(Published in wordcatalyst, a now defunct literary journal)
The Kaleidoscope of Your Candlelit Eyes
“One shade the more one ray the less
Had half impaired the nameless grace ”
–Lord Byron (She Walks in Beauty)
As if your beauty
Hangs on the photographer’s art
The good lighting
Instead and no
Rather she (you) transforms
Since inherent bright
Gives its own light seizes
The camera says imperiously
Hence blessed memory of that night
When those stars were in your hair
Though not alas your eyes
They mined yours for
The translucent tumbling
Of the kaleidoscope
Of your candlelit eyes
Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Invocation:
“Towards the one, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.”
Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Prescribed Daily Mantra:
“My thoughtful self: Reproach no one. Bear malice towards no one. Hold a grudge against no one. Be wise, tolerant, considerate, polite, and kind to all.”
Well, since this is the third installment of a three part post, on to ancillary Aldous Huxley themes.
Because my having read most of Huxley’s novels, and him buying my aunt’s house, (and dying there) was not the end of my Huxley connection. The rest of my tale though is so indirect I fear it is anticlimactic. (Sometime that’s the trouble when writers go in strict chronological order)
It’s indirect because it’s no longer about Aldous, per se, since we now segue to his wife and my life.
You must know that his second (and last) wife was Laura Archera Huxley, the educator, and author of You Are Not the Target.
I learned in my research for the last post, that she famously administered LSD to Huxley on his deathbed. (In my Aunt’s house!) At his request, of course; toward his last days, he got fascinated with the possible mystic realizations under LSD and mescaline etc. He even wrote a book based on that, called The Doors of Perception.
My connection to Ms Huxley was also quite indirect, in that it amounted to my becoming romantically involved with someone who had been a friend of hers. And who had been to the fabulous Spanish (Monterrey) mini-mansion I had talked about two posts ago. I got to visit two weeks a year in my boyhood.
And so join me in my house worship, which became a symbol of if not liberation from a challenging childhood in the orphanage, at least a glimpse that there were other realities in the world, and highly cherished cheery ones too!
For background on that, here is the url:
This makes for an interesting story, and so here goes:
My dear friend Gail,*who died last year, initiated a connection between me and this woman, named Susan,**who was my long distance girlfriend (me in Guatemala, she in California) for three years, up in fact until about four years ago.
You must know that Gail was a trance medium. She made much of her living giving “readings” from a spirit she said was self-identified as “Miraflores,” (Not sure of the connection but in Spanish that means, “Look at flowers.”) But, for short, she was always referred to as “Mira.” To facilitate this communication, Gail would enter a trance state, and by and by this spirit would start to talk, (in a completely different way of speaking than Gail had) and would answer questions whether about the client’s personal life, professional life, or (this was the spirit’s preference) spiritual life, one’s relation to “God.”
Well, there came an occasion when this Susan was told by Mira, that the “Dear One” (Mira’s name for Gail) had a friend, a poet, (moi) who lived in Guatemala. And Susan would benefit if she commenced exchanging poems with me.
Well, while Susan was an excellent poet, (but not prolific) soon she ran out of material, and we pretty much just became pen pals, exchanging photos and then talking on the phone. Finally it was agreed that Susan would use her upcoming two weeks vacation to visit me in Guatemala.
And now comes in the Huxley connection.
During the taxi ride from the airport to Antigua, where I lived at the time, the conversation mysteriously got to me talking about the wonders of Aunt Edel’s house, and how she’d sold it to Aldous Huxley, who died there. (As I mentioned in the last post).
Susan listened quietly and finally said, “I’ve been there.”
Turned out she’d been a friend of Laura Archera Huxley. They both were working together on some education project. (At least twenty years after Aldous’ death; Laura was much younger)
Susan said she’d visited her in that house many times.
Yup. It’s a small world. Of course that’s scarcely odd considering the mystical considerations . . .
God be with you,
P. S. Before leaving the Aldous Huxley theme, Did you guys know that Huxley was just one of an impressive family? Aldous’ brother, Sir Julian Huxley was a biologist. And his famous grandfather, Thomas Henry Huxley was a zoologist, as well as Britain’s foremost exponent of Darwin’s new theory of evolution. (circa 1875ish)
Aldous had several other siblings who had achieved a first rank of notice in academic journals, etc. Though I think Aldous was the lone literary figure in the family. I find it (incidentally) interesting when families have so many accomplished (even hasta famous) members. Take acting, for instance. Witness Henry Fonda and Jane. And, famously, Lionel and John and Ethel Barrymore.
Or how ‘bout them Huston folk? I refer to John Huston (the director and screenwriter of Bogart’s classic, Treasure of the Sierra Madre), who Wikipedia says “directed both his father, Walter Huston, and daughter, Anjelica Huston, to Oscar wins in different films.” Of course Walter, his father, won it for Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
It also mentions that John, in addition to his directing “wrote the screenplays for most of the 37 feature films he directed, many of which are today considered classics: The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), Key Largo (1948), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The African Queen (1951), Moulin Rouge (1952), The Misfits (1961), and The Man Who Would Be King (1975).”
Or how about the musical Bachs? According to this interesting online article (http://www.notablebiographies.com/Ba-Be/Bach-Johann-Sebastian.html) Johann Sebastian Bach came from seven generations with a musician in the family. And of course they mentioned that four of his sons were noted composers (e. g. Karl Philip Emmanuel Bach and Johann Christian Bach)
Or even the father and son Buckleys who both died tragically young but left behind evidence of musical genius. Witness Jeff’s haunting rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
Which can be heard here:
*I wrote about Gail in the blog post of October 20, 2014. This was a bit of a panygyric to Gail, when she died. It was titled, “My Heart Comes Out to Hurt When the Chips Are Down.” Here’s the link:
**This Susan was I think out of my league, and it was a miracle we lasted three years (on and off, since I lived in Guatemala, and she in California).
But I really fell for her. See the poem above which I wrote when I could see the handwriting on the wall.