Issue #23

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Issue 23 – May 7, 1972 to July 15, 1972


This issue starts with Krishnaji and Mary in New York, where Krishnaji completed a very successful series at Carnegie Hall. They then go to Brockwood (and briefly Paris to get the car) before having a seemingly wonderful road-trip vacation through France on the way to Switzerland and the Saanen talks. During this time, the health of Mary’s father is declining, and though she doesn’t talk about it a great deal, it is clearly both moving and significant for her. On their arrival in Geneva, Mary tears ligaments in her foot, and we see her soldiering on despite the obvious pain, reflecting her commitment to what she felt to be her life’s work. Remarkable.


The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue #23

Mary: We’re going to start with Sunday, May seventh, 1972.

Scott: Alright.

M: We’re in New York, and ‘it was Filomena’s seventy-fifth birthday, and we celebrated that at breakfast. Then she came with us to Krishnaji’s fourth talk at Carnegie Hall. It seemed to me a very great one. He asked, is there anything beyond time, something eternal, incorruptible? To search and investigate demands a mind that is capable of going beyond, if that is possible, a mind that is religious without dogma, belief, theory, a mind that depends on none of these. Search implies searching for something, something you think exists, and you believe in the capacity to recognize the seeker and the thing sought. Recognition is implied in search; the seeker divides himself from the thing he seeks; the thought is projected. Investigation is different; it implies tracing, going through, never accepting, or rejecting.’ Do you want to hear all this? It’s in the tape. Why should it be read out by me?

S: Well, alright, skip that part, but I don’t want anything else skipped.

M: There’s an awful lot of this, two pages of this. It goes on and on and on about it. ‘After the talk, we came back to the Ritz Tower, and took the contents (mostly wine) of Father’s locked closets in the apartment up to my brother’s. Krishnaji, Filomena, my brother, Lisa, Daisy, and Laurie all had lunch together, and we had a cake for Filomena’s birthday. It was a warm day and Krishnaji and I walked all the way back to 57th Street in the afternoon.’ My brother’s place is on 92nd, so that was a good long walk.

S: We should just mention for the record that Lisa was Bud’s wife, and Daisy is his daughter, and Laurie is his adopted daughter.

M: Yes. The next day, Monday the eighth. ‘Narasimhan came by and drove Krishnaji and me to his apartment for lunch with him and his wife. At 3:30 p.m., Erna and Theo came by to discuss KFA matters, and at 5:30 p.m., Mitchell Booth joined us and gave us his evaluation of Rajagopal’s deposition.’

S: Do you want to tell us what Mitchell thought of it?

M: Well, it doesn’t say, and I don’t remember now what he said, just general discussion of where we stood. On the ninth, ‘Krishnaji was interested in Dr. Woolf.’ Dr. Woolf was an old German doctor to whom my family went, and I’d been to, and I had been to him during this time. Actually, it’s the Niehans thing—do you know what the Niehans thing is?

S: Is it in New York?

M: Well, Woolf gave it in New York, but Niehans was a Swiss doctor, who invented the thing about implantation of cells from a fetus of a sheep.

S: Ah, yes.

M: He invented that. I think they—“synthesized” isn’t the word, but didn’t have to kill the sheep to get it. Niehans’s theory was there were certain things that make the embryo grow and develop, and it’s not made after the birth of the creature, and those things Niehans felt would keep you healthy and your own body functioning well. A lot of famous people have had it; Winston Churchill had it; the Pope is supposed to have had it; I don’t know who all.

S: Alright.

M: So, ‘we went to Dr. Woolf and he took specimens from us to examine, and an infrared photo of Krishnaji’s lower lip, which is supposed to show the arterial conditions.’

S: Hmmm. [M chuckles.]

M: ‘He also gave Krishnaji a nose spray to desensitize his nose from hay fever, and ribonucleic acid tablets (cold pills) for the same. We got back to the hotel with plenty of time to do last-minute things, and say goodbye to Filomena, who is to fly back to Malibu tomorrow. And then we went to the airport, and at 8 p.m. took a TWA flight to London.’

M: The tenth of May. ‘We scarcely slept on the 747, but arrived in London on time at 7:40 a.m. We were met by Dorothy in her new Cortina; Doris, Arthur’—remember Arthur?

S: Oh, yes, of course.

M: Doris’s friend. ‘Arthur was in his car for luggage. The Digbys were there to greet Krishnaji. Krishnaji and I drove with Dorothy to Brockwood. It was a grey day, but the sun came out as we came up the lane. Spring is late this year, and the copper beeches are just unfurling their tiny leaves. Everything looked very well. The new stone path that Guy has made is splendid and looks’—Guy was Dorothy’s and Montague’s son.

S: And the stone path is the one that runs on the south side of the house—flagstones.

M: ‘The path is splendid and looks as if it has always been there. The new serving room with arches into the dining room is an improvement.’ That’s where the food is laid out in the school. Everyone looked well. Krishnaji, Dorothy, Whisper, and I went for a walk across the fields and back by the lane. Slept nine hours in the marvelous quiet of Brockwood.’ [M and S both chuckle.] Now, the next entry is for May twelfth, and you’re going to ask me what happened on the eleventh.

S: I am.

M: Oh, I don’t think that I’m going to fill all these things in. It was surely to do with laundry, unpacking, and such matters.

S: It’s alright. We don’t mind hearing about that.

M: Speak for yourself. [M and S both chuckle.] Alright, I’ll look it up, but I may not tell you. [S laughs.] It’s that—unpacking, long walk, wonderful to be at Brockwood…now you know. [Both laugh.] I’m not going to indulge you this much. [S laughs more.] The twelfth of May. ‘Today, at half after midnight, it was Krishnaji’s seventy-seventh birthday, but so totally does he brush the subject aside that nothing is made of it. It is also Dorothy’s birthday. We made a little more of that. She, Doris, Krishnaji, and I had to go to Rubinstein’s office to sign legal papers in the new arrangement of the Foundation ceasing as is and becoming two new entities—the KF Trust Limited and the Brockwood Park Krishnamurti Educational Centre Limited. A rail strike was on and so we drove to London. Krishnaji and I went, of course, to Huntsman [chuckling] for fittings, to the Burlington Arcade, where we bought a birthday sweater for Dorothy and one for Doris, too. We met them at Fortnum’s for lunch and then all went to Rubinstein’s to sign papers already signed by Mary Links, George Digby, and Mary Cadogan. I enjoy Rubinstein’s office in Gray’s Inn—the worn stone steps and iron banisters, the Georgian windows looking out on a great plane tree said to be favored by Francis Bacon.’ [Both quietly chuckle.] ‘Rubinstein was not there; a female clerk did the needful, and we drove back to Brockwood through stifling traffic.’ Now, we’re going to jump. So, I’ll see if anything happens of interest.

