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Sometimes I think my walks are more for my mental than my physical health. One of the things I do is think. Lately I have been thinking more and more of the parallels between the character of Eugene O'Neill and my father. And other parallels between O'Neill and Dwain.

My father was nostalgic about the old days, when he worked hard in the desert, helping to build Taliesin West with Mr. Wright. He revered this work. He did not, however, continue doing manual labor when he left Taliesin. O'Neill shipped out in his early twenties, became an "able seaman", and ever after drew the certificate out of the drawer to show visitors with pride. He decorated his homes with ship-like things, wrote of the sea, revered seamen. He never seemed to like anything else as much as these "good old days".

There was a bitterness, too, that they had in common, and in common with Dwain. Always blaming external forces, never satisfied with where they were, unable to find the beauty in a moment with their families - all three had or have families, all three found ways to avoid them while at the same time extolling the virtues of family.

My father and O'Neill both looked for love, did not feel they had found it. I do not think they knew how to give it. I think Dwain has a head start in this area because he is more introspective, but he seems to fear the closeness as much as want it.

There is something that these three have in common. Something essential. What is it? I think it relates to their creativity, their drive, but there's more.

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Judith Lautner
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