crystal bullitt 1970-1992
6. simone weil
september 19th, 1999
the evening is a lovely one, about 40 people over all, some quite serendipitous, like Jenny the lawyer and sometime dancer-with-Crystal at Portland State, and some quite predictable, like Peter Greaver, who brings paintings and balloons as he has every year we've been doing this.
the food people bring, appropriately enough considering Crystal's legendary two-handed culinary gusto, tends towards the hedonistic: root-beer floats, giant perfect cheesecake, blackberry cobbler are the standouts.
the cabaret is small, impromptu, a little more mournful than a cabaret ought to be, but only by a little.
Xandra Panttaja, 4, starts things rolling with 4 short improvisational songs, accompanied by her mom, Dawn, on guitar, who then follows with Texas, a plaintive drinking-song composed by her and the curiously absent (and fellow Francis Farmer Gal) Jeri Ann.
then i read a poem that was dictated to me over the phone from seattle earlier in the day by Leslie Fried, 'I Think of Jesse, Leaving', and it just goes ahead and summons the bent and exuberent shade of the departed poet.
next, Katja Biesanz, zen ballet mistress, in a clingy blue dress, does a spoken-word and dance improv, the emergent theme of which reminds me, in retrospect, of the great 16th century blind czech general Zizka, who repeatedly defeated the superior papal armies through a succession of strategic retreats.
now i read, picking at random, four of the exquisite Lynn Martin elegies from Where the Yellow Field Widened, the ones beginning:
Just beyond the blue-washed sky...
The light itself is a world...
If I could speak about the leaves..
All night long waves announce themselves...
at which point Nancy Murphy announces she has a song. We lived with Nancy at the time of Crystal's birth, and she wrote the song, a sort of hillbilly ballad, back then to honor her music teacher who had killed himself over the Dallas draft board's denial of his conscientious-objector status, and she sings it now a capella in a sweet high hillbilly soprano.
now Lee Read plays some echoey solo elactric guitar, then proceeds to jam in front of Peter Greaver's Claptonesque riffs for a while.
finally, Peter and Tomas, playing wildly divergent styles, work nevertheless into a groove, at which point they're joined by Sara on tambourine, Sherry on piano, and me on auto-less auto-harp.
a lively and poignant gathering.
september 19th, 2000
alex bertulis came first and held the thing down.
wayne and harold showed up with major lasagna
country habits and dueling software.
shantam arrived to help.
crispin rosenkranz drifted in and drifted around.
cyrena and mercedes were here to begin with,
then mimi appeared with their brother keeshawn,
happy and bright.
chris bosch sidled in and stayed in the background.
and pam strolled up the street,
asked what all the commotion was,
yet bore a large basket of food.
as always julia was here, captivating julian in tow.
anna decastro and chris rode their bikes
and talked about cabs and freight-trains.
filbert walked in, in his bare feet.
sara and betty barked at and made everyone feel at home,
not in that order.
michael and noel and jason just caught the tail end,
and mary had to leave before we began.
and that's not including any of the performers.
i guess i was sort of the m.c.
but before things started
ben ellis & tres shannon jammed
on piano and fisher/price xylophone
a medley of family favorites including:
1. Summertime (gershwin)
2. Song for Europe & Virginia Plain (roxy music)
3. God Only Knows (the beach boys)
4. Androgynous (the replacements).
then raquibo warmed into some
intro-type ambient space-jazz.
i tried to start with the short poem kythe heller had e-mailed.
but instead ran up to the attic and down
with the poem she wrote and left for crystal last spring,
Invocation of Fire,
that features the refrain: Rise and Eat!
now ben returned and sang
and played standing at the piano -
our beige vinyl-upholstered upright -
two songs: I Dig the Rain, and
(I'm in Love with a) Telemarketing Girl.
sandy shore, crystal's putative god-father
invited all to join in, then banged his circle-drum
Oh Lucky Dog, Oh Lucky Dog, Oh Lucky Dog...
heidi davisson asked the audience for a word.
tres, I believe it was, yelled out "vernacular!"
and heidi made a very aggressive speed-rap
about her vocabulary and sexuality
with misty standing uncertainly beside her
participating, yet not participating.
hallie hargrave twice read lynn martin's
Under the Walnut Tree
When I face what has left my life,
I bow. I walk outside into the cold,
rain nesting in my hair.
All the houses near me
have their lights on. Somewhere,
there is a deep listening.