S: What’s the next entry in the big book, the fifteenth?

M: The fifteenth, yes. The thirteenth and fourteenth seem to be family matters. ‘Continued unpacking and arranging things in order. Krishnaji slept morning and afternoon. And on the fourteenth, it’s another quiet day. The Bohms came for lunch. We walked. Krishnaji slept a lot, and after tea, I packed for Paris.’ On the fifteenth, ‘Dorothy drove Krishnaji and me to Heathrow. We had a picnic lunch of nice tomato and cheese sandwiches on the good brown bread from the Donkey Cart.’ In those days, we got our bread from the Donkey Cart Bakery in Petersfield.

S: Oh, yes. I’d forgotten about that.

M: ‘Krishnaji and I took the 12:40 p.m. Air France plane to Paris, and Michel met us’—that’s my father’s chauffeur—‘with the Rolls in which Krishnaji feels a little self-conscious, but also likes.’

S: [laughs] What color was it?

M: Dark grey and black. It was a very, very old one. It was god-knows-how-many-years-old then.

S: Oh, wonderful. Is that the one that Bud now has?

M: Well, I think by now he’s got rid of it, but he inherited it. No, it’s not the one in New York. This was father’s in Paris, and Bud inherited it, and he kept it for a while.

S: And I thought he brought it to Florida or something?

M: No, that’s one he owned in New York, which he bought with a friend, and they shared it. That didn’t work very well, so he finally bought out the friend, and that one was forty years old, or fifty, who knows.

S: [chuckles] Wonderful.

M: Anyway, ‘we went to the Plaza Athénée, where else, and we unpacked and then we went to Lobb and Charvet, and later I went alone to see my father. Well, there’s quite a bit about his health, which we will skip. Came back to the hotel and Krishnaji and I had supper in our rooms. He had walked around the block of the Plaza, while I was gone, promising me not to cross streets.’ [Laughs.] On the sixteenth, ‘I had a fitting with Chanel on a brown and beige tweed suit ordered in October. Michel brought Krishnaji to Charvet, where I joined him. We both ordered shirts and went to the Tour. Krishnaji remained in the car, while I went up to see Father. I telephoned his doctor to discuss his condition. Slowly declining but everything is even for the moment.’ ‘Krishnaji and I lunched at Au Pactole.’ Remember that? Did we go there when you and Kathy and I were there? Well, it’s up on the Boulevard St. Germain around the corner. ‘It was a change for him from the luxe of the Plaza Athénée Restaurant, which is good, but resembles most top restaurants. Pactole, where the food is superb, has dingy walls, good cooking smells in the air, and people seriously eating. The cook is the owner. Maurice, the maître d’hotel, was helpful with our vegetables, and a salad aux champignon, and a cheese flan with a light dusting of truffles. Krishnaji liked it, and his eyes darted about, taking in everything, including the fat priest in a monk’s habit who ate and drank interminably. The car took us back to Lobb, then back to the Plaza, dodging the path of Queen Elizabeth, who was here on an official visit. The Champs-Élysées and the Place de la Concorde were swaying with huge Union Jacks. Krishnaji rested while I went back to see Father. I returned at 5 p.m., when Nadia Kossiakof and Marcelle Bondoneau came to tea with Krishnaji and me to discuss the work in France. Krishnaji took a bit of a walk and dined in his room.’

S: Krishnaji talked about that priest or monk.

M: Did he? The man, God knows what he ordered, he ate course after course. Krishnaji was fascinated. How, first of all, how anybody could eat that much, and secondly, a man of the cloth…

S: Yes, a kind of a monk. [Both laugh.] I could be that kind of a monk. Yes, Krishnaji talked about—he remembered that.

M: Krishnaji kept eyeing him, very discreetly. But this restaurant soon fell out of favor partly because they didn’t serve salad. Krishnaji couldn’t believe that a restaurant, especially in France, a good restaurant, you couldn’t have salad. He was quite shocked.

S: [laughs] I wonder if it’s any good nowadays?

M: I think it’s gone off a bit. Bud told me last year it’s either been sold to somebody or it’s not what it once was. It was very good. It’s the sort of restaurant that I like better than Plaza Athénée, which is, you know, grand luxe, and is fine, but it isn’t somehow real. Anyway, on Wednesday, the seventeenth of May, ‘I did errands, and then I saw Father. Michel brought Krishnaji to Au Pactole, where Mar de Manziarly joined us for lunch and brought papers of her mother’s for the KF archives. Today, Au Pactole did not find favor with Krishnaji as they had no green salad.’ [Chuckles.] ‘He was aghast. “How can these people live?” he said, looking around at very copiously fed clientele.’ [Both chuckle.] ‘Sacha, in pain from a recent car accident, laboriously came with his wooden leg. He joined us for coffee. In the car; we dropped off Mar, and Sacha came back to the hotel for a treatment by Krishnaji. After he left, Krishnaji and I went for a walk. In Givenchy men’s boutique, where my brother has bought things, we found some good summer trousers and Krishnaji bought three pairs: a beige linen, a brown linen, and blue silk and wool combination. We walked over to Porthault, where I bought pillowcases for Father, and then…’ maybe I shouldn’t talk about all this.

S: Yes, you should. This is lovely. It’s absolutely lovely…

M: It’s lovely for you, but people may snort…

S: Well, let them snort. They’re just being stupid if they do.

