To Sister Christine
921 West 21st Street,
9th December 1899.
My dear Christina,
After all, it is good for me, and good for those I love, that I should come here. Here at last in California! One of our poets says: “Where is Benares, where is Kashmir, where Khorasan, where Gujarat! O Tulsi! thus, man’s past Karma drags him on”. And I am here. After all it is best, isn’t it? Are you going to Boston? I am afraid you are not. I have not unsettled any of your plans, have I?–unnecessary expenses? Well, if any, I will make it up. Only the trouble is yours. I am ashamed of my eccentricities. Well, how are you? What are you doing? How are things going with you? Sleep if you can; it is better to sleep than get awakened. I pray that all good may come to thee–all peace, all strength to do and suffer. I have a great deal of strength to do, but very little to suffer.
I am so selfish again, always thinking of my own sufferings and paying no heed to others. Pray for me; send strong thoughts that I may have strength to suffer. I know you will. Now, I mean to remain a few weeks in this city. After that, “Mother” knows. I am physically much better now than I have been for months. The weakness of the heart is nearly gone. The dyspepsia is also much better, and [there is] very little. I can walk miles now without feeling it in the heart. If this continues, I expect to have a ne w lease on life. I am so, so sorry of asking you to come to Bosto n and flying away. If you are there, I hope you will enjoy the place and the meetings. If you have given it up–well, did you ta ke leave and not go to Boston? My! what a bungle! Well, I ask a thousand pardons, if such is the case. Things must look brighter anyway, sooner or later. What of these little, few days of life!
How is Mrs. Funke? Loads of love for her. How long a leave [do] y ou get at Christmas? When does it begin? If you feel inclined and willing, write me a long note, will you? But don’t tell my friend s my whereabouts. I want to be off from the world for a time, if I can. Will you kindly send Mr. Freer’s address to Mrs. Bull? She needs it. I had a lecture here last night. The hall was not crowded, as there was very little ad[vertisement], but a fairly good-sized audience though. I hope they were pleased. If I feel better, I am going to have classes in this city soon. I am on the business path this time, you know. Want a few dollars quick, if I can.
Ever yours in the Lord,
To Mabel MacLeod Hammond
9th December 1899
My dear Maple Sugar*
My blessings & congratulations on the new traveller.** May her path be always strewn with flowers.
*Maple Sugar was the Swami’s nickname for Mabel MacLeod
**Mabel had recently given birth to a daughter, Elizabeth Penn Hammond. She was to die of pneumonia at the age of two.
*not published in ‘The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda’ (published by ‘Vedanta Kesari’ March 2004, in an article by Linda Prugh)