Friday, July 30, 2010

Louise: Part I

So in honor of finishing 'Act One' of the Barry Paris
Louise Brooks biography I'm currently reading (300 pages thus far), I've decided to share a
beautiful quote known to be the favorite of her mother Myra Rude Brooks--avant-garde philosopher, pianist, and literate extraordinaire.
I was going to wait until I had finished the book entirely to begin unlocking its characters and history, but half way seems milestone enough to start the
cumbersome yet gratifying process.

Graphic Art by Bill Brauker

[pp. 16-17]

"Myra Brooks's unfeigned love of literature often stunned the townspeople. When the ladies of the Methodist Episcopal Church decided to assemble a

booklet called 'Favorite Quotations of Cherryvale People,' they elicited some predictable Biblical and Shakespearean material, plus a smattering of
Tennyson, but mostly the kind of homespun proverbs one might expect from small-town, turn-of-the-century Kansas folks. Nellie Pilkington's favorite
quote--'Every cloud has a silver lining'--was typical of the words to live by. But Myra, when it came her turn, selected a sweeping philosophical
declamation by William Emery Channing (1780-1842), the great Unitarian reformer and minister:

'To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury and refinement
rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; wealthy, not rich; to study hard,
think quick, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages with
open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never; in a word
let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common.---This is my symphony.'"

And this was the mother of the girl who was arguably the best actress of our time...
my beloved Louise.

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