Mia Loves Henry Miller – Letter 51 – Life – Tragedy – Death – Release – Living Moment to Moment – Just Breathe
(To my readers of this blog – these blog letters (letters 51-100) will be raw and unrefined, much like the first fifty, blog letters which I have written to Henry Miller during the year 2012-2013) I am presently continuing to edit and re-writing the first fifty letters, which were originally written in blog form, Mialoveshenrymiller.com. Today, I intensely desire the ability to write to Henry Miller, in the present moment. I cannot resist my temptation any longer. I know that these blog letters will drastically change as I edit, re-write and refine these letters, prior to publishing my blog into book form. I bare my soul, my feelings, my sexuality, and my imperfections in these letters to this late, great author and artist.
“The world is a mirror of myself dying.” – Henry Miller
It has been seven months since I wrote your last letter to you, Henry – Letter 50. I did not want to write Letter 51 to you until I had completely finished editing and rewriting the first fifty letters to you, which has been a slow process due to many dramatic obstacles that I have had to hurdle in my personal life over the past several months. I have felt tired, hopeless, depressed and isolated, which makes me sometimes makes me feel uninspired to write anything new to you. I have greatly missed writing to you, Henry! Sometimes writing to you is like a sharing several hours with a good friend. I need a friend like you right now. Lately, I have been inspired by watching three videos of you online about your adventurous life, which were highly recommended to me by other writers. I adore your warm, animated soul, listening to your wise and soothing voice as I see you speak about your life. I am amused by your handsome face, your spirit and your hand gestures. I felt as if your face and voice was daring me on – attempting to inspire me to write to you again.
I have watched two videos which were posted online, on YouTube, which focused on you and your beginnings in Paris. A dear friend, who is Romanian, but lives in Paris, is connected with the Paris writers group. His friend, Mary Duncan, who is also from the Paris Writers Group, posted these videos online –
I was very grateful and elated that Mr. Romanian Paris sent me the links to Mary Duncan’s videos, which I watched as soon as I had a spare moment.
Mr. Romanian Paris and I have barely communicated by email over the past several months due to my being busy with other projects and snagged into family drama. However, just when I needed to hear your voice, Henry, and your words of inspiration, my wonderful friend, Mr. Romanian Paris, has been sharing your videos with me to watch online, via email. So far, Mary Duncan has posted two video clips of your interview with Bradley Smith in 1969, describing your life with June in Paris when you first arrived. I have also watched another short film online called, The Henry Miller Odyssey, which I discovered in a blog on WordPress.com. Lately, due to recent events in my life, my heart feels like it has been crushed into a million jagged pieces. When I hear your vibrant voice and look at your handsome, animated spirit in these videos, it soothes my heartache. It’s like invisible glue, which aids in piecing my broken heart back together again.
During the past few months my life has felt surreal and extremely distressing. I often feel heavy in the heart and I feel a sense of great loss. I have not had sex with anyone or even myself until recently. My sadness has seemed to dull my sexual senses. I try to do my best living my life and to find peace within each one of my days, even when my life explodes with family tragedy and drama. Over the past eight weeks I have carried heavy emotional baggage within me. My frustration, worry and stress hisses like hot water which is near the boiling point, bubbling inside a metal, tea kettle. My jaws are clenched tightly with stress for most of my days. Yesterday, I finally found the energy to shake off my distress. I had the house all to myself. I felt well balanced, a complete sense of surrender, and the inspiration to write to you again. Prior to logging onto my computer laptop, to begin this letter to you, I needed to feel a sense of release and relaxation, so I finally went to my bedroom, which overlooks my large, wooded, backyard, and took out my beloved, diabolical, Hitachi Wand from my hiding place. I satiated my longing for erotic pleasure, and to feel the relief after my recent weeks of distress from an intense climax. I loved making myself orgasm. I felt so relaxed afterwards. My tight muscles loosened their tense grip on me. I don’t know why I don’t pleasure myself as often as I should. It would most likely stabilize my moods. I must admit that I genuinely miss my weekly sexual escapades with my past lover and benefactor, Mr. B. My husband, Mr. C, is usually busy with his work. He is fatigued by the time he gets home. Our intimate time together is not as often as I would prefer.