I stand in the dark for a long time
under the walnut tree, unable
to tell anyone, not even the night,
what I know. I feel the darkness
rush towards me, and I open my arms.
tres now returned with his great, serene
black lab/chesapeake bay retriever, irie,
who stood like a statue next to him as he did a slow perfect
head-stand, and held it for many moments.
on returning to an upright position,
he instructed irie to "roll over".
irie took the opportunity to chase her tail 6 times around
at extremely high velocity, before completing
this admittedly fairly simple task. lastly,
to the accompaniment of absolutely piercing shrieks
from one of the evidently regulation ref's whistles
on a lanyard round his neck,
tres demonstrated some of his favorite sports penalty calls.
(all were stunned by the layers of meaning
interleaving, lasagna-like, this piece.)
here I returned to kythe's
Lullaby after Rilke
Some day if I lose you,
how will you sleep without
me whispering above you
like the linden's branches?
Without me lying here,
awake as words descend, almost
like eyelids, on your breasts,
your limbs, your lids.
Without me closing you
and leaving you alone with what is yours,
like a garden with a drift
of mint-balm and star-anise.
(the second time through was the charm.)
brian jones came up and did two songs
on michael's acoustic guitar:
Friend in the Ground, and
Twinkles (refrain: "I wanted to know you").
he is so passionate,
this was the high-point.
raquibo returned to his delicate noodling
on crystal's pristine saga gladiator,
then peter greaver came in with
his quietly searing solos,
while raquibo brought things home.
september 19th, 2001
a flash flood of children:
Dawn and Jeri-Ann brought Xandra
(who sang for us exactly 2 years ago),
Lori Schreiber brought wee Nova Skye
(and hog farm news and hazel photos)
down from the mountain,
China brought rambunctious Jesse
and sweet little Rose,
Julia brought angelic Julian, and
Melita of course brought
Cyrena - Sadie - Keshawn
in descending order of size,
and they all ran riot.
Phil & Consuelo took a tour of the bookshelves,
Wayne & Harold brought a friend, Cassie, this year,
and took up residence on the couch,
Su Lin & Dan drifted about the premises,
Peyto arrived with Bonnie and some coloradans,
Chris & Anna show at different times
(it's hard to exactly synchronize cab shifts),
while Shannonbob and her girl STS
came late, dressed to the nines in gentlemen's formal wear.
Sandy burned incense out front, at first,
then sage and driftwood and pinecones
out back at the fire-pit as the evening drew along,
Mike came and stood beaming in his gentle sardonic way, but
- talk about 6 degrees of separation -
managed never to cross paths with Wayne & Harold,
with whom he (and we) lived 30 years ago,
Shantam brought Raquibo's regrets and her usual intrinsic goodness,
Liane also - funny thing - brought goodness,
her own brand, hermetic and lighter-than-air,
Tom Morgan thumped around bumping into things,
which he is allowed to do,
Crispin Rosenkranz came but, I believe, hid the whole time he was here
Lars came too, from around the block, smiling,
and Michael Ismario looked upon all and everyone with wonder.
many showed up with gifts, snacks, and refreshments:
a demijohn of wine, home-made peach plum pie,
juice, chips, home-preserved salsa,
jam, and pear-sauce, balloons, flowers,
a set of tiny dishes for the doll-house,
and a sensational little glass bicycle.
who brought this last remains a mystery.
i'm hustling around like a proverbial chicken,
but the meticulously prepared Peter Greaver
has supplied enlarged xeroxed lyric sheets
of Crystal's favorite bowie songs,
so after a bit of tuning
(remember, or imagine, the horde of shrieking children
sporadically disrupting the assembling audience, and
providing an everpresent background cacophony
from outlying precincts)
he and Dawn - on 2 kinds of guitars -
and Chris providing harmonies
do Ziggy Stardust to start things off.
Jeri-Ann and Dawn turn into the Francis Farmer Gals
and do: Come on, Darlin
All Over Town
in the reverse of that order.
in the middle of the middle song a small child slips onstage
(behind, and unbeknownst to, them)
climbs the piano stool and delivers a few large choice chords.
Cyrena, who's 10, steps up and tickles the keys of
the (ivory vinyl upholstered) upright
doing Bingo, you know,
the one about misspelling an aussie dog,
and i do the backup vocals, very badly.
Now comes Heidi stepping delicately into her dishpan of blood
She couldn't protest the gulf war because she was in it
She has a hard time wiping the blood off, but she does
And comes out to the audience and touches us one by one
Ends up picking Cyrena, who was last, and they dance together
As light and beautiful and elegant as the prelude was grotesque.