M: Anyway, ‘Krishnaji stayed in the hotel, and I went to see Father, who was more alert. He said repeatedly, “You look so nice.” Sometimes, when he is silent and staring, I feel as though I communicate just by thinking with him, as if the word level had faded, and perhaps some simple subconscious perception might be free, but this is probably just my fancy. There is no telling; he gives no sign. I came back to the Plaza Athénée in time to order our supper.’ The next day was Thursday the eighteenth, and ‘I had a fitting at Chanel, ordered a blue tweed suit, went to see Father, came back to the hotel, and found the Mercedes there, brought from Thun by Mr. Moser. He, Krishnaji, and I discussed Krishnaji’s car, the purchase of which is postponed until next year.’ Krishnaji didn’t like the current model. ‘He left, and Krishnaji and I had a pleasant lunch at the Plaza. At 3:50 p.m. we left in the Mercedes for Le Havre. About an hour out on the autoroute, the car stopped for no reason we could tell. After five minutes, it was alright, and we continued. We found the Normandy Ferry, but instead of boarding immediately, we went looking for a restaurant called Monaco for supper. We found it, had supper, and boarded the ferry. We had the usual neat cabins and a smooth crossing.’ The next morning, ‘we debarked in Southampton at 7 a.m., and drove to Brockwood in less than an hour. We had breakfast and unpacked. I put things in order. Frances McCann is here, and I tried to drive her to West Meon, but the car again stalled, and then started up after a few minutes. Walk in the afternoon with Krishnaji, Dorothy, and Whisper.’ On the twentieth, ‘the car wouldn’t start. I called a mechanic, who found nothing wrong. I drove to Petersfield without mishap, bought plants for the West Wing, and was back in time for the walk.’ On the twenty-first, ‘Krishnaji spoke to students, staff, and visitors in the theater workshop. Yves Zlotnicka recorded it. A few parents were there. We walked as usual.’ The next day, ‘George Digby and Mary Cadogan came to discuss publications. After lunch, Dorothy joined for financial discussion. Later, Krishnaji, she, and I went for the usual walk.’ Then comes the twenty-third. ‘Krishnaji spoke to students most wonderfully on fact and evaluation. Frances came on the walk and talked to Krishnaji. Later, we had tea in the dining room and Krishnaji showed her the plans just received for the Cloisters. Frances is donating $10,000 to it.’ Nothing happened on the twenty-fourth. On the twenty-fifth, ‘Krishnaji and I took the 10:45 a.m. train from Petersfield, the first time we used that station. Arrived in London at noon, and after leaving trousers for zippers at Huntsman, we went to Mr. Thompson for Krishnaji to have his teeth looked at. A front tooth is fragile and needs capping. We then joined Mary Links at Fortnum’s for lunch. We went again to Huntsman to choose materials for a suit Krishnaji won from me in last winter’s wager over Rosalind getting to see him. We came back to Petersfield. The Mercedes twice stopped but started up again after a minute.’ The twenty-sixth of May. ‘Wind and rain. In afternoon, Krishnaji spoke to the staff. A statement of sanity makes one see what is, and therefore be sane.’ The next day, ‘Mary and Joe came for lunch. Krishnaji talked to Mary afterward about the biography. Then, we all had tea, including Frances McCann. The Links went back to town, and Krishnaji, Dorothy, Frances, and I went for a walk.’ Ahh…this is when Krishnaji said to me, “Are you my brother? For a moment, I felt you were.”’ I’d forgotten when that was. ‘“That’s reincarnation,” he said. I pointed out I couldn’t be, because I was born before Nitya died.’

S: Well, these things are strange. Who knows what could be. [M and S laugh.]

M: I’d forgotten when that was. The twenty-eighth, ‘was a cold, rainy, and windy day. The high commissioner and Mrs. Pant came for lunch. We walked in the rain.’ The twenty-ninth ‘was a holiday; Memorial Day in the U.S. and whatever it is over here. It was still cold and rainy. We walked all the same. Krishnaji talked into the Uher on his own.’ The Uher was my tape recorder. ‘I talked to the Frys.[1]

S: I can tell you’re not reading me things…

M: Oh, it was about a donation from Father, my brother made on his behalf to KFA. ‘Krishnaji said strange things are going on in his head. “Head is burning,” he said. He slept in the morning and afternoon, but we walked.’

M: The next day, you’ll be thrilled that it says, ‘forgot what happened today.’ [S chuckles loudly.] And the next day, it says, cryptically, ‘Krishnaji talked to school.’

S: These are not your most complete notes here.

M: On June second, ‘after lunch I drove to East Dean to see the Frys. I had a lovely afternoon, and happy visit.’ Then there’s things about their house and new garden, and ‘we had tea and a long talk and I came home late.’ For June third, it says ‘desk mostly, walk.’ So, you know I’m not leaving anything out [S chuckles]. The next day, ‘Krishnaji talked to the school. Ian Hammond and Robert Wiffen[2] came about the Cloisters.’ On the fifth of June, ‘Krishnaji and I went to London from Petersfield. Huntsman, of course. Then, Mary lunched with us at Fortnum. Krishnaji had a one-and-a-half-hour appointment with Mr. Thompson, while I went to Liberty’s for sea island cotton for his nightshirts.’ Mrs. Joan Wright, who was a very good sewer, used to make him night shirts, and so I got the good materials for that. ‘Thompson is capping two upper front teeth which are in danger of breaking. Krishnaji had Novocain and stood it very well, but at night, he said “the body feels it has been attacked.”’ On the sixth, ‘I spoke to Mr. Moser about the Mercedes ignition. It has been stopping briefly. He says it is the transistors. I went to Southampton to meet Sol Rosenthal and his wife Diana. They spent the night at Brockwood and we all discussed where we are in the case. My mother and stepfather arrived in London from Rome.’ The next day, ‘At 9 a.m., Krishnaji, Saul, and I talked over the case. I drove the Rosenthals and Patrice, a student and nephew of Suzanne van der Straten, to Petersfield. I was going to London, but the Rosenthals got off at Woking. I took a photo of Krishnaji to be copied, and then met my mother and stepfather for lunch. It was her eighty-first birthday. Krishnaji, during the day, had spoken to the staff at Brockwood, and Anneke arrived to stay for a few days in the West Wing.’ On the eighth of June, ‘Krishnaji spoke to the school. After lunch, we drove to Southampton, where the Mercedes agency put a new ignition transistor, worth £53 sterling, into the car. Again, we came back and took a long walk. I listened in the evening to the tape of Krishnaji’s talk to the staff yesterday, the one I missed.’ On the ninth of June [chuckles], ‘we went to London, and we lost my briefcase in the cab.’ What happened was Krishnaji was always concerned by what I carried. And when I carried both a handbag and, in this case, a briefcase, he wanted to carry the non-handbag.

