This morning on my journey back from Minnesota, the "Land
of blue waters", to Illinois, the land of great lakes, I was reading a
famous and profoundly fascinating story of Jewish psychology by Ludwig Lewisopu
and I chanced upon a very significant passage about you which I have copied out
and am enclosing in the letter. Curiously enough only last night at the request
of the people of... I addressed a large and eager audience on the Gospel of the
Mystic Spinner and the `home weaving, the home speech and the home thought' to
which the Jewish novelist has so beautifully alluded in his book The Island
Within... and how significant, how symbolic is his saying that coincides
with your conviction that only through the fellowship of the weak can the strong
be saved from the sins of their strength?
Since I wrote to you several weeks ago from the great town of Cincinnati I have
been almost incredibly occupied in travelling, speaking, meeting thousands of
new people, giving and receiving. The first stage of my tour is now finished. It
included all the important centres of the Eastern States and beautiful Canada
with its snow-bound landscapes and warm-hearted citizens. It included also what
is called the "Middle West". I am now about to set out on the second
stage of my travels journeying across the breadth of the Continent through the
wheat districts and the mining districts over the Rockies to the magic land of
California where I shall behold the waters of the Blue Pacific through the
Golden Gate... My experience and adventures in California will not, I promise
you, exclude the exciting mysteries of Hollywood and its galaxy of dazzling
From the coast I travel back into the interior towards Texas through the desert
of Arizona pausing a day to marvel at the Grand Canyon. Then I go to Florida and
the other Southern States ending at Washington, the capital, where the
fictitious Peace Pact has just been signed - the pact that holds a fictitious
signature for India, for all vicarious pledges and commitments are fictitious!
After the Southern States are finished I return to my beloved New York for a few
days before visiting the Northern States and revisiting Canada. When by the time
I cross the [Atlantic?]... spring will already have forestalled me. You see I am
literally a wandering singer with a spirit in my feet as Shelley said...
Everywhere I go I find increasing welcome and increasing response... and the
winged wind goes forth for the sake and in the name of India.
I am waiting for authentic news of the Congress and All Parties' decisions. No
news or very disjointed news comes to America through the cables. Very little
news has come through about the December Conferences. But I had a happy wire
from my Padmaja saying "Congress great success". In a week or so the
belated newspapers from India would reach us. Meanwhile I am torn between
rejoicing and suspense. And I am - may I confess it - terribly and shamelessly
homesick for my own land and my own people... for in the lovely words of Khalil
Gibran, the Syrian poet, in his great book The Prophet, we cannot rise
higher than their hope nor fall lower than their despair and wherever I am I
must share both the height of their hope and the depth of their despair.
I was so relieved of half my gnawing everpresent anxiety about Padmaja when I
found she was well enough or at least eager enough to attend the Congress...
After her long lonely seclusion in a far off sanatorium she longed for and
needed the breath and tumult of crowds again. Sometimes there is more healing in
the "common touch" of multitudes than in the sanctuaries of the Most
The epic and the epitaph are both implicit and inevitable. A Chacun son
infini as the French writer said... But if I do not retire to rest I shall
have no epic at all but only a speedy epitaph for myself. So good night. I am
always the wanderer of the steadfast heart.
From: Young India, April 11, 1929