Nancy Kincaid is up from ashland
and reads us a poem she wrote today:
invoking happiness as a measure of freedom,
ruing a friend eager to send his son to holy war,
and resolving to gather the strength to speak softly,
in the reverse of that order.
OK here is Brian Jones
he does Curly Mouth
i think Twinkle is a song for Crystal,
he did it last year, too.
the brilliant thing about Brian this year,
is how he so perfectly straddles
the somber and the celebratory.
and then Ben Ellis saves the day, well, night,
ain't havin' none a that there somber stuff no-how, dig:
cole porter's Be Like the Bluebird
(hint: sing your troubles away)
done real blowsy-like, but this is just warm-up
for an epic a capella medley of:
Hound for Love
I Can't Believe.
the scat-singing framework of this marathon
roams far from ella's neighborhood - dog-sniffs, car-honks -
and serves to absolutely crack everybody up.
on the up beat note, it's time for me to read
Jane Galin's luminous The Vine.
its concluding lines:
I saw the force, the grace,
that turned me back.
I saw the spiral ways of growth.
Alicia's piece Tidal stops time, like celan or cage, say.
and i follow - it's tradition by now -
with one of Lynn Martin's elegies from
Where the Yellow Field Widened:
Night teaches us, through its darkness,
to know light. What is out of sight
can be seen for the first time. Once
I was held up by apples. For months,
I would walk out in the orchard,
apples just brushing my shoulders.
There they would gleam like stars,
giving off a little light - explosions
near my skull to show me where I was.
To stay at death's center is to live forever.
Now I am held up by seven magnolia blossoms,
When they ask, say it is the end of summer.
Anna de Castro and Carrie Lewis stomp in a circle, chanting
a prayer to Ganesha (elephant-head god of worldly wisdom -
one who'll bless hindu shopkeeper, wall street wiz or fireman alike),
then gradually the chant turns to song and the stomp to dance,
and while lively, it is also grave, this song. it starts out:
Hoy dia luna, dia pena
Hoy me levantó sín razon
Hoy me levantó yo no quiero
Hoy dia luna, dia pena?
(Rise, Moon, this day of regret and suffering...)
believe me it's quite a bit more cheery than it sounds.
it's from the album Clandestino
by Manuchau of the band Manu Negro.
now, Cyrena and Sadie have been sitting in the same chair together
watching all this raptly - yes, Sadie has been sitting quietly.
and for the last couple of acts, Cyrena has been scribbling out
this suddenly appearing ode to her aunt
called Dreams in the Sky which she
- covering all the bases tonight: music, dance, poetry -
now reads. three redolent lines:
Sometimes they're not really dreams at all...
Crystal floating on a cloud...
What counts is that I know her...
right on time,
Polly de Friez has serendipitously blown in from somewhere
and brings a few old reminiscences of Crystal.
she begins to describe a poem Crystal once read to her
in her charming and dramatic way, and I tell her to stop
dash up to the attic and run all the way back down with it
for her to read:
Wild-flowers by the Highway
We ride smoothly, whistling down the avenue
in your burgundy car
You grab my left leg, as the bridge approaches
Gazing out the open passenger-window,
I take in a sweet deep-breath,
engulfing the transparent-blueness of the summer sky
Tickled by the sensation of warm clouds
blowing softly through my hair, I smile
The shingles on the roof tops burn in the evening sun
My flying thoughts yearn...
You park the car, to watch red lights glow
on the lapping water's surface
Then, as we turn to kiss we collide
Like the clumsy, still lovely, geese who swim in pairs
Peter returns and Lee Read comes out, with their electric guitars
and jam a recessional. eventually, they are joined by Brian
with his acoustic, by Carrie with her pure electric voice,
and by Noel with his wind-powered child's accordion
and by the time no-one is left, they are into a soft - but rocking -
cover of John Lennon's Jealous Guy.
september 19th, 2002
Charlie's been moving a lot,
so he didn't get his card until this morning,
in Cave Junction - 300 miles south.
He gets here (he hitch-hiked) a little after four,
the first to arrive. His beard's down to here -
he's a regular ancient mariner.
The order of arrival of everyone else
is lost in a jumble of memory,
but the greatest thing is that Mimi's here early
with Cyrena and Sadie and Keshawn.