S: I completely understand.

M: I always resisted, but I gave in on this occasion. [Chuckling.] He left it in the backseat of the cab.

S: [laughs] Oh dear!

M: We didn’t know it until we got to Huntsman.

S: He must have felt awful.

M: Oh, yes, he was very disturbed by that. ‘So, I reported it to the police. Krishnaji fitted at Huntsman, and I went to Mr. Hewitt.’ That was another tailor that they recommended down the street. Then, we lunched at Fortnum. We had a time in a queue getting a cab and got to Michael Rubinstein’s, where my briefcase was. The taxi driver had taken it to the police, who could see from papers inside that it had to do with Michael, so they called his office, and Michael’s clerk collected it.

S: How nice.

M: Isn’t that nice? So there it was, just in time to sign papers for Michael. So, it wasn’t crisis, but it could’ve been. ‘Dorothy, Doris, David Bohm, the Digbys, and Mary Links were there. The Brockwood Park Krishnamurti Educational Centre Limited was formed, and the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Limited was set up separately, and both of them replaced the Krishnamurti Foundation of London. Dorothy drove Krishnaji and me to Waterloo and we got back to Petersfield by 7 p.m. Krishnaji said the shock of the briefcase loss “put him away for the rest of the day.”’ [Laughs.] His dismay was touching. On June eleventh, ‘Krishnaji spoke to the school on meditation. Anneke read Rajagopal’s deposition, and Krishnaji and I and Dorothy went for a walk.’ On the thirteenth, ‘Krishnaji had nausea and a stomach pain, but insisted on going anyway to London. He felt alright in the train. He went to the dentist, while I went for his Swiss visa. Then, we went to John Bell & Croyden and left three water picks for repair. We met Mary L. for lunch at Fortnum, and then Krishnaji went to see Mrs. Bindley while I went in vain to Selfridges about the Sanyo calculator. I rejoined Krishnaji at Mrs. Bindley’s, we went back to Brockwood in time for supper.’ The fourteenth is just deskwork for me, but the next day, ‘Krishnaji talked to the school. “Is there  communication that is neither verbal nor by gesture? When total attention exists at the same moment at the same level, there is communication.”’ On the seventeenth, ‘Mary and Joe Links brought Sacha de Manziarly to lunch. Sacha is to spend the weekend. The Digbys came to lunch and afterward, Krishnaji, Mary, the Digbys, and I had a meeting and discussed the Publications Committee’s wish to make its own deals for publishing and not in the U.S., but there is the possibility that Alan Kishbaugh might act for them. He comes here in July. George questioned the KWINC suit and criticized charging for Krishnaji’s talks in the U.S. After tea, the Digbys left and George gave me the text of his position on this matter, and his, to me, unacceptable criticism of Erna.’ June eighteenth. ‘Krishnaji spoke to the school. There was a cold wind and rain, but we walked anyway in the afternoon. Sacha was helpful with the planning of a motor trip to southern France on the way to Switzerland.’ We all got out maps and he advised. On the nineteenth, ‘Krishnaji, Sacha, and I went to London by train. Krishnaji went to Mr. Thompson’s, where two upper front teeth were capped. Thompson says a side molar needs to come out on Friday. Krishnaji and I lunched with Mary L. at Fortnum, and went to Huntsman. I fitted my bird’s eye slacks. And we came back to Petersfield.’

S: You know, it’s nice when I hear you mentioning different garments, because I know a lot of them.

M: [laughs] You do, because fourteen or fifteen years later, I’m still wearing all of that.

S: It’s so nice, and Krishnaji’s different suits. I wish you told exactly which suits he was fitting at what time. Of course, they all have the dates inside of them, but still…

M: What are you going to do with those suits, as you can clearly not wear them anymore?

S: Well, I still…

M: They belong in the archives.

S: They do belong in the archives, but I intend to lose weight…someday.

M: Someday, that’ll be the day, my dear friend…[S laughs]…I don’t want to be carping or criticizing or unfriendly, but to lose weight after a certain age—it’s very, very difficult.

S: It is very difficult. I know.

M: And what about those beautiful shoes, what’s happened to them?

S: I still have them.

M: They belong in the archives.

S: Yes.

M: Where did I hear the other day that somebody…oh, Hans[3]

S: I know, I lent them the pair.

M: You did? Well, then, they’re in the archives.

S: It was for the exhibition. I lent them a pair, but they agreed they have to come back. [Both laugh.]

M: Scott, you’re crazy. Oh dear. Well, let me see, where are we?

S: Yes, Hans said people were very interested in the shoes. I was sure they would be, which is why I lent them for the exhibition.

M: I remember Dorothy’s statement after the fire, that they had been recovered, and his shoes were gleaming…

S: Yes. [Laughter.]

M: So beautifully polished. On the twenty-first, ‘I worked at the desk. I wrote an answer to George Digby’s blast at Erna. This was the mid-summer day, and the temperature was in the low fifties.’ Noteworthy. [S laughs.]

S: Unhappily written, I can tell. [M laughs.]

M: On June twenty-second, ‘Krishnaji spoke to the school about what to do with physical pain—don’t fight it, watch it; on the insight of seeing the pain of conflict, etcetera, but not making an insight into a pattern. It was a good talk in spite of a little hay fever, Krishnaji was shining,’ it says. ‘Narendra and June Minor appeared for the talk and lunch. It seemed they were married yesterday.’ Do you remember who Narendra was? Narendra was an Indian boy from Benares and he was the first or second student at Brockwood. Alain Naudé arranged with his father that Narendra should come and study at Brockwood, and Narendra did, and in those days, I think it was even pre-Brockwood, he stayed with the Simmonses, wherever they lived, and by the time Brockwood was started, the Simmonses felt they were in charge of Narendra, but Naudé didn’t feel that at all; he felt that it was his responsibility, and that was the start of the trouble between Dorothy and Naudé. Because Naudé, when he arrived, wanted to, oh, I don’t know what, take Narendra to art galleries and teach him this and that, and Dorothy said it must have the agreement of the school, he was under the discipline of the school, and Alain couldn’t just waltz off with the boy and decide what he was to do. And it became quite a…it never was resolved.

S: But this…Narendra got married?

