Sunday, November 22, 2009

1930, June 2nd: HMK to RH- Silver Lotus

Monday, June 2nd, 1930

My dear Miss Harrell;

If forgiving is divine, then it is you who must take on divinity and forgive me both for not having answered your letter of the last of April and finding nothing in it for me to forgive as you have asked me to do in your letter from Black Mountain.

After living for fifteen years in the most comfortable disorder of an old house I have but recently removed to an apartment in the tiny little cottage of which I enclose you a picture. I hated to leave the old place with its associations and memories of friends, some of whom have taken the long, long journey but, like a comfortable old coat, the place had served its purpose and my wise doctors said I must no longer climb three flights of stairs that took me to my rooms. So here I am so belittled and modernized, so overwhelmed with service and flunkeys and so delightfully comfortable that I am torn between awe of these gentlemen in uniform and regret for my shabby elegance of other days although my glass enclosed shower is a frightful temptation to indulge in its continued luxury and forget forever the length of time it took to get a foot of reasonably warm water into the old tub.

My old things, mostly from the Cape, fit nicely into their new surroundings and seem all ready to have become a part of them. The walls of my living room are a warm apricot—my rug amethyst, my slip covers apple green and my glazed chintzes pale yellow wit all the other colors in it. But perhaps when you come to New York you will come and see it, and, incidentally – me - and that will be a great shock to you I’m sure.

Last week and again today I have been one of the judges with several snobbish and too wise ones from Vogue, Harpers, etc. at an art school passing on costume and design and refusing to agree with any of them from which I get a tremendous kick. Next Monday I talk to the graduating class of another art school on “Color,” a subject by the way, that holds for me the deepest interest. My newest child—“Silver Lotus,” is in the hands of the editor of the N.A. Review. Herschel Brickell liked it perhaps better than the first one but I can not say that I do though I feel very tenderly for poor little Silver Lotus. If they take it then I shall send you something that she gave me long ago in Japan, so you must wait until I know. I should like to borrow your book, and return it with my thanks for your kindness and the Chinese stories which I knew that I shall love.

Yours faithfully,
HMK Smith

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