14 March 1922

Victoria Palace Hotel, Paris

But do you really feel all beauty is marred by ugliness and the lovely woman has bad teeth? I don't feel quite that. For it seems to me if Beauty were absolute it would no longer be the kind of Beauty it is. Beauty triumphs over ugliness in Life. Thats what I feel. And that marvellous triumph is what I long to express. The poor man cries and the tears glitter in his beard and that is so beautiful one could bow down. Why? Nobody can say. I sit in a waiting room where all is ugly, where its dirty, dull, dreadful, where sick people waiting with me to see the doctor are all marked by suffering and sorrow. And a very poor workman comes in, takes off his cap humbly, beautifully, walks on tiptoe, has a look as though he were in church, has a look as though he believed behind that doctor's door there shone the miracle of healing. And all is changed all is marvellous. Its only then that one sees for the first time what is happening. No, I don't believe in your frowsty housemaids, really. Life is, all at one and the same time, far more mysterious and far simpler than we know. Its like religion in that. If we want to have faith, and without faith we die, we must learn to accept. Thats how it seems to me.
   How is your big still life, dearest? Dont let those people ‘worry' you. Are there daffys in London yet. My pussies lasted & lasted and were a perfect surprise. I embrace you.
               Tig who loves you. [To Dorothy Brett, 9 March 1922.]

Dear Ida
   These cuttings must go to America next week. So will you have a squiz and send them back quickly? They are just a job-lot. But if you lose them Miss there will be the d - l to pay. I hear from Constable the book is well in its 2nd edition which is not bad as there is a ‘warehouse' strike on & supplies are difficult to get. I am still waiting for mine. Reviews & letters are all I get. [...] I did happen to see one other thing which pleased me very much. In China the kettles are made with four very thin pieces of iron fastened with an air space between to the nearly flat bottom of the kettle. So that when the water heats the bubbles of steam through these slits cause the kettle to sing not like English kettles sing, but a plaintive, sweet faraway song. No house in China is complete without such a kettle.
I hope its fine again with you. It's a glorious day here - still, sunny, warm - cats sun - the basking kind. There are some very wicked bad little children in this hotel - one about 2, one about 4. They throw their bread on the floor, eat with both ends of the fork & stand up on their chairs when they want to drink. The head waiter is extremely nice to them & writes them out each a separate bill. They are lambs.
   Be well. Be happy.
             K.M. [To Ida Baker, 13 March 1922.]