Ever since this past Mother’s Day, my mind has been cluttered with heartache, turmoil, loss and worry. When I finally made myself orgasm yesterday, I could feel the melodramatic poison depart my mind, heart, and soul. I needed it out of my bloodstream and my consciousness. After experiencing my Mother’s Day tragedy, which happened many weeks ago, I finally feel peace and inner strength. The first part of this summer has been hot and miserable without the luxuries of air conditioning. I no longer have my extravagant, artist loft in the cities to escape to and to cool down with a new air conditioner. It’s difficult to believe that it has been one year since my benefactor, Mr. B and I broke up and have gone our separate ways. I have learned to cherish the memories that we shared together for six, wonderful years and surrender my heartache for him. I no longer want to carry sad memories inside of a large bag. I moved out of my artist loft located in St. Paul, March 2013. My memories were packed inside many cardboard boxes. I had finally succumbed to the decision that I could no longer afford the luxury of my artist loft. I almost rented another place in NE Minneapolis, where I was going to teach burlesque and create a burlesque clothing boutique. But, the place was a dump which required much work. Due to my physical health and continuous headaches, which worsened during our long, drawn out winter, I decided to not lease another loft in NE Minneapolis. I backed out before I was locked into a five year lease. Presently, all that I have is my small, suburban home, fifteen minutes from the Twin cities. I do not have much private space to lose myself with painting or writing. I am doing my best to get by and find anywhere comfortable to write and paint. I greatly miss my artist loft.
I will survive even though I miss my soothing, deep bathtub at my loft, my titillating, sexual encounters with Mr. B and with my husband, Mr. C. I will miss listening to my vast collection of audio books when I am painting day and night to get ready for an art showing. I do not own a car and I no longer have the luxuries of walking in the cities or taking public transportation. I am stuck in the suburbs in a small home that I don’t really like. It was Mr. C’s mother’s home before we inherited it after her death, two and a half years ago. The atmosphere of our home is dull and lifeless. I will eventually hang some of my paintings to add vibrancy to my living space. I should be grateful for not having a mortgage payment, instead of experiencing a feeling a sense of depression as I live here on a permanent basis. I have lived in Minnesota all of my life, in the city, in the country and in the suburbs. I do not want to die in this fickle weathered state. Someday, I want to live somewhere warmer, near the ocean surrounded by gorgeous, tropical scenery. I want to experience more adventures in my life. Yet, for the present time, the importance of my family is halting Mr. C and me from moving to a warmer climate at this time. Especially after the devastating experience which demolished my youngest daughter, J-2’s vibrant spirit on Mother’s Day. She is only twenty-two years old.
“There was a time in my life when it seemed as though I might go mad. That was between 20 and 25 years of age.” Henry Miller – The Durrell-Miller Letters 1935-80
Late in the afternoon on Mother’s day, I felt like an emotional storm ripped my soul into a million pieces, leaving me to scramble for emotional balance and survival when I received a hysterical phone call from my daughter, raising every hair on my body. It was a heart breaking message that no mother should ever receive. Prior to my phone call, Mr. C and my two, adult step children, took me to the classic, Como Zoo in St. Paul, MN for Mother’s Day. It’s a place that I have loved ever since I was a young girl. Afterwards, we were going to have lunch at the 50’s Grill in Brooklyn Park. But, lunch never happened. Our day was cut short due to unexpected news. Unfortunately, my youngest, blood daughter, J-2 could not attend with us. My son, J-1, was busy with other obligations. Until Mother’s Day, she lived a long distance away from the Twin Cities. Ever since she moved this past September, nine months prior to this phone call, we talked on the phone often. Sometimes more than five times per day. Before the tragedy in my daughter’s life began, she was the first child to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day on my Facebook page. She posted her message before I woke up to start my day. It was the first thing that I read which had greatly uplifted my spirit. As I talked to my daughter on the telephone on the morning before I left for the zoo, I could hear her boyfriend “A” and my adorable granddaughter, Little Miss M, in the background, playing and talking. I thought that they sounded happy and content. “A” had just purchased a small, inflatable pool for my granddaughter, who he cared for and loved so deeply. Earlier in the day, I felt so grateful for my wonderful family.
I must admit, that I was also wishing on this Mother’s Day weekend that I could be in Brooklyn, NY to see all the festivities which were dedicated to you, Henry. How exciting and fascinating! They even made a Big Sur, Brooklyn Bridge sign in honor of you, because you grew up in Williamsburg. Unfortunate, due to a shortage of monetary funds, I was unable to afford this trip to NYC. I did not mind too much because I spent a wonderful day with my husband and his two children, who always show me that they respect and appreciate me as a mother figure. While we were leaving the zoo after a really fun day, my youngest daughter called me.