M: Well, that’s the background. Now, this is years later. This is ’72; the Naudé-Narendra-Dorothy problem was in 1969. So, by now, Narendra went off and had some schooling in Italy. I forget what happened to him, but he had a girlfriend here called June Minor. This was before your time, and I think she was a little bit older than Narendra, but they were married yesterday. Alain thought that he was going to be a great religious figure, and he turned out to be an accountant, which was hardly what was supposed to happen. Anyway, they were married. ‘Krishnaji felt nauseated after supper, and he did not sleep well. His hay fever was bothering him, and probably it wasn’t helped by the sun, which came out on the walk.’ On June twenty-third, ‘Krishnaji had a quiet morning in bed. Then, we took the 12:45 p.m. from Petersfield. We had a picnic lunch on the train, and were in London at 2 p.m. We went to Huntsman, where Sacha met us, and gave me vouchers for hotel reservations he has kindly made for Krishnaji and me. Krishnaji gave him a treatment’—at Huntsman? Apparently so. ‘I fitted black and white tweed skirt at Mr. Hewitt’s up the street, went to Hatchards for books, and then to Paul Anstee to look at an armoire; he goes out of business in September.’

S: Paul Anstee was going out of business?

M: Mmm. That was rather a blow. ‘Then I went to see a table Mary Links had suggested, and Krishnaji went to Mr. Thompson by taxi, and Mr. Thompson pulled a lower right molar and put in a bridge, all in twenty minutes.’

S: That’s quick.

M: ‘We went to Waterloo and were home by 4:50 p.m. Krishnaji is relieved to have the tooth out.’ Nothing really for the next day. ‘Krishnaji was alright after yesterday’s dentist visit, and he saw Felix Green. Packing.’ On the twenty-fifth, ‘Krishnaji spoke to the school, and saw Patrice and brother Ariel’—they were students. More packing. Now, we can switch to the big book. June twenty-sixth. ‘It was packing all day. For once, not too rushed. We both had supper downstairs, and then some of the boys helped me load the car, and as usual, all the school came out to see Krishnaji off. We drove to Southampton and onto the Normandy Ferry. We had comfortable cabins and the crossing was so smooth that I couldn’t tell when the ship left the dock.’ On June twenty-seventh. ‘We disembarked at 7 a.m. at Le Havre. There was fog on the road. We stopped for breakfast at one of those autoroute places, which have copied all the worst of American coffee shops. Arrived in Paris, and at the Plaza Athénée by 10:30 a.m. I went to see my father. He seems diminished since May. He tires easily, and sleeps most of the time. He seemed glad to see me, but when I described our trip, he couldn’t take it in, and said, “But what are you talking about?” Soon, he fell asleep. I rejoined Krishnaji at the Plaza, and we had a fine lunch in the garden. Roland’—that’s the maître d’hotel there, and he was also at the Tour d’Argent—‘made us welcomed. Later, I had a Chanel fitting, Krishnaji to Lobb and Charvet, but the shirts were not ready. Krishnaji and I went to a Hitchcock movie, Frenzy. Neither of us really liked it. We walked back to the hotel. I went again to see Father, and then Krishnaji and I had supper in our rooms.’ On June twenty-eighth,I went back to Charvet, fitted a shirt, and then saw a man at the bank. Marcelle Bondoneau lunched with Krishnaji and me at the Plaza in the garden, and Nadia Kossiakof joined us for coffee at 3 p.m. I went again to see Father. He was sitting in his armchair, and more alert. Did his sad shuffling walk. Back to bed after ten minutes. One foot is twisted; the nurse supports him, and he stops ritually to switch off the light on Olive’s portrait’—that’s his wife, who was dead—‘as he leaves the sitting room. I rejoined Krishnaji at the Plaza and we went for a walk, stopping at Dior for some cologne and Philips for his razor oil.’ Razor shopping was always a big thing. [S chuckles.] ‘We had supper in our rooms. A crazy woman telephoned from Las Vegas for Krishnaji. I spoke to her. She wants money to make a movie to explain Krishnaji’s message.’ How did she find us at the Plaza? I suppose Brockwood told her. The twenty-ninth of June. ‘Bud telephoned me from New York at 8:30 a.m. Lisa’s baby is in position for birth, the doctor says. So, they wait for it anytime.’ This is Lindsay’s birth.

S: Oh, yes.

M: ‘I reported how Father seemed, and Dr. Thins’s expectation, that Father is slowly sinking. They don’t expect a sudden change, and Thins will see him on his return from holiday, but predicts Father will not live many months. Thins’s predictions have not been notably accurate in matters of time. But that is what he says. Bud talked about business things.’ It’s all family business. ‘Mar and Sacha de Manziarly came to see Krishnaji at 10 a.m. We then left the hotel in the Mercedes and stopped at the Tour, where Krishnaji remained in the car.’ That’s the Tour d’Argent, where Father lived, ‘and I had Michel’—that’s Father’s chauffeur—‘supervise the parking while I went up to see Father once more. He looked far away, and it was painful to leave him, though he had fallen asleep before I said goodbye.’ ‘Krishnaji and I drove from the Tour at noon and found the way to the A6 autoroute beyond Fontainebleau. The country unfurled in great rolling spaces, the beautiful stretches of middle France. Krishnaji was delighted. The Plaza had provided a very expensive and uninteresting picnic. They do not understand sandwiches. [M and S chuckle.] But, we had plenty of fruit and ate it in one of the prettier parking spots off the autoroute. Then on into the afternoon, and rain until we got off the autoroute, and came to Lissieu just north of Lyons by 5:30 p.m. We had rooms at the Réserve, a quiet place. Mine had pink bird wallpaper I had considered for Brockwood. We dined in the dining room. Krishnaji wished to order the normal sequence, not beginning with fruit, as we usually do. So, we had a good meal built around an omelet and haricots verts with a half-bottle of Pouilly-Fuisse, which Krishnaji tasted and then made a wincing face.’ [Both laugh.] ‘Both slept soundly. No hay fever symptoms for Krishnaji.’ [M laughs again.] The thirtieth of June. ‘The rain was gone and it was a lovely summer day with drifting clouds that obligingly made parasols over the car. We left at 10:45 a.m., got off the autoroute at Orange, and found a restaurant for lunch, Le Provençal. Krishnaji was pleased because we had parked the car in a garage, and I was pleased at the restaurant, which was somehow real in the way the various luxurious restaurants aren’t. This one could only have been in France. It was rather dark with the bright sun outside and so cool and a refuge. Shabby flowered paper on the walls, and very clean white nappes.

