My Message to the Youth of America
It is always a little mad to trifle, in words, with the emotion of Love.
It is madder yet, without the excuse of the novelist, for me to tear away the protective covering of privacy and expose to you my own large share of the thrills that, since the beginning of time, have made the world go round.
But is it not brave?
I have lived and loved; and, living, loving, have learned!
Most sincerely I believe I have had revealed to me the glory and beauty of Naturalness; have, in living life according to Nature's dictum, found that Fountain of Youth for which so many a Ponce de Leon has sought in vain.
Would it not smack of fear not to pass that on?
Because Life has taught me to have no fear of convention, and has taught me also the value of frankness and moral courage, I can give you this story of my life. I want to tell you all its blissful, palpitating moments.
I want to confess—and why not?—to events and consequences which conventional fools have tried to condemn or hide.
Always, my passionate search has been for Truth! Knowledge! I believe I have gained both—and with them Happiness! More, I believe my life itself to be an answer to problems which have disturbed the ages, and am impelled, in spite of the disapproval with which I may be met in some quarters, to give to others what benefit there may be in this revelation.
Have you ever asked yourself, as I have:
“What is carnal sin?”
“Does it, after all the controversy, really exist?”
“Has one individual, or a group of individuals, the right to set itself up in judgement of physical acts alone, knowing nothing of motivating impulses—it say to that one, or this—”This is right; that wrong?“
“What is virtue?”
My Life echoes this last answer: Virtue is a state of mind; no more, no less; and I feel that by offering this free and frank story I can best prove this; prove, too, that impulses, which alone count, are the true secret of life and love and eternal youth.
The pulse of Nature can make of Life a dance of youth to the very brink of a joyous eternity.
For you I will recall my life which certainly has been hectic, but which has been brimful and interesting. I will withhold nothing, baring my loves, my disdain of kill-joy convention, and the startlingly happy, unexpected results.
A tingle of delight passes through my body now at the first memories—a luxurious ache for a recurrence of many of the exotic thrills I have known, and to which, in some cases, only tragedy put an end, while in others satiety served its purpose.
And ever you must keep in mind, as I do, that this revelation is with the fixed intent of reaching the youth of today, as well as all the unseeing, unknowing multitudes for whom I have ever felt pity for their blindness, what joy may be found in true, untrammeled love.
It may be theirs for the reaching out of a hand; a forgetting of some conventions that are so useless and repressive. The adjuration comes from one who knows; from a woman past the half century mark, but who, because of Knowledge, is as young and eager in body, mind and soul as she was the day her awakening adolescent eyes first looked on a potential mate and found him good.
June 1, 1928