“Hello,” I answered, “What’s the matter?” I asked, listening to her frantic screaming, delirious words and hysterical crying. “Calm down. What’s wrong?” I attempted to sooth her, which did not help. My daughter was too distraught. I could not understand what she was saying. She was frustrated that I could not decipher her over-wrought words and called me a “fucking bitch” before she threw her cell phone, and a paramedic picked it up and began speaking to me through my daughter’s phone. Panic froze my blood when I heard the male paramedics voice. Up until this point, I could not imagine why my daughter was so distraught.
“Hello, your daughter is too upset to talk,” I hear him speak with calm authority. “Unfortunately, there has been a horrible accident. Your daughter’s boyfriend was working on his car when it suddenly collapsed upon him. I am sorry, but he is dead.”
Every inch of my blood drained from my face, dumping below my neck and into my chilled body. My eyes were brimmed with glossy red and expelling a deluge of large tears. My throat and jaws trembled from my panicked state of mind. “We are taking your daughter to a hospital an hour away. She is too distraught. Please arrive to the “M” hospital as soon as you can. Your daughter needs you.”
When I hung up the phone, I wailed with utmost grief in the passenger seat of our car, for my daughter’s tragic loss, my granddaughter’s loss, my families’ loss, and the great loss for my daughter’s boyfriend’s beloved family and his friends. I really liked my daughter’s boyfriend. He had been part of our family for over two years. I could not stop crying as we drove to our suburban home. My aching wails echoed out my window as we drove home. My stepchildren tried to console me from the back seat. All that I could think of was that I needed to get to my daughter ASAP! The time it took to return home from the zoo, drop off my stepchildren and start our long journey to get my distraught daughter from the hospital could not move fast enough. My feelings of dismay and the large lump in my throat made it difficult for me to breathe. My heart ached profusely for my daughter’s loss. My entire world felt like it had been turned upside down.
Mr. C. and I left the Twin Cities as soon as we could. It was over a four hour drive get to the hospital. This was the worst day in my daughter’s life. She was angry and hysterical. She was unable to deal with the stress of watching her boyfriend’s car collapse upon his vulnerable body and trapping him beneath the car when it fell upon him. She observed his last moments on this earth. Her boyfriend did not have any friends or family with him, to spot him as he worked on his car. When my daughter found him trapped beneath the car, there was nothing that my daughter could do for him. They lived in the country a few miles away from anyone. My daughter pulled every muscle in her back, attempting to lift the car off of her boyfriend. She also called 911, which took over 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. She called her roommates. They did not answer the phone. She called his parents who lived nearby, but they did not answer their phone. My daughter had no body to help her as she observed the man she loved and the surrogate father to her child, die a slow, suffocating death. My daughter was so delirious and suicidal that the “M” hospital had to transfer her to a psychiatric hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. Once we arrived, I soothed her as much as I could. It was late in the evening and she was sound asleep due to forced sedation by the medical staff. I could not do anything until the next morning. At 7 A.M. I was convincing the hospital staff to let me sign my daughter out of a 72 hold, so that she could grieve with her family. As we drove to our suburban home, I did everything I could to console my daughter. My empathetic heart broke as I observed her devastating heartache.
In just a few hours of time, my life had completely changed. Suddenly I was attempting to console my daughter as best as I could, and take on the full time job of watching my precious grandchild, Little Miss M, who stole my heart the minute she was born. I did not expect to be a grandmother so early in my life. But, when my granddaughter was born, I did not care. I was so smitten with her. A week later we attended the funeral. It was difficult to see my daughter’s boyfriend’s family treat my daughter so horribly. Afterwards, my daughter isolated herself, drowning into a deep pool of depression. She was barely home to help me take care of her child. Her way of grieving and distracting herself was to be with her friends, sleeping or to be alone. She could not halt the flashbacks of her boyfriend’s tragic death.
During the first couple weeks after my daughter moved in with my husband and me, I was the sole caregiver of my two year old granddaughter. She’s irresistible, charismatic, and free-spirited. She easily adapts to the changes in her young life. At first, I was initially exhausted by the end of each day. Prior to Mother’s Day, I was in the groove, re-editing and re-writing my first fifty letters to you, Henry. Suddenly, my life hit a wall and went a different direction. I was transforming from an artist and writer, which requires much silence and seclusion, as well as being a burlesque/magic performer and a show director of a large, burlesque and variety show, into a full time caregiver of a small, active child.