S: Tablecloths.

Roman Amphitheater in Orange, France

Roman Amphitheater in Orange, France

M: Yes. An ancient, motionless woman at the caisse and the smell of good cooking. We ate melons du pays, so good there was only the rind left. And when the cheese came, we had local ones we had never tasted. Krishnaji chose chevre with rosemary in it. After lunch, we walked to the Roman amphitheater and Krishnaji liked the massive front of it. We drove on to Avignon, but it became very hot and we got caught in traffic jams. We tried to see the

Le Pont D'Avignon

Le Pont D’Avignon

Palais des Papes, but within the walls, the city was an ant hive for people and cars, and we escaped after a look out the car window at the Palais. Across the Rhône seeing the bridge, where “l’on y danse, l’on y danse…”’ You know? “Sur le Pont d’Avignon, l’on y danse, l’on y danse…”[4] S: Ah, yes. Yes. [M chuckles.] ‘We got to Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and found our hotel, Le Prieuré.’ All these reservations had been made by Sacha through the French tourist office in London. ‘Krishnaji had a room on one side of the hotel, and I on the other, but they were cool and comfortable, and a refuge after the traffic. We rested, and I bathed, and we had dinner at 7 p.m. in the garden. Krishnaji elegant in his infinite dignity and grace. I watched all this, diagnosing the other diners’ ills from the fact that they ate too much [S laughing], and meat.’

S: Of course.

M: ‘“Don’t they know it’s bad for them?” There was a wind that made the leaves swim in the trees, and we slept early.’

Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard

Saturday, the first of July. ‘It was a bright cloudless morning. We left Le Prieuré at 11 a.m., and drove westward, looking for Pont du Gard. At one point, Krishnaji said “Turn here, turn here,” with such vehemence that I felt struck down and shaking. He startled me as though I were about to run over a child, and being so open to him, it was devastating. I could hardly drive for a while, but we came to the Pont—a Roman aqueduct built at the time of Augustus, huge and splendid. Krishnaji liked it. We drove toward Nîmes, the country reminded both of us of California, and so did the bright Provençal light. At Nîmes, we found La Maison Carrée, and found it beautiful, saw the amphitheater, then drove on. Krishnaji navigating by the map to Aigues-Mortes in the Camargue. We left the car outside and walked through the fortress walls into the tiny town…

S: To where?

M: Aigues Mortes…it’s in the Camargue, right down at the bottom of France.

S: Yes, I’ve been to the Camargue several times, but not Aigues Mortes.

M: It’s a little old town. It looked as though it were built for very small people, lived in, and

Jean-Frederic Bazille's painting of Aigues-Mortes

Jean-Frederic Bazille’s painting of Aigues-Mortes in the Camargue

defended by them until the sea capriciously withdrew from it, leaving it no longer the port that Saint Louis had built to launch his crusade. The shops where we hoped to buy cheese and fruit were closed for the noon hour, so we had to sit at a café in the square, where a grudging waiter brought us our small orders. It was a bit noisy, and Krishnaji curled in distaste. We ate and left, and his head began to hurt him from such a place. We drove then across the Camargue to Nîmes. Less wild than we had imagined, even the marshes with its rice growing and a couple of horses. But there were des mas…’ Do you know what’s meant by “mas”? Oh, farmhouses. ‘But it was no wilderness. At Arles, we found the amphitheater, and went on to Les Baux and the hotel, L’Ostraus de Baumaniére, three stars, and luxe. We had rooms in the manoir, quiet, with a terrace and a little pool. We rested, bathed, and went up to the hotel for dinner of elegant excellence. The artichauts came in a purée, and there were fifty cheeses. But there was a vulgarity in some of the clients—tough Americans. Luxury must go with grace, or it becomes vulgarity. We drove up to and looked at the illuminated rocks of Les Baux above, and then came down and went early to bed.’ The next day was the second of July. It was another cloudless morning and we left the Baumaniére at 10:30 a.m., and drove toward Cavaillon, stopping at a village where a

Church of Cavaillon

Church of Cavaillon

food shop was open. We bought goat cheese, bread, olives, and biscuits, peaches, apricots, and cherries for our lunch. The country was Van Gogh country—rows of black-green cypresses. There was a wind blowing, and when we drove through tunnels of touching trees, the leaves were green-flowing waters over our head. The bright quality of light kept bringing my eye to Van Gogh and Cézanne. At Cavaillon, we took the autoroute north because we had a good way to go to reach Geneva. The wind was a gale, head on, and the car had to be held like a ship. North of Valence, we left the autoroute gladly and took a road through Romans, Chambéry. Gradually the country changed. Provence was gone, and there was a northern look and quality of the air and light. We drove up a lane and ate our picnic.’ [M quietly says “I remember that.”] ‘It was almost cold. A family parked nearby and also ate. Krishnaji, in order to stretch and not drop crumbs in the car, stood outside to eat, with that far-off child’s stance he has, a child absorbed in something. At such times, he has the look of “that boy” that was and always has been the slight figure of grace off in his own perception.’ ‘We drove on, taking a road that led through Rumilly, past Aix-les-Bains, that reminded me of an absurd Christmas years ago.’ We’d gone there—why, god knows—Sam and I and a whole group of people.

S: Oh, really?

M: To Aix-les-Bains for Christmas, which is closed then. [S laughs loudly.] So, we went back to London, as far as I can remember.

S: Well, I’ve been to Aix-les-Bains when it’s been open, and there’s not much there then, either.