The people here tonight represent
all the different eras of Crystal's life;
it makes the evening simultaneously
robust and fragile (like her).
There's a stage we set up at the back of the yard
and about 30 dissimilar chairs.
It's a warm late-summer evening,
between the full moon and the fire-pit,
you can smell the blazing cherry branches.
It's Julia and a tall young man!
Julian, now four, more angelic
than a year ago.
(Julia's favorite moment all evening long
is when Julian and Keeshawn take off their shirts,
Denk slouches in.
I wonder if she's got a permit
to carry a concealed persona.
And Heidi's here too,
concealed among the other guests
like a deer in the forest -
a deer with steady eyes.
Tom, timely, wends his way through the garden of people
straight to the stage and sits.
Philbert rapidly confers with some other conspirators
and then, quite possibly, leaves.
Peggy has brought Amy
(almost tears, it's been so long)
who has been a grown-up for some time,
more than a grown-up - a New Yorker.
Wayne arrives with his huge crew -
well, psychicly huge I mean -
Jessi and Cassie and Chris. Chris
is Jessi's, and Jessi is Sunny's sister.
These people are straight up.
Sara is home now thank goodness
from all day at the bike shop
and of course she is still
holding the whole thing together.
Oh, here's Ed. Ed is a judge - ho ho!
I introduce him to Charlie,
the end of whose rap-sheet
dwindles into the distance:
I hear their laughter do likewise
as I whirl away.
Rachel has come with Leana Kocha
and they disappear upstairs
looking for "literature".
And Eli has come with Daniel Fried:
he gravely instructs Sadie and Cyrena
in the juggling arts.
Last year, hordes of kids -
tonight just the four.
Somewhere in the middle
Anna Beauchamp has arrived
after 25 years,
affections and memories
still dangerously sharp.
Anita's got Dominique with her,
news of her sons Aaron and Quillie,
and incomparable sweetness.
Michael and Noel are around somewhere
helping and observing,
not unlike a couple of large birds.
And Nancy, in lieu of a song,
has brought Ryan's dad Michael:
like Wayne and me
(like all of us tonight)
a grieving parent -
but strong and bright,
and I'm sure that's partly why, and how,
the rest of us manage.
Well, even though I tried to dispense with the pot-luck,
about everybody has brought food or drink,
so it's 9 before Corona Hats
leads things off with a set of six songs:
Meet Me in a Dream
All of Us in Wonderland
7 Crystals in the Window
I Wish I was a Pancake
Words of a Feather
Sun descending - candle blow out
Day is ending, but all the stars are out.
Over, under, on the ground,
The circles spin
Sing the song without the sound
And I'll sing with you again
In words of a feather, dark and light.
Barbara Zelano (founder of this Cabaret)
has sent two poems from Arizona,
to where she's finally moved from Oly;
and since she doesn't want to follow Goethe,
I now proceed to deliver this one,
the one that she wrote:
The water ghosts sing of sea spray,
accentuating the high notes of a lingering northwest melancholy.
Brine-soaked memories of black waterweed and oyster shell banquets
fade into Saguaro teeth, crowds of cholla and red dirt paths in Tucson.
The desert dogs howl my name.
I tell the story of moss-back rocks, sea foam on crested waves, and
diaphanous mists on shore.
I tell them it was good to be a luminous fish dipping through slippery rocks.
now, my heart is with the wild dogs.
Cool blue, and open to the jawbone landscape,
I am coaxed out of sleep by the morning dove's nodding call.
To read Goethe's Selige Sehnsucht, Leana is here:
she tells how we're going to do it - one verse at a time,
and me doing the English in between.
She takes it slow and simply,
and the easy rhythm and the gentle rhyme
belie that it's in German,
though how close to the bone it cuts
leaves no doubt:
Tell no one but the wise
for the crowd will only laugh:
That I want to praise all living things
That long for death by fire.
During those cool nights of love
Where you were conceived and did conceive,
Weren't you overcome with new and strange feelings
In that silent candle's gleam.
No longer can you live entangled
In the darkness and the shadows,
For a new desire rises and carries you
Toward a higher meeting.
No distance would tire you
As you come flying, intent,
And at last lusting for the light,
Perish, moth, in the flame.
As long as you don't have that:
This dying and this becoming!
You are but a poor unhappy guest
upon the darkening earth.
Now I call up Cyrena from the audience
to read this Gertrude Stein that Alicia Cohen has sent us,
Cyrena was so sterling here at last year's,
but she is not stepping up to help, it's sort of unlike her.
