9 April 1967
The last few days have been cold and rainy in Cascais. Since I had a small sore throat yesterday, I didn’t go swimming. However, I did go the day before. The weather was overcast and the water quite chilly. Nevertheless I enjoyed it once I got in—and I felt marvelous afterwards. I gathered quite an audience (on the esplanade) who, no doubt, thought I was crazy.
There is a very nice beach here and the water is nicer than at Santa Barbara, Cascais could very well compare with the latter. It certainly is a lovely resort village with all the advantages. There is sailing here, too—lots of boats for rent.
As for accommodations—I looked at the apartment yesterday and I didn’t like it at all. That is, the location was very bad—in the hills behind Cascais. It is part of a new development and the building isn’t even finished. I would really be isolated there—and I would prefer living in Lisbon. I am now looking for something else. Rents are higher here, naturally, than in Lisbon, since it is a choice area. I could have a rented place, however, for about $80—the same as in Lisbon. I’ve seen a few—but I rather like the idea of finding an unfurnished place and furnishing it very simply—from scratch—since the rent is much cheaper. I could sleep on a mattress of palha—straw. It doesn’t matter.
In the meantime I am staying in a very pleasant pension—inexpensive—where everyone is very nice to me. I can stay as long as I like since there is not much tourist movement at this time.
I am very lonely—especially at night—and after my dinner I go directly to my room. As you might imagine, I feel very sad and I don’t know what to do. It seems my whole world has broken.
I hope that you are happy and occasionally studying. Don’t waste your time with pop music. Its better to study the guitar. You have so many capacities. I hope you don’t betray yourself.
I feel very unhappy when I think of the last memories of me you must have—raging and crying. I never thought that I could behave like that and I am full of despair. Everything has been so terribly ugly and brutal and childish. There is a point at which one can no longer control one’s emotions. I am glad that such scenes don’t damage you and that you are not so sensitive as I am. That would be insupportable.
I still love you both—but I know that neither of you want me nor need me. Thus, it is very painful that I am so dependent on you two—for love, affection, understanding—for my very life. I don’t know if one can remake oneself. If I cannot, then all is finished for me.
I suppose I can never make you understand the need that forced me to leave you both. Certainly it wasn’t pleasure. I had to understand the world in all its manifestations and dimensions. Some of these dimensions have been destroyed in the U.S. Here one can still see how people have always lived before the machine—and one can thus evaluate better what life is.
I have never needed anyone but you and Joe—but I have deeply needed a greater intellectual experience of life. I was just formed in that way—and no doubt that is a tragic situation for a woman—because she should discover her meaning within her family.
Being such a person as I am, I know that I have failed you in many ways. At the same time there is a compensation for you. I am not a possessive, demanding mother and I only want you to be free and happy. I would like to see you more interested in some kind of service to society. However, you will find your own direction.
I did think that I had something to offer Joe being the kind of person I am. But he saw my search as a competitive rather than a complementary one.
I have been too restless and unhappy to make a good wife and good mother. The saddest thing of all is that I have never been capable of doing anything about the misery in the world that has hurt me so much.
Try to remember me with some understanding. No doubt that understanding will only come with experience. One day you might say—“My mother was a very tormented person; one not very well equipped to deal with the world—but she never wanted to hurt anyone.”
* * * * * * * * * *
4 May 1967
My dearest little boy,
I have been waiting so long for a letter from you. I thought that this time you would write—since you promised me before you left. At least you are independent of me—even tho I’m not independent of you—unfortunately I am terribly lonely and sad at the fact that I can’t see you. I don’t know what you’re doing—what you’re thinking—and I wonder if you ever think of me. I can’t seem to recover from what has happened. I can’t believe that I no longer have a family or a home to return to. I can’t understand that Joe no longer loves me when we loved each other so much. I have only myself to blame—for deserting you both. You might understand some day the needs that sent me away. In a way—altho our lives are so different—Henry Adams sought the same things I have. I never wanted to leave my family—but I had to…even if it destroyed me……and perhaps it has.
I haven’t made any plans. It is very difficult to find work here and you know I’m not very aggressive. Unfortunately, I have no experience at all—except for years ago at stupid things. I am just reading now and trying to write—and hoping that I will find some way of becoming independent and no longer a burden on the people I love.
I want to be brave—but I have no one to turn to. As yet I haven’t found the strength and selflessness to forget my hurt.
I feel that Joe has changed so much I no longer know him. How strange after I thought I knew him so well and we were closer than any two people in the world. I respected him so. Well, I can’t forget my Joe—nor my David.
I don’t know what I’ll be able to do without you both. I only hope you’re both well and happy—and never lonely. I guess I forced myself to have a life of loneliness. Perhaps something might come of it—perhaps not. At any rate—no one will care except myself.
I hope you’re getting ready for your exams. Please, dearest, study—it isn’t too difficult for you since you’re quite intelligent. You have so much to gain. I would be so proud of you if you did.
Please write me just a little note. I’m terribly lonely here.