M: No, no. I went there as a child and remembered a…

S: Yes, well, it has that feeling of kind of Belle Époque—it was grand a long time ago…[Laughs]

M: According to Sacha’s excellent planning, on a small road that led to the Swiss border at Saint-Julien-en-Genevois, the Haute Savoie country was utterly unspoiled, fields of farms, trees

St Julien Fontaine

The historic abreuvoir (fresh water trough) at Place de la Libération square, Saint-Julien-en-Genevois.

and hills turning to mountains, the shape of the farmhouses massive against the winters is like the best of the old Swiss. At the border, I put through the papers, for the Chanel tweeds, saving many francs thereby. We came immediately down into Geneva and were once again in the little narrow efficient rooms at the Hotel du Rhône. We went out for a walk, watched the Jet d’Eau, and came back to supper in the rooms. During the day driving through the Savoie, there were signs “Jesus sauve” [both laugh]. Krishnaji pointed to the first and said, “Oh, Jesus!” Then we came to one that read “Jésus est là” said Krishnaji, “Bons, j’y suis.”’ [Both M and S laughing.] I didn’t know it until later, but today, in New York, at ten minutes to five, Lisa’s baby was born, a boy weighing six pounds, at the Presbyterian Hospital. On July third, ‘Narasimhan telephoned, and I telephoned to Vanda at Tannegg. We went out to get a present for Fosca. I turned my foot and fell. I managed to walk back to the hotel, getting an Ace bandage to do my foot and ankle up. Went by taxi with Krishnaji to Patek. We returned to the hotel, when Narasimhan joined us for a short visit. He left and we had lunch at the hotel. Then, in the Mercedes, which I could drive with my right foot, the uninjured one, we went first to Jacquet, where Krishnaji ordered two ties while I drove around the block, and from there to Patek to pick up his Naviquartz. After that, we drove via the lac and through Lausanne to the Oron road that comes down a long straight hill, and at last to Gstaad by 5:30 p.m., and 1,013 miles from Brockwood a week ago.’ ‘Vanda and Fosca were there, and it was lovely to see them both. Krishnaji unpacked a little and then went to bed. I unpacked, too, in spite of my foot. The good of putting everything away in order is necessary. Then bed, for I am tired physically.’ On July fourth, ‘I put everything in place. Krishnaji stayed in bed all day. I did some necessary shopping in the village and some desk necessities. I found some detective novels for Krishnaji, ordered the paper, and magazines, and at 5 p.m. went with Vanda to Dr. Sollberger, who X-rayed the foot, pronounced torn ligaments, and did it up in tight elastic bandage. It felt alright until night when I awoke repeatedly with pain as the blood pressure dropped and the tight bandage prevented circulation.’ The next day, ‘Frances McCann came to lunch and Krishnaji remained in bed.’ July sixth. ‘Krishnaji is still resting in bed. Vanda invited Martha Crego to lunch’—she’s a woman who lives in Ojai—‘wanting me to give her some of the facts of our side of the Rajagopal case. Martha said she wasn’t on Rajagopal’s side, but defended him in every instance. She said everything was smooth until newcomers, (i.e., Naudé, Lilliefelts, and Zimbalist) came along, then a lawsuit. I explained ten years’ of Krishnaji’s effort to get information from Rajagopal before any of us appeared. But he sent money, she said. She has no concept of the roots of all this, except what Mima Porter has told her, and she defends her own opinion. She said Noyes (that’s Colonel Noyes) told her that Krishnaji’s insistence on the archives killed Rajagopal’s 1968 offer. She couldn’t see why Krishnaji should have any rights to his own archives. About Rajagopal’s refusal to give Krishnaji his manuscript, it was “because Rajagopal didn’t want Naudé to have it.” Endless resistance to Krishnaji’s side of the fence. It was a tiresome waste to talk to her. “I’ll tell her,” said Krishnaji later. But why should he waste his energies on these ambivalent people who trail around the world after him and yet side with his enemies? “Rajagopal has always been…” etcetera, they say, as if that makes it right. On July seventh, ‘Vanda went to Lausanne for the day. Krishnaji got up for lunch, walked down the hill and had his hair cut, then came to the bank and cosigned a new account at the Banque Cantonale de Bern to be called Teaching Trust account. It replaces the one held in my name for his personal expenditures. The Swiss have just made a restriction on foreign accounts. They are charging 8% a year on deposits made after the thirtieth of June. The pound sterling floating and the dollar speculation are troublesome. Krishnaji was uncomfortable being down in the village. People recognize him right and left and the isolation of this week in his room seemed to have removed some protective layers. He was tired and he came up the hill. After supper, Krishnaji, Vanda, and I talked till quite late about the early days. Mrs. Besant, Leadbeater’s discovery of the boy, and the so-called instructions from Masters reported by Leadbeater on how the boy was to be cared for. Krishnaji was in high form, laughing, told most of it. “Listen to this, signora; when he traveled, there was to be always two initiates, one to have a compartment on one side of him, and one on the other, so if there were an accident, they would be killed.”’ [Laughter.]

S: I can see Krishnaji enjoying that story. [M laughing.]

M: It was as well we talked so late, as at 10:30, Bud rang from New York. He hadn’t heard from me and realized I had not got his cable on Monday. He had tried to telephone and had gotten no answer, so cabled. Well, anyway, I spoke to Lisa, too. They were calling from the Presbyterian Hospital. I never heard happier voices, Bud’s with a note of wonder: “There is this little boy,”’ [chuckle], ‘and Lisa saying for the first time in her life she had done something well; all other times she told herself she should have done better.’ On the ninth of July, ‘Krishnaji remained in bed, and I worked at the desk. The carrot beyond my nose is to get caught up. I telephoned Paris and heard from Solange about Father’s smile at hearing he had a grandson. Bud and Lisa plan to take the baby to see him in October. Alan Kishbaugh rang this morning. He’s in London, as I had asked him to, and I briefed him on the situation with George Digby, about the handling of publications in the U.S. I wanted Kishbaugh to know all this before he meets them. He seemed to understand and should handle it all with tact. He goes with Mary L. and Amanda’—that’s Mary’s daughter—‘to see Brockwood on Tuesday. Will arrive here on Friday.’ Now I have to go to the little book. On the tenth of July, ‘the doctor fixed my foot. Errands with Vanda, deskwork. Krishnaji went for a walk. Had some bronchial congestion, but not too bad. Yves Zlotnitska took my Sanyo calculator to Basel and got the recharger, so it works.’ The eleventh of July ‘was a cold, wet day. I fetched cough medicine for Krishnaji.’ The next day was ‘a wintry day. Krishnaji remained in bed except for his walk in afternoon. Cough medicine is making him too sleepy. Vanda and I stopped it for a day. Gave him one Benadryl antihistamine tablet in the evening. I worked at the desk all day, except for going for the newspaper. Moser sent for the Mercedes for repairs, scratches he put on it, coming to Paris in May. He left an orange VW for use until Monday.’ On the thirteenth, ‘Krishnaji remained in bed except for his walk. I went to Dr. Sollberger again. The foot is better. Did errands in p.m. Vanda asked me to talk to Guido Franco with his usual request to film Krishnaji, and Vanda told Krishnaji that Martha Crego is all upset. How can a man like Krishnaji be involved in a court case? Krishnaji now feels he must talk to her. Why must the people who bring their hostility and aggressiveness to Krishnaji take up so much of his time?’