“An artist is always alone. No, what the artist needs is loneliness.” – Henry Miller
I felt like I was dropped into another dimension in time and space, and was now the maternal caretaker for a confused, but resilient and adorable little girl. I love my granddaughter so very much. I did my best attempting to adapt to this new chapter in my life. It takes a lot of energy to keep up with an active, two year old child, especially when I am experiencing a mind boggling headache. The stress of my daughter’s loss and my new life as a full time caregiver was extremely stressful, causing my headaches to become more fierce and unforgiving. After four weeks of mourning, my daughter still could not face taking care of her child. She leaves all the responsibilities with me, my husband, as well as my ex-husband and his girlfriend, as she finds comfort in her friends. It’s unfortunate that Little Miss M does not know that her father is dead. And her mother’s spirit is trapped in mourning, loss, guilt, and most likely fear for her future.
After the first two, busy weeks taking care of Little Miss M, I am frazzled and exhausted. Yet, I feel happy and full of loving energy for my granddaughter. My heart still is breaking for my daughter’s loss and to see her suffering. Eventually, I find myself greatly enjoying the long walks, pulling my granddaughter in a cute, pink wagon, and exploring new parks and beaches nearby my suburban home. Somehow, I learned to adjust and find myself loving every single moment with my granddaughter.
I don’t know why mothers and daughters argue so passionately with one another. I wish I had the magic formula on how to be the perfect mother. Several weeks after my daughter’s boyfriend’s death, my daughter’s temper goes off like a time bomb and I am at the center of this explosion. She assaults me by throwing a heavy, wet diaper at my head, screaming foul names at me. She begins to destroy furniture in the living room and her daughter is cowering in a corner. I think the edge of my computer hit Little Miss M’s left cheek, when my daughter tossed it across the room with utmost fury.
“You’re a fucking whore mom for writing your stupid letters to Henry Miller!” My daughter’s words hit me in the gut, until I am gasping for air. The next hour was a blur. Suddenly I register Mr. C escorting his furious stepdaughter out the door. This incident felt like the last straw upon the camel’s back. It completely shattered my heart. Frustrated tears spill from my eyes and my throat trembles, attempting to contain my crying. I felt some serious anger towards my daughter. But, also a sense of sadness, because I know that she feels the world has taken everything she cared about from her. It’s difficult for me to see my daughter in such a painful state. Her agony and heartache is an ocean deep. Presently, I don’t think that my daughter will talk to me for a very long time. Yet, each day I can still feel her pain, her sense of isolation, her heartache and the feeling of being lost. I am an extremely empathetic person, especially with people who I care and love for deeply. My heart feels extremely heavy.
For the past month, I have not seen my granddaughter or my daughter. For the past month, Little Miss M has been staying at my ex-husband’s home in the country. My daughter is staying with friends and punishing me and not letting me see my granddaughter. I think about them every minute of the day. My heart still feels crushed and I cry often for my loss. Recently, I have put my distraught energy into writing to you again, re-editing my first fifty letters to you, and creating art. I am also rehearsing for another burlesque show. I have some amazing performers flying by airplane or driving a long distance to Minnesota, just to be a part of our August 2013 show. My burlesque and variety show went on hiatus in July. I am grateful for the rest during a difficult time in my life. I am also very grateful and excited for this upcoming show. For the first time in several weeks, I am distracted with my writing, rehearsals, promoting my upcoming burlesque show and being consumed with my art work. I swallow my heartache, containing it deep within me. Sometimes, when I am not doing anything, I think of the pain that my daughter is going through and wish there was something that I could do for her. But, she hates me right now and does not want anything to do with me – it’s emotionally devastating to me. I know that this will pass eventually and hopefully my relationship with my daughter will be mended.
I believe that being a mother or a parent is like riding an emotional roller coaster. I have been through many emotional tragedies with all of my children – both my blood and stepchildren. I have overcome so many devastating moments, like when my stepson was diagnosed with a serious form of cancer one month after he graduated high school. I breathed a sigh of relief when his cancer finally went into remission. I have had to let go of my blood children when they wanted to live with their father during their adolescent years, soon after my stepson was diagnosed with cancer. I mourned the loss of my stepdaughter when she moved out of state, because she had difficulty dealing with her brother having cancer. She did not leave until he was in remission. Mr. C and I did not see her for a few years. I have stressed and worried myself with every scenario I have been objected to, as each of them grew up to become their own person. I have experienced many highs and lows with all of my children and I have survived them all. I will eventually overcome this recent tragedy and emotional blow-out with my daughter and become a stronger woman and mother. I loathe the dips in parenthood and cherish the highs. The only thing that I can do in this single moment, in regards to the anger my daughter has for me, is to simply let go and continue to live my life as best as I can in the moment.
