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ful and good and true”; always words with a too-sculptured air about them, as if they had first been put into place by a surgeon wearing a mask and rubber gloves and then a spotlight labeled Art focused just above to illumine them pro. . . Taking meals at night in small high way cafes. Sipping coffee afterwards and watching women tourists idly turn the racks of comic postcards near the cash register, toothpicks in their hands or lolling on their lips. . . . a person with no particular place to go, no particular place he has to be. A person, like some cold and friendless animal, glad to prolong unspoken companionships within cafes. A person glad to listen to idle conversations, glad to join momentarily in other lives. it Why does everyone, in order to be mentally healthy, have to superimpose some other Name upon himself and be called Plumber or Doctor or Teacher? Why is it that just calling yourself what you area human beingis not identification enough, even to yourself? it The great background you that is always buried inside, always coming back to remind you who you really are and must bealways telling you who you were before you set yourself aside and forgot. It is never fooled, even while you are spending hours or years fooling yourself. It returns, unhurried and familiar, lapping at the feet of your thoughts like tide waters swirling calmly in among rocks after a storm. And how greatly surprised you are to discover yourself. You had completely forgotten. You had been away so long .. . it I wanted to love God, as I had loved or tried to love everything else. But I couldn’t work it that way. It seemed that 16 The Texas Observer to be in the proper swing of things you had to back up, cool off, straighten your tie, brush the sweaty hair out of your toofeverish eyes, and be nice to God, be respectful and courteous, since the relationship between creator and subject is to be considered a decorous and rather impersonal one, what with his being God and all. The less you were preoccupied with God the less you were truly concernedwhy, the more pure of heart you were and the better your mental health. “You’re trying to understand God!” one lady once said to me, which meant: You better stop that right quick; you better get back to hoeing in your own garden and confine yourself to making pleasant comments now and then about how the lilies don’t toil or have concern for their raiment \(and above all most of alllilies don’t ask questions. So in her eyes to try to know was the sin, the blockage, the alienation. It was all primarily a matter of human impertinence, an absence of the prostrating spirit, a matter of pride. To be nicely and comfortably normal, one should want to take his God like bedtime Ovaltine, lukewarm. it Literary types: they know how to make the proper adjectives out of writers’ names. How they love to hear themselves say: Chekovian, Faulknerian, Dickensian. Fishing, years ago: when I wandered all-Sunday-long smelling the creek and the pecan trees and the sun on the rocks; with Daddy always somewhere near by, cigar smoke and Sunday and quietude hanging about him like some eternal parental aroma. it Some work from the intellect down; I suppose I work from the animal up. It I am in bonds, chained to a tongueless self. Let me, just once, make a lyric that will take the skin off another and leave him bared to life as I am now. it Feeling that only in the most highly personalized reactions could I get across what was most universal; that is, what it is to be a human being. r_ The novelty ancl lure of South TexaS is gone. I can take the flat land no more. I have lived here for a while but with no joy. I yearn once more for my old deep love. I need the hill country. I need its woods to walk through and its varied trees. I need its creeks to cross and its oak leaves scattered under afternoon limbs. I need its breeze to catch the thin browning weeds on a roadside and shiver them slightly on a cold day. I need its deep smell of cedar at night in November. I need the variety of land rising and falling. I need the sun white and comforting on the post oaks as they stand like sleeping live things in the pastures. I need the small magnificence of a shadow, oblong on a hillsideand tranquilduring a long summer afternoon. I seemed to want an altar to lay my body on. it Sometimes I sit in my car on Sunday afternoons beside a stretch of farmland, writing a little about isolated things: the beauty of a tree shadow; the sound of a dog barking as a group of ‘children run unseen through distant trees; the smell of grass and flowers and fresh dirt that a breeze brings to you; the steady, heavy-sweet smell of acres of mesquites in bloom; a few bobbing-necked doves eating hurriedly, suspiciously, along a railroad track. With the air smelling the way it does, and with the dark plowed field spreading out in the low sun the way it is, and with unseen running dogs and children and gradually shadowing grass and a light continual breezeand night coming out of nowhere like a slow ground mistI feel you must put something down. It won’t be much, perhaps, but I feel that I must pay grateful homage to the day. it At night near SMU even the crickets seem upper middle class \(how would An ever-increasing indulgence of all things human. it I go about, penning my stray lambs of thought like an indulgent shepherd. I don’t suppose I will ever stock a literary XIT ranch with them. Rather, I will just go about the countryside, gathering here and there, never driving them to the big markets, mainly content just to let them graze in my private lots: a dilettante’s flock. ######~4####41.###### Dialogue M. A Letter from Senator Tower I can quite truthfully say I enjoyed reading the Observer’s detailed article on my “Really Affirmative Approach.” Frankly, in most phrases I recognized myself while in a few others I didn’t know me. However, I clearly recognized a deeply researched, well written article by a talhas done a service for its readers by undertaking to analyze our state’s public officials in this way. While I would have liked to have seen a short mention someplace that I am author of the Vietnam G.I. Bill, and a note that my Voting Rights Bill would have extended its guarantees to Texas, which the enacted bill does not, these are very minor points in the overall presentation. I hope your readers judge me on my present record and my work for Texas as this congressional session continues. I do not expect everyone to agree with every one of my ideas, nor, I hope, am I incapable of learning something every day and of acting upon that knowledge. My views wil continue to be candidly expressed and fully presented on the public record. Texans are entitled to honest, forthright statements and actions from their public officials. John G. Tower, United States Senate, Washington, D.C.