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Here is the next segment of Beatrice Allen Page’s unpublished manuscript, Landscape with Figures:

“A discussion arose on the beach among a group of mothers as to whether it was possible to love one’s children equally or whether one could not help having a favorite. Most of the women insisted they gave each of their children the same amount of love although they loved each child differently. One or two, struggling to be honest, confessed they weren’t altogether impartial in their emotions even though they tried to be in their treatment, and then tried to rationalize their partiality. One of them said, for instance, that she loved the youngest of her three children most because he needed love more than the others. Another said that her second daughter was so obviously the apple of her father’s eye that she instinctively kept the balance by loving her first daughter more.

My glance happened to fall on Laura Palmer, who has five children but is so young-looking that if she wore her hair down her back, she’d look almost like a teenager. The youthful appearance is due in part to her fresh, unwrinkled skin and in part to a somewhat wide-eyed, ingenuous expression. In fact, ever since I met her, I have regarded her as somewhat naive, not in an irritating, but rather an appealing way.

She was following the discussion with an increasingly bewildered look on her face, and finally when someone said to her, ‘What about you, Laura?’ she burst out: ‘I just don’t know what you’re talking about! How can you parcel out love among your children? I love each and every one of my children with all my heart!’

It was a totally spontaneous remark. Clearly, she was not trying to impress anybody or make herself out to be the most loving mother there. She simply expressed what she felt, astonished that anything so obvious had to be stated. When someone teased her by asking how it was possible to give the whole pie to every child, she looked blank.

Her words, uttered so artlessly, were like a little flash of illumination for me. I suddenly saw how an apparent contradiction could be more true than a truth arrived at by reason, or could be true in another dimension, so to speak. I think that’s what is called non-Aristotelian logic but I’m not sure.”

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