It feels good to write this letter to you instead of doing nothing as I wait for my emotional storm to pass. I love my daughter with all of my heart. I hope that she will eventually find herself and a light to guide her in her darkest moments. I hope that the right people cross her path at the right time, to help aid her through her heartache and loss. I hope that she will know that I am always here for her, despite our anger and frustration with each other.
I am grateful for my husband’s emotional support. He does not like to see me so sad. We have taken many weekend trips together this summer to ease my mind from my troubles. We have traveled to the Black Hills in South Dakota two times already – the first time was just a few weeks after my daughter’s tragedy. Mr. C and I traveled alone. We only had two days together and did not get to see everything we wanted to see out west. So, we traveled to the Black Hills a second time in mid-June with my stepdaughter and my granddaughter. It’s one of my favorite places to travel. I always feel something spiritual and cleansing whenever we visit. Recently, Mr. C and I drove to Duluth and traveled to the North Shore to get away, clear our minds, and purchase delicious smoke salmon from Russ Kendall’s Smoke Fish House. We also purchased a delicious bimbleberry pie from the infamous Bettie’s Pies. Bimbleberry is a combination of wild berries which grow near the north shore. Late in the afternoon, we ate a remarkable, picnic lunch at a beautiful, scenic rest stop on the Lake Superior’s north shore, even though it was raining. The smoked salmon and bimble berry pie filled our hungry bellies as we sought cover from the rain in our car. The open road always seems to hypnotize me, permitting me to purge my heartache and to clear my mind. I always feel revived after a long road trip.
Recently, I have found the time to read one of your books – The Durrell – Miller Letters – 1935 -1980. In your fascinating letters, Durrell and you discuss the Hamlet letters often. It makes me wish that I could locate the box of your books, which were at my artist loft, and are presently packed away somewhere in my crowded garage. I would really like to read your book, The Hamlet Letters. I can still recall how I received your book. A young and handsome business man bought it for me in a San Francisco book shop and gave it to me as a gift when he came to visit Minneapolis. This was before my relationship with Mr. B. He had to search hard for it, because copies of your book, The Hamlet Letters, are scarce. I was so elated when I received your book. So much so, that I showed this young and handsome gentleman my gratitude with hours of lovemaking in a luxurious, Minneapolis Hotel. He definitely knew how to please me for several long, lascivious hours with his hands, tongue and his erect cock. The passion we shared together after he gave me your book makes, The Hamlet Letters, even more special and memorable to me.
I must end this letter, Henry. I am working on a vibrant piece of pin – up art work. I want to submit it to a new and upcoming Minneapolis, pin up magazine. I still have work to do to promote my burlesque show. I also need to rehearse for our August 2nd show. Minute by minute I am discovering the courage to put my heartache to rest and concentrate on living my life in the present moment. Just because my daughter’s boyfriend died, and that my daughter does not want me in her life as she grieves, and I cannot see my granddaughter, it does not mean that I have to halt my life forever. I have to still live my life moment to moment, day by day and to just breathe. Presently, I chose to spend my days doing things that I love, such as writing and creating new art work.
My heart would sink like the infamous, lost ship, the Edmond Fitzgerald at the bottom of Lake Superior if I was to ever lose Mr. C to an unfortunate death. The unexpected and tragic death of my daughter’s boyfriend reminds me to cherish every living moment that I have with my spouse. If something happened to him, and things were not right between us, I would feel extreme guilt and shame for wasting our time together. My daughter’s loss has taught me to cherish my time with the man I love, minute by minute.
Bisous, Mon Amour,
“To be free, as I then knew myself to be, is to realize that all conquest is vain, even the conquest of self, which is the last act of egotism. To be joyous is to carry the ego to its last summit and to deliver it triumphantly. To know peace is total: it is the moment after, when the surrenderer is complete, when there is no longer even the consciousness of surrender. Peace is at the center and when it is attained the voice issues forth in praise and benediction. Then the voice carries far and wide, to the outermost limits of the universe. Then it heals, because it brings light and the warmth of compassion.” – Henry Miller