Work Life (Continued)
Jan 30, 2020
My story did not end well. It took me a long time to realize. I was depressed for years. I actually considered– At one point, I was considering suicide.
I worked so hard on that book. Seven years of grinding and everything. But, what happened was, I had written a book that was really fantastic. It was. I know it and I went back to look at it. Just because I check myself.
Yes. It was in MLU that was so low in expectation. It shocked me, actually, that ethical culture was operating like some kind of schlock shop. That there was no… That they were three or four people… I mean, there were people who were there for me. One of them really convinced me not to consider suicide. Because I went to her for help. Because it was going on for too long.
But I said, “I’ll never write another book again.” Because it was that hurtful. I really put my heart into it. It will always be good.
But one of my saddest things is… I never even got to hear about all the things that happened. I happened to notice a couple of months ago, that somebody had said something about me. Apparently, there were people talking about it all the time, but I have no idea who they are.
A writer writes because they want to be heard. It’s the only reason. They want to be heard and they want to do it in a dignified way.
I was just beyond help for years. And then, on top of it all, Hal took us out to the hinter lands, from my point of view. Because we were out in the other side of the country. California. I was dragged out to California. I felt like I was out sync. We had to go because Hal had to go where his job was and it was in California. I was not getting royalties from the book or anything. I, still to this day, have no idea how many books we sold. That makes no sense.
It was naive, in retrospect. But, it was nonetheless, extraordinarily painful and extraordinarily dangerous for me. Because I was away from my friends in New York. I had no one to really cry on.
Hal had to just hit the ground running. So, he was all tied up in his work. I thought, what a fool I was. What a fool I was. All those things I did. Every once in a while, somebody would call. There were two or three people from New York who knew me and would call me.
By the eighth year, somebody kind of came up and said, “So, when are you going to write the next book?” On and on and on. I was thinking, “Next book, are you kidding? Look what you did for me, for the first book.”
And then I thought that’s churlish. I didn’t want to be that kind of a person. But it takes a lot of nobility, when you know that that was your best crack. That it can never be replicated. That the time comes, and then it goes.
I didn’t even know people were reading the book until years later. Somebody here or there would say, “Oh yeah, I wrote… read the book.”
Right. Nobody in ethical culture read the book. That really upset me. Nobody at the top did anything. They act like they were country bumpkins. These were intelligent people. I had… and it made me feel… everything made me feel worse because I thought, what a schmuck I am.
I know. I didn’t think of that for years until last week. Toward the end of the session, I just realized. That’s why I was so sorry. But I wanted to… I needed to say this because-
I’ve kept it for so long and felt so guilty about it. Forlorn about it and it really was a damn shame because they took somebody who I think was so competent and who had so much love for ethical culture. And I did it for the right reasons. And I will always believe they were the right reasons. I got no kudos. I got no big bucks.
Only twice did two people over a couple of years. It happened twice. Somebody wrote a note and said,”That was a really great book.”