In 1938 Europe was about to blow itself up again and Henry Miller was infatuated with going to Nepal, Tibet, and most of all China. “I’ve discovered a whole new China” he wrote, and I agree, he could pass for a sage from the East. Maybe it was the influence of Krishnamurti, the astrologers, Madame Anna the seer, Anais Nin and her cousin Eduardo Sanchez, Lawrence Durrell who’d lived in Nepal; maybe it was mortality creeping up with his 50th birthday. Miller fled Paris on the brink of war and made it as far east as Greece. Or maybe he did travel East. In this project, Open Letters from Hotel Central, I’m reinventing Henry Miller the myth to include a trip east, perhaps India. I’ll be his proxy.
Like Miller, I look to the East to make sense of the rage that flairs up in me when temples and religious art are blown up in the name of God, people murdered, books burned. We pray for peace and prepare for war. I do yoga, I chant. I meditate. I judge. I scorn. How to love in light of growing evidence that yes, we are made of the same stuff. We really are stardust wearing different clothes. This is Vishnu’s dream and here we are together, Jihadists, Fundamentalists, non-believers, living it out together. The same wars, the same fight- Jews and Christians, Muslims. It’s the war inside, churning. Mythic. Timeless.