S: You know, this is an aside, perhaps, but I often found Vanda insensitive in that way, I must say, to foist this lady on Krishnaji. It’s the kind of thing that I didn’t see much of, but I felt was often there, that was a great…

M: I think in some ways, and I can’t be definite about this, but there was quite a lot of feeling and I think Vanda had some of it, that Krishnaji shouldn’t be bothered with all these things. And Rajagopal has done a good enough job in some ways, that Krishnaji shouldn’t have had the court case—“leave it all to Rajagopal, that’s not your business…”

S: Yes, I know.

M: “… he’s doing everything all right. Leave it alone. Don’t be involved in it.” And when Krishnaji did get involved, she disapproved, I think. There was a flavor of that; I don’t want to be too categorical about it. And so, maybe this reflects a bit of that feeling. So, now we go to July fourteenth. ‘Guido Franco’—oh, he…[S chuckling] plagued me. [M chuckles.] Guido, well, let’s see what it says here. ‘Guido Franco, hippy-ish, Italian, Swiss, was again pushing the film he began two summers ago about the Saanen Gatherings. Last year, he had run-ins with Graf, the Lilliefelts, and me about it. Yesterday, he came to see Vanda, who asked me to talk to him. He more or less repeated the previous conversations. He wishes to own the film and control it, and we fail to see why Krishnaji should be used for Franco’s purposes. Krishnaji saw him in the hall and shook hands in greeting, saying again he would have to agree with the Foundation on it if he was to do something. Franco promptly twisted this to be a take-off agreement to do it, and expected agreement from me. So this morning, Krishnaji told him that KF upholds the copyright, etcetera, and to submit a memo of what he intends to do, and we would consider it. On top of this turn and unnecessary effort for Krishnaji, he decided to talk to Martha Crego because Vanda reports Crego is still harping on about Krishnaji’s going to court, etcetera. Nothing I explained to her, for two hours the other day, has sunk in at all, as I knew it wouldn’t. So, from 1 to 2 p.m., while he should have been eating lunch quietly, he had to talk to her. Why these hostile and aggressive people should be able to claim his attention and energy is something that riles me. Crego said, “all of them, Mima, too,” are Theosophists, as though this had some positive significance. So we had late lunch, and Krishnaji went back to bed. I went to check Chalet Choucas for Alan Kishbaugh’s arrival. Visited the tent, which is more spacious and looked very nice. Put supplies in for Alan Kishbaugh, and then met him at the train. He comes from London, where he met for a short time with Mary L. and Mary C., the Digbys, but in spite of an optimistic letter to me by Mary Cadogan that George was about to ask Alan Kishbaugh to do the publishing negotiations, of course, George didn’t do it, and Alan Kishbaugh says he doesn’t know where he is with the whole thing. I felt the combination of a physical shock from my fall in Geneva and the pressure of contentious people, also angering communications with Vanda, which is a very foggy area. I welcomed her suggestions and advice, and yet they often slide into the impossible. “Why can’t you have groups of young people?”—but Krishnaji mustn’t do extras. “Why don’t you invite Narasimhan to stay?”—he’s in the U.S.’ Is this making sense, the way I read it?

S: Well, we’ll see how it reads.

M: [laughs] ‘This is my difficulty communicating about certain things with Vanda. Explaining about the Guido Franco plan not being to Krishnaji’s advantage, and the possible harm, she says, she sees no harm. “What does it matter?” she says. “Let him…” Nothing but, “why do you get upset…” Anyhow, all this was a bit much today, mostly because moving has become a constant pain of some damn bone or muscle, and I am tired. Lay down and read for a while, and felt better. Fetched Alan Kishbaugh to Tannegg for supper, and Vanda in some unnecessary assumption that she shouldn’t be there, so we could talk business, didn’t come to the table.’


Editor’s Note: This is about as much as we ever hear of Mary complaining about the constant pain she was in from one thing or another. I once saw her suffering for several days trying to walk with a completely broken leg, because she didn’t think it was serious. The surgeon was surprised she could stand the pain.


I don’t like putting in something that might seem anti-Vanda, because I never have felt that.

S: It’s just the way it was for you then, Mary.

M: I know, but, I was just venting my…exasperation…

S: Well, that’s all right, you’re allowed to vent.

M: [long sigh] Well, Saturday fifteenth of July. ‘During breakfast, Al Blackburn turned up with a letter from Vigeveno to Krishnaji, which Blackburn could only give to Krishnaji personally, lest I destroy it, presumably,’ it says here, [laughs], ‘so Krishnaji had to get out of bed and come out to Blackburn, and he had to listen to Blackburn tell him how much trouble they were having finding a place to live. When he left, Krishnaji came in the dining room where Vanda and I were, and gave me the letter, asking me to read it, and to tell him what it was. He said he didn’t want to touch it. The letter said that he, Vigeveno, had seen the Brockwood film and at the end, when asked why he taught, Krishnaji had replied, “I think out of affection.” So, was it affection to attack his lifelong friend Rajagopal, to go to lawyers, etcetera. From the feet of the master to the Ventura courthouse.’ This is a kind of snide stuff…

S: Jesus!

M: Much belaboring of Krishnaji and his own words on love, affection, truth, etcetera.

S: We’re running out of tape, so we’ll have to come back and do this entry.

M: Why don’t you cut it off at the end of whatever that sentence makes sense?

S: Okay.

M: And I’ll mark it here.

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[1] Christopher and Phyllis Fry were good friends of Mary’s, and had been of Sam as well. Christopher contributed to the writing of several of Sam’s films, including Ben-Hur. Back to text.
[2] A partner of Ian Hammond, who did most of the overseeing of construction. Back to text.
[3] From the Dutch Stichting. Back to text.
[4] This is a French children’s song, and anyone who has spent part of their childhood in France, was taught this by people looking after them or by French children.  It is about dancing on the bridge of Avignon. Back to text.