This framed writing is from Thomas Wolfs' 
"Look Homeward Angel",
< thoughts of the infant Eugene in crib>, (1929), 
hung in the office of Dan, my counselor.
I read it many times and thought always of my husband 
and the lifelong depression he lived within.
Then one day - I read it from within the depths 
of my OWN development of depression -
and I began this letter to the author, 
not really intending to send it, you understand -
just an inspired response at the ~new~ personal perception 
and identification with his chosen words.

Excerpt from "
Look Homeward Angel" by Thomas Wolfe

And left alone to sleep within a shuttered room
With the thick sunlight printed in bars upon the floor,
Unfathomable loneliness and sadness crept through him,
He saw his life down the solemn vista of a forest aisle,
And he knew he would always be the sad one:
Caged in that little round skull,
Imprisoned in that beating and most sacred heart
His life must always walk down lonely passages.


He understood that men were forever strangers to one another,
That no one ever comes really to know anyone,
That imprisoned in the dark womb of our mother,
We came to life without ever having seen her face,
That we are given to her arms a stranger,
And that caught in that insoluble prison of being,
We escape it never,
No matter what arms may clasp us,
What mouth may kiss us,
What heart may warm us

Never, never, never, never, never

This was my ~REPLY ~
Nina Roberta Baker

Monday - May 9, 1994

My Dear Mr. Wolfe .

..............Five years ago I first saw your prose hanging framed upon the wall of a room I'd entered for the first time, with my husband, seeking marital counseling.

I came here again a few years later, in search of guidance and counseling to prevent what seemed to be my own lifelong appointment with suicide. I would read your words and feel some comfort in knowing that I was not the only one who had reached that depth of darkness...

Your words of despair were so moving, touched me so deeply in so intimate a way that I felt we had just met in that room and stood unmindfully naked, experiencing one emotion, one soul, one agonizing sense of utter helplessness.

Two strangers, strangers yet, even to this day, met without meeting and merged fluidly, now one substance, we slid slowly, clingingly, like warm oil down a glass stem, glistening, as a shard of light caught by the glass and reflected by it, through us, into a diffuse, soft, golden glow which had no power to light the darkness of the destination of our descent into the absolute emotion known as - depression.

I was lost in that strange, transcending, overwhelming unity in which we, you and I, were sharing, in a place not bound by time or substance, the experience of that one common, and most dreaded emotion known as consummate, total despair, when my counselor reentered the room.

In a flash I was again in the finite realm, bound by time and in the midst of variously formed objects of mass and essence which were rapidly returning to categorical reality otherwise known or referred to as `surroundings'.

I was glad of the return - for I do not relish that dark place.... it is but a few steps further from there, into Hell

I remembered that my quest for therapy was precisely a path I chose to take to get out of that place... I hope that you do not dwell there! I pray that your words were written at a time of experiencing what I am experiencing now..... but that you found your way out of that place as I have now done. It is a place which you describe so well! It exists there inside of each of us - but there is a light that can come and envelop us and bring us back from there. I hope that you found it!

Sincerely, Nina Roberta Baker

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