So I go into the dark audience to investigate:
She is too torn up to read.
Which of course tears up everybody.
It falls back again to me
to read this awfully short
and positively Steinian verse:
What Do I See
A very little snail,
A medium sized turkey.
A small band of sheep.
A fair orange tree.
All nice waves are like that.
Listen to them from here.
You did not have an answer.
Daniel Fried gets up and launches into a witty patter.
His mom, Leslie, has e-mailed 4 very terse,
inscrutable and personal poems of hers,
and he has undertaken to read them.
His struggles to get them right,
and elude all the filial pitfalls,
are intrinsic to the poems.
Not to mention a welcome comic turn.
Here is one:
What Can Be Done
When I leave this house what will happen to bird?
bird will shriek as I turn the corner
thinking about little bird my feet hurt
when I'm gone what can be done
I have to be loved:
flower at night
eyes closed tight
heart tapping gently,
bird will cry when I'm gone
shrieking like a candle burning low
what can be done; I have to be loved.
Their other three pieces are:
Once was a boy
Son, I wish
Now I read three Lynn Martin elegies.
In brisk succession
and selected at random,
all three are garden poems:
Tulips - painted parachutes open?
If the eggplant bumps off death?
What lights in my blue hand
is one dry leaf, nothing more,
half-mortal. I keep my palm open
and listen for some inaudible word,
some sign to tell me why I stand
in the splendor of rain and sun
flickering-quick, first off, then on,
while the leaf continues to spiral until
I am holding nothing but falling.
Every so often, I stand under the plum
tree and say leaf. I look at the spilling
of blossoms, those stars, and remember only one.
Someone has alluded to Crystal's funny streak
of unstudied fierceness,
and I'm reminded of this vignette:
It's late at night after a rock show, and she's exiting the Safeway
up by Portland State, when she notices a man,
approaching from across the otherwise deserted parking lot,
redirect the trajectory of his steps towards her person.
She turns smoothly to him, opens her diaphragm, takes aim,
and cuts loose with her deep kung fu yell: "Doh!"
The man turns, and runs away.
Mary Morgan comes up and orates: two strong bathtub meditations.
One, Singing, about how singing in the tub repels the demons,
and the other, Crystals, about how exudations of
immortal sacred crystalline jelly essences
indelibly mark one's passing through this woeful plane.
OK, I know - you had to be there.
Frank Poliat, softly a capella,
with a breezy and poignant intensity
does a signature tune from the artist Dalida:
L'histoire d'un Amour (Almaran & Blanche),
in six verses. The refrain:
C'est l'histoire d'un amour eternel et banal
Qui apporte chaque jour tout le bien tout le mal
Avec l'heure ou on s'enlace
celle ou l'on se dit adieu
Avec les soirees d'angoisse
Et les matins merveilleux.
Afterwards, at the audience' request,
Frank makes a free, slightly halting, and damnably charming
translation into English. The chorus goes something like:
It is the history of a love, eternal and mundane
Which brings every day all good, all evil
The hour when one interlaces, where good-bye is said,
The evenings of anguish, and marvellous mornings.
China Wolf, whose son is named after Crystal - Crystal Billy Rose -
does her touching lament, When We Were Young.
A couple of lines:
Insightful and so delightful - just a rose-bud tightly wound about to bloom...
Crystal! You were so good - I have never understood the depth of your sorrow...
Chris and Anna DeCastro,
Chris on a battered acoustic,
do the Johnny Cash hit:
Sea of Heartbreak (Hampton & David)
The lights in the harbor don't shine for me
I'm like a lost ship adrift on the sea
The sea of heartbreak
Lost love and lonliness - memories of your caress
So divine, how I wish you were mine again, my dear
I'm on this sea of tears - sea of heartbreak.
Oh how did I lose you? Oh where did I fail?
Why did you leave me, always to sail
This sea of heartbreak.
Oh what I'd give just to sail back to shore
Back to your arms once more
Come to my rescue - oh come here to me
Take me and keep me away from the sea
The sea of heartbreak.
Now everyone picks up a (dissimilar) chair
and totes it into the house so Shannonbob can
set down to the piana and do this tune she wrote
called Armadillos, while Keshawn -
now two, y'know - dances a turn
in the little clearing behind her back:
I crawled out of Dallas 2 weeks late, my mother's body.
the August heat kept her awake, that's how I became a southern girl.
sandstone! an unpredicted slip into the whitewall dream
of every neighbor. I made them all watch me.
