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June 30, 2007


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Dear Brian: As you are well aware we can never be certain or sure of anything. To me, truth is like bubbles, beautiful bubbles that burst one by one, pop, pop, pop. Tiny drifting absolutes with each one, in turn, becoming relatives and, just prior to the last pop, we perceive a grain of
truth that suddenly swings around to become a new absolute to which we cling, and a fresh froth of bubbles appears, then pop, pop, pop until the soap Maker decides basta, basta. Questions, what we deem necessary distractions must vanish into that void where deliciousness alone prevails and Truth becomes a non-sense theme.
I would like to have met with your mother.
She was her own creation.

Elizabeth W.

Elizabeth, yes, my mother -- like all of us --was her own creation. Wonderful, maddening, flawed, beautiful, talented, exasperating.

With some help from my grandmother she was able to build a house in Three Rivers, California in 1957.

I'll always remember, even at nine years old, how the bookcase in the living room was built to exactly hold the full width of the Great Books of the Western World. Perfectly.

I inherited them. Every time I open one of the volumes up I think of how much my mother valued learning, truth, facts, science, knowledge.

We had what must been one of the first residential heat pumps. It was huge. Ungainly. But she loved how energy efficient it was -- way ahead of her time.

She struggled with alcoholism for most of her life. Cirrhosis got to her body. A stroke attacked her brain. But she never stopped searching for whatever it is we're all looking for.

I've spent a lot of my life running away from what my mother was. Now, as so often happens in the world of children and parents, I find that I'm very much a chip off of her block.

Flawed. Exasperating. A searcher who isn't finding. And who wouldn't have his imperfect life any other way.

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