Although I did not personally know Anaïs while she was physically alive — I was only 11 at the time of her death — she has been an important presence and influence in my life. I was first introduced to her in my teenage years through the initially published journals and fiction which made me feel less alone as I struggled with the challenge and opportunity of creating a life different from the oppressive and destructive one into which I was born. Anaïs showed me that we don’t have to settle for the limitations or trappings of the culture or family that we are born into.
My husband and I met dear Rupert in early 1995 after written correspondence followed by my phone call expressing interest in Anaïs and her “artistic revolutionary” friends. I also wanted to share a project I was working on featuring her literary gems. Rupert warmly invited us to the Silver Lake house which he still lived in until his final days — the very house he and Anaïs had designed together with his brother Eric Lloyd Wright. Thus, our friendship with Rupert and later, with his incredible family — the Wrights — began.
Visiting Rupert was like stepping back in time — back to when Anaïs was still alive, back into the images and stories of the magical times and colorful people described in Anaïs' writings. Being with him and hearing his stories was inspiring and encouraging as we shared in our appreciation of beauty, nature and the creative process. Rupert had lovingly preserved the home and its treasures much like it had been in their life together so it felt as if Anaïs was still very much present there even decades after her passing. (I was always very impressed with his partner Kazuko's graciousness in this.)
Later in the year, we were delighted to be invited to a party Rupert and Kazuko gave at the house which reunited, and introduced us to several of the surviving members of Anaïs' inner circle — artist Renate Druks, writer/scholars Sharon Spencer and Tristine Rainer, and electronic music pioneer Bebe Barron. Sharing in the love of art, creativity, literature and Anaïs, they warmly welcomed us in as the next generation and dubbed me Anaïs' "granddaughter".
In spite of his own failing health, Rupert spent the remainder of his life carrying out Anaïs' final wishes — that the diaries be republished, this time unexpurgated, exactly as she had originally written them. He would often show us the latest manuscript he was working on, typed directly from her original handwritten notebooks (on his manual typewriter!)
We will always remember Rupert's kindness, generosity of spirit, warmth, gentle strength and quiet radiance. It was clearly apparent why Anaïs had fallen in love with this special man. And just as he had shown through his ongoing love and devotion to Anaïs, upon Rupert’s passing, I am again reminded that most importantly, what survives is love.
Simone Marie Lorenz is a writer, artist, social change agent and partner in her husband's life coaching and consciousness practice. With a background in Transpersonal Psychology, her focus is on the awakening, transformation and evolution of human consciousness.