I made them all strip and ran faster & faster & faster.
to chase armadillos into every black street-lit night.
I never knew I would come back to be this.
you never told me I'd go blind around the corners.
you should have held me first. I let it go. I made it o.k.
headlights crash my little boy eyes. I see the world
go away, I hear the echoes of far away death,
and I knew I'd never make it alive.
to chase armadillos into every black street-lit night.
I never knew I would come back to be this.
I made it o.k.
Peter Greaver always brings presents and balloons,
and often winds up the evening with a guitar recessional,
usually playing Crystal's old Strat. Tonight, he does
one of her songs, David Bowie's Rebel, Rebel,
and one of his, Little Dancer.
Everyone knows how Rebel, Rebel goes.
Here is Little Dancer:
Blue room at the end of the day
Electric guitar that I play
You don't know the things I've seen
A broken heart and a shattered dream
I've got questions with no answer
You've got dreams in your eyes
But the world is cruel and time flies
I hope your dreams come true
A rainbow singing in a sky of blue
I've got questions with no answer
Fairy tales in your head
A candle beside your bed
I'm still awake when you're asleep
Do you fly in dreams so deep?
I've got questions with no answer
What about you little dancer?
Where are you little dancer?
For once, this Cabaret has been all about Crystal,
some of it pretty sombre.
(Though note: nothing like as maudlin
as it reads on the page.)
Always before, references were mostly oblique,
but it's now been ten years,
people are ready to look directly
into the sometimes blinding light of her.
This night was the true nine eleven cabaret:
Last year was too soon,
people gathered out of bewilderment.
This year it is face to face.
The very vulnerable photo of Crystal I sent out just a week ago
has brought out a vulnerable crew
with solemn thoughts and tender gestures,
beside a somehow familiar cheery resignation.
A postscript from Sandy Shore,
writing from 37,000 feet:
Words and dance, english in both senses,
running under very white skin.
The laughter infectious, and deep sense of fun -
she made fun of me in ways I felt respected.
So very uncrystal it is now for us
to drift down into amnestic sleep, no?
The droning low-grade saturation with horror,
the guilt by unwitting association,
the dead guns and
Wedgewood gum shoe sandwiches of dashed hopes -
She did not/would not roll over for this.
Take your chances where you like,
but please take chances
photo by alan abrams
Crystal saved fortune-cookie fortunes. On display in her apartment:
you find beauty in ordinary things, do not lose this ability
your principles mean more to you than any money or success
you have a natural grace and great consideration for others
your heart is pure, and your mind clear, and your soul devout
you have a yearning for perfection
you are going to have some new clothes
In a large wooden bowl, amid a mystery-gumbo of all manner of tiny objects folded into a thick broth of flower-petals:
you never hesitate to tackle the most difficult problems
someone you meet today will help in the future
don't let friends impose on you, work calmly and silently
the current year will bring you much happiness
smile often, and see what happens
someone special admires you
your pursuit of happiness is an endless trail of good humor and pleasure
accept no substitutes for that which is genuine
my friendship proves as strong for him as his for me
if you think you can, you can
a good time to finish up old tasks
you are the center of every group's attention
good sense is the master of human life
you will be happy socially and in your work
good news will come to you from far away
Found in a suitcase 9/2/02:
you have an active mind and a keen imagination
if you wish to, you will have an opportunity
there is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear
friends long absent are coming back to you
you are original and creative
you will soon gain something you have always wanted
you like participating in competitive sports
There's 30 or 40 more that got gathered up and put in an envelope somewhere.
More than spooky how vividly this bunch of silly homilies brings her to life.
Weil resolved not merely to support the military struggle against Hitler in principle, but to take an active role in the fight. Political and spiritual motives lay behind this decision. Convinced that the "consent to die" as an isolated ego is the essence of mystical wisdom and that spiritual truths are empty unless realized through bodily action, Weil came to believe her spiritual quest would find its fulfillment in the ordeal of combat ... Weil aimed both to complete a process of religious purification and to transform herself into a sacrificial symbol, uniting politics, art, and spirituality in the crucible of violence. ~ from Saints of the Impossible by Alexander Irwin
When a certain class of people has been placed by the spiritual and temporal authorities outside the ranks of those whose life has value, then nothing comes more naturally to men than to kill. ~ Origo quoting Silone quoting a Weil letter to Georges Bernanos