil.  The letters, especially the last ones, of Henry to William and Katherine to Henry, were blood-warm. I felt the emotions, I heard the silence, flowing into me through the words, written by hand.  That's what my friend Marla brought back to me with her thoughtful note. I guess this is what makes hoarders of us all, a total reluctance to toss a piece of paper with a dead hand's words written on it.  I guess that's about as close to immortality as anyone can hope for, living on in memory through (written) words.  I guess that's all for now.