Friday, June 17, 2011

I and Thou in the Here and Now by Kay Anderson

The book I and Thou in the Here and Now is a book about finding joy in life and dealing with how life can be sad and feel like a drudgery. In it, the author shares short stories of her experiences. Several of these are about her memories of Reinhold Marxhausen. Karl Marxhausen shared a copy of this book with me which includes a note from the author addressed to Reinhold.

Stories which were about Reinhold were marked with stars in the text. Here is the note written by Kay Anderson and the relevant quotes from the book:


For Marx—

This book was launched after meeting you. Your spirit joined mine…and you will find yourself clearly reflected on the star marked pages. You are the “senior robin” in the Fantasy Finale. Thanks for BEING you!

With love,


(The FLURRY is super! Thanks J)

p. 16

At a conference, an artist loaned me his eyes until I was able to see with my own.

Marx shared himself and gave me a world of new awareness. Suddenly, common things took on great significance. I stooped to study a dried and crumbling leaf, and saw the sun move through it casting a lacy shadow on my path.

p. 48

The conference is long past, and I feel like a child whose hands are still cupped to hold a shimmering bubble that once drifted away on a breeze.

It’s hard for me to let go of something or someone that completes me. Although the longing makes me painfully aware of my needs, it also makes me aware of beautiful memories. I chose to recall and remember the joy. I chose to reach out again.

p. 77

A man told me that his father had always wanted him to become a minister, but he became an artist instead. Now in his fifties, he drives himself in his work seeking to minister to others through his medium, not yet certain that he’s fulfilled his father’s dream.

He and I and others have placed excessive demands on Self, all because of unresolved and long-ago, external expectations. To become aware, to be gentle with Self, to accept the kind of reflections of others—that is a beginning. The past need not consume us.

p. 116

“Look there!” my friend said, and pointed in my tea cup. I presumed he meant a speck of dust or some lint. “It’s okay,” I assured him, and poured myself some tea. Then he had to take another cup to patiently show me a heart-shaped reflection that the sunlight cast in the cup.

At least for now, it takes a conscious effort for me to remain silent and receptive. I would like to give others time to reflect, to share, to be.

The final chapter of the book is a fantasy that the author dreamed about. The two main characters are an old butterfly and a senior robin. Notes were written in the margins, identifying the butterfly as Kay and the robin as Marx. Here is the section of the final chapter which is a direct reference to Reinhold:

Fantasy Finale

The Great Escape

After being at a luncheon with friends one day, I came home to think through the conversations of that noon hour. I felt frustrated by the lack of fulfillment expressed by some of my friends. I felt saddened by their willingness to accept their “lot in life.” I felt separated from them when I shared some of my flying experiences.

And then I had a fantasy. Within the fertile garden of thoughts and wishes and dreams, I saw the birds and butterflies of the world held captive on the wheels of life. Though their wings flapped and fluttered, a clasp was closed around their bodies, and they were seemingly hopeless captives.

Around and around they went on their particular wheels, pouring out their life force in pursuit of life’s daily needs. They were limited to experiences within the scope of that wheel. There they saw their fellow winged beings. There they all dipped down to eat and rest at the end of the day’s “journey.”

“That’s life,” I imagined they’d say, just as my friends were saying without actually voicing that conviction. But I couldn’t bear it! Not for myself. Not for them.

Then into my fantasy came an old butterfly and a senior robin. They had been “flying” for most of their lives. They had seen sunsets over the lake, sunrises on the hills of the forest. They had tasted of flowers and worms. They had climbed to great heights. They had been driven against their will in sudden unexpected squalls. They had taken their chances away from the security of the wheel.

Now they had come home. In a mutual pact, they had agreed to try once more to free their friends from captivity.

“Lift your eyes,” they butterfly whispered in a flutter of demonstration. “Look up!”

“Raise your vision,” chirped the old robin. “There’s more to life than worms. I eat so that I can fly and drift and splash in rain puddles. Lift your heads, my friends.”

Still the wheels turned. The lovely creatures remained passively secure within the clasp of life’s practicalities. Around and around they flew, though I question the use of that verb. Their only change of pace came at meal times and at dusk.

On the next morning, the old butterfly visited flowers that flourished beyond the well-worn and quite barren and of wheels. And the senior robin sang freely from the branches of a lush leafy oak.

Perhaps it was an accident. Perhaps it was a plan. But the uncommon song of the robin caused two birds to life their heads suddenly, almost in unison.

With that individual choice, two clasps flew open. Two birds abandoned the plodding plight of the wheel. The responsive birds were free, free at last. Together they flew, they truly flew to join the senior robin. They flew to participate in life.

As if on cue, the old butterfly winged close to one wheel, settling, lifting, dipping her wings, faltering a bit. She caught the attention of an eager young captive. Excitedly the old butterfly fluttered forth toward the blue and waiting sky. And the young one looked up!

Again a clasp flew open. And for a while the fragile and untested young wings moved more quickly. Then they stopped. The wheel moved forward, relentlessly, and the young one was almost swept away in the down draft.

Just in time, the old butterfly flew close and flapped and flapped and flapped, until a kindly breeze developed to set the young butterfly right again. They away she flew, up and up and up.

“I’m flying,” came the song of the lovely butterfly. “Flying, really flying.”

All that day and the next, which would be like years in the life of men, the old butterfly and the young, along with senior robin and his friends, called out to those still trapped on the wheel.

“Look up! There is more to life than the cares of daily existence. Try your wings. Security can be hopelessness. Lift up your vision, your hopes, and you will be set free.”

Slowly, one by one, others dared to trust the uncommon call of shared flight. “Trust in Good,” said the robin. “Good created this world. Good gave us wings to carry us beyond hopelessness.”

And then, late in the afternoon, they were gone. These harbingers of freedom moved on to other wheels, to other trapped beings. There was not time to free them all. Life is of the essence. And the essence vanishes.

I and Thou in the Here and Now

Kay Anderson

1977, Word, inc.