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A Chinaman (Kwang-tse tells) went to sleep and dreamt he was a butterfly. 24

A composer friend of mine who spent some time in a mental rehabilitation center was encouraged to do a good deal of bridge playing. 56

A crowded bus on the point of leaving Manchester for Stockport was found by its conductress to have one too many standees. 175

A depressed young man came to see Hazel Dreis, the bookbinder. 162

A lady carrying many packages got on a Third Avenue bus. 105

A mother and son visited the Seattle Art Museum. 133

A very dirty composer was attempting to explain to a friend how dirty a person was whom he had recently met. 58

A woman who lived in the country was asked how cold it had been the previous winter. 92

A young man in Japan arranged his circumstances so that he was able to travel to a distant island to study Zen with a certain Master for a three-year period. 98

A young man who was concerned about his position in society and who was about to get married made his wife-to-be promise not to indulge further in kleptomania. 93

About ten years ago down at Black Mountain College during a summer session, I arranged an amateur festival of the works of Erik Satie. 51

After a long and arduous journey a young Japanese man arrived deep in a forest where the teacher of his choice was living in a small house he had made. 141

After an hour or so in the woods looking for mushrooms, Dad said, “Well, we can always go and buy some real ones.” 124

After he finished translating into German the first lecture I gave at Darmstadt last September, Christian Wolff said, “The stories at the end are very good. 8

Alan Watts gave a party that started in the afternoon, New Year’s Eve, and lasted through the night and the following day. 129

Alex and Gretchen Corazzo gave a great deal of thought to whether or not they would attend the funeral of a close friend. 176

An Eskimo lady who couldn’t speak or understand a word of English was once offered free transportation to the United States plus $500 providing she would accompany a corpse that was being sent back to America for burial. 25

An Indian lady invited me to dinner and said Dr. Suzuki would be there. 38

An Indian woman who lived in the islands was required to come to Juneau to testify in a trial. 161

An Irish hero whose mother had died was required by his stepmother to set out on a journey to an island beneath the sea and to bring back some golden apples he would find there. 61

An old rabbi in Poland or some place thereabouts was walking in a thunderstorm from one village to another. 29

Another monk was walking along when he came to a lady who was sitting by the path weeping. 16

Anyway, he was explaining one day the meaning of a Chinese character — Yu, I believe it was — spending the whole time explaining it and yet its meaning as close as he could get to it in English was “unexplainable.” X7

Artists talk a lot about freedom. 41

At Darmstadt when I wasn’t involved with music, I was in the woods looking for mushrooms. 123

At the New School once I was substituting for Henry Cowell, teaching a class in Oriental music. 76

Before studying Zen, men are men and mountains are mountains. 34

Betty Isaacs told me that when she was in New Zealand she was informed that none of the mushrooms growing wild there was poisonous. 66

Betty Isaacs went shopping at Altman’s. 158

Certain tribