In September 1960 Lorrie returned to Berkeley after five years in Syracuse. Her husband remained behind in Syracuse to complete his teaching duties for the fall semester, then joined her in Berkeley for the spring semester where he taught as a visiting professor. This letter, dated September 27, 1960, was written to him.
I have been trying to write but they are drilling outside the apt and that combined with the noise of the traffic makes an awful racket! So I am writing to you because it is easier and more relaxing.
Yes, I am getting down to work, trying to reformulate some of the old problems that interest me…and I feel I am getting interested again. You couldn’t imagine what has happened to me, in the last year. I have always been aware of an immense reservoir of power inside of me, but recently I have felt close to death…lethargic and uncaring and old…so I almost finished myself off…but even I don’t deserve such self-punishment and I’m trying hard to revive. Of course you were right about one thing…when you said that things wouldn’t be the same here and that I would be disappointed. The truth is that nothing here has basically changed…Sure, some of the people have gone, but some are still here…What has changed is I myself. The college atmosphere, the coffee shops almost seem childish and when I attend the seminars I have an awful feeling that I’ve heard it all before, which of course I have. In a way I’m beginning to see that it would be almost a punishment to be forced to live the same life over and over without moving on to any other stage. I’ve grown out of the whole thing and of course the only thing left for me to do is to begin using my experience, to write, to create. I know that I can do it…it only requires a bit more love of life…really a rather difficult resurrection, a return from the dead. I find I’m hardly interested in my friends anymore, altho it’s nice to be able to have a cup of coffee with someone and talk as often as one wishes. Certainly (some) people still seem to like me and enjoy my company. But I have no desire to flirt or to encourage the sort of relationships that used to amuse me. I find myself somewhat bored by the man-woman relationship. Aside from writing I feel there is one other thing that offers something valuable. But I won’t tell you what that is. As far as the Bay Area is concerned…it has grown very big, but I enjoy its variety. It offers so much to make me happy. And then too one can find beauty and peace, trees, flowers, etc., to surround oneself with. The climate is unsurpassed. On the other hand I’ve had some reaction to people complaining about other places and how difficult it would be to live away from the Bay Area. All they want to do is take, and not give. Every community needs intelligent educated people but of course they want their own community, and there’s no doubt that Berkeley belongs to the lazy intelligentsia. So you’re right about this, darling.
I received your letter today and I miss you terribly. I could never stop loving you. I want to be your wife and not a professor. The health of my mind and soul depends on whether I can set down what I need to say; whether I can stand some more discouragements and begin writing. And you understand that, I know. You, on the other hand, have a job to do in the world…you’re a wonderful teacher and everybody needs you, dearest. I know you don’t like this letter…but I can only try to talk because I need you and love you.
Write to me more than once a week because I, we, miss you.