By CONSTANCE HOLT
t. THOUGHTS of Holland, 1U.S.A.—and Wales, have mingled today. for different • E reasons. One link joins them. .* the wish to visit all. A most C heart-warming letter urges me
to come and see the Inter national Centre of the Grail at Tiltenberg, Holland.
" We are." the writer says.
" with many nationalities—from the Far East and Far West! I am from England." She also s gives me a friendly message .1 from the Australian head' quarters. (The call I made there 1 . and mentioned in this column some time hack, always brings a , glow of pleasure, whenever I think of it.) Yes. Holland is a country to he seen. and not just for the e, bulbs. After all. we import 3, some of those. We can't import
the Grail Centre, but thank God • e' it has the liveliest offshoots, in
l''• eluding—as any 'phone hook will , tell you one in England. That , information I not needed by the many people who have " met " the Grail here, even without , attending any of their beautiful dramatic performances.
It is a society of young women. Did I say " young " ? . naWhatever h ipthein uspuaarilshaggersoufposr, 1 ' women who attach themselves to ' the objectives of the Grail in i any sense always seem to hr 3, y citing.
That familiar psalm which opens every Mass. seems to make youth so important that surely it must he something we are meant to keep. The Grail
, people seem to do just that. And I'm not talking of cosmetics or e, platinum rinses. which certainly 3, have a not dishonoured place in
1 : modern life. : New York rush A SPECIAL wave of distaste for rush. started transAtlantic meditation of a reminiscent kind. The States provide '1 much more than a super-showroom for the rush-and-hurry ' habit in extreme form. But they C't provide that.
May I tell a story? It is not an exciting one. hut true. and it e sticks in that mixed album of 3.. small pictures which remain 1 when other events, words. experis ences slip away, in the general IIt was New York at rush hour. I entered the fray at Radio City subwas station. to return Uptown to my hotel. save taxi dollars and see the crowd. In the intense. almost silent pressure. I was. as at Piccadilly. practically carried into the car—the pace ' being set by the most desperate.
Somehow I found myself seated and able to study my fellow combatants at leisure. 4. One woman. whose feverish de
termination to enter the car at .e. any cost resembled an effort to 4, rescue a child from fire. sat op 's posite. The squarish. he-specS'(acted face, careful make-tip and
.C. impeccable accessories were
Imultiplied up and down the car —but she had become to me the . f leading lady in this desperate show,
• 1 The roared on. I found lI had mistakenly taken a " fast " and left my desination far he ,.. hind. We tore past stations. and 3. I prepared to leap out if ever a halt came. At last we slowed
1 eand stopped somewhere about
, 125th Street. spectacles opposite flashed: she made an instant clearing in the group round the door and we were both on the platform. We actually got to the ' exit about the same time. My question to the clerk about my . return station for 79th Street jerked her lively hat round.
Racing the tide
, " T GUESS you're English." ,F -Ishe said, and the forbid's ding makeup smiled. " Step
along with me honey—I will show you." I thanked her and began to decline, explaining that it might delay her.
" that's all right—I'm in no hurry, and I just love to talk about England."
In the pleasant autumn air we strolled. as gently as two ladies in Cranford. She was a nice companion.
I just to tell her why it was
" Rush? " She looked as though it Were a new word" Well, I euese we all do it — don't you in London?
Yes, I know we do. in varying degrees everywhere. We say we live in an age of speed, we can't go against the tide, and so on— sighing suitably over the road casualty figures. If for a day, we all stopped racing the tide. never hastening without cause—what would happen? The thought grows ton big for quick dispatch.
My New York friend paused hefore we parted. to sniff my buttonhole flower . . . and --have you noticed?—you can't inhale in a hurry.
WALES? It keeps coming into my news. partly through some vivid letters from a friend in a wide-awake parish there. I have no space to quote them now. but am keeping them handy.
To go abroad without a passport. and get some of the faraway feeling. for which one does go abroad, a feeling sprinkled with laughter and some challenging thought too . . . Wales is the answer. Meanwhile—there is laughter to he 'had at a film you may be seeing. armed with Grace Conway's review, The Constant Husband.
I think that for the first ten minutes with Rex Harrison. and —eat—the last ten. I am glad went. It may not he the fault of the him that I was half asleep in the middle. You will see where Wales comes in if you do see it. Incidentally. I must find out if one can forget hurry as completely in Wales as in Ireland.
Plutarch and ices
SOME people seem even to read books at top speed.and not only reviewers, I refuse to .V be done out of the flavour. so often dawdle at a chapter a day.
The " rise " in reading books during this springtime is now well known. It was pleasant to discover an ice-cream man with Pieurreir's Lives propped up against the wafer tin.
n get inside hooks when talking, takes longer. A conversation I had with novelist Pamela Frankau turned chiefly on the theme of the story value of woe and sin. We could not settle it there and then, but we got into talking form over it !
Oddly enough, just afterwards, I found in my post a most thoughtful essay on the subject by a CATHOLIC HERALD reader. She came down firmly with the verdict that good news makes a S better story than bad.
I would not for the world throw over my bad fairies, villains and the rest. But just now there is something to he said for putting the Good Fairy in the middle of the tale. Do You agree? She does more than hold forth in pantomime platitudes— bless her blonde star.decked head. She usually gets something done.
Beer and `Vittels'
WHILE reflecting on this great thought, I was aware of two vivid new books beside me. I have paused to look more closely. No, not really bedside s books—though I do know people •E who read recipes in bed and find athem soporific.
Here is Beer and Vine's by Elizabeth Craig. I'd make this a 12s. 6d. gift for a man if he deserved it—and see if he would get down to the cooking. The other, a handsome tome one might give as a bridal gift (30s.) even just for its title: The Happy Home. But it really has plenty more than that about home-making. I even began to think that if I gazed much longer I might start re-covering chairs.
All good wishes till next week.