Hear From Her Diary | Episode | LPB
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Tuesday, November 13, 2018
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Hear From Her Diary
Hear From Her Diary


NARRATOR: Despite all of the writing that Chopin did for her stories, she still kept a rather detailed diary. One of the entries went like this:

I have finished a story of 48-hundred words and called it "Lilacs". I cannot recall what suggested it. If the story had been written after my visit of last Sunday to the convent, I would not have to seek the impulse far. Those nuns seem to retain or gain a certain beauty with their advancing years which we women in the world are strangers to. The unchanging form of their garments through years and years seems to impart a distinct character to their bodily movements. Liza's face held a peculiar fascination for me as I sat looking into it enframed in its white rushing.

It is more than twenty years since I last saw her; but in less than 20 minutes those 20 years had vanished and she was the Liza of our school days, the same narrow, happy gray eyes with their swollen upper lids; the same delicious upward curves to the corners of her pretty mouth. No little vexatious wrinkles anywhere. Only a few good strong lines giving a touch of character that the younger Liza lacked perhaps.

The conditions under which these women live are such as keep them young and fresh in heart and in visage. One day�usually one hey-day of youth they kneel before the alter of a god whom they have learned to worship, and they give themselves wholly---body and spirit into his keeping. They have only to remain faithful through the years, these modern psyches, to the lover who lavishes all his precious gifts upon them in the darkness---the most precious of which is perpetual youth. I wonder what Liz thought as she looked into my face. I knew she was remembering my pink cheeks of more than 20 years ago and my brown hair and innocent young face. I do not know whether she could see that I had loved---lovers who were not divine---and hated and suffered and been glad.

She could see, no doubt the stamp which a thousand things had left upon my face, but she could not read it. She, with her lover in the dark. He had not anointed her eyes for perfect vision. She does not need it---in the dark.

When we came away, my friend who had gone with me said: "would you not give anything to have her vocation and happy life!" There were long beaten paths spreading before us: the grass grew along its edges and the branches of trees in their thick rich, May garb hung over the path like an arbor, making a long vista that ended in a green blur.

An old man---a plain old man leaning on a cane was walking down the path holding a small child by the hand and a little dog trotting beside them, "I would rather be the dog" I answered her.

As time passed, Chopin suffered many low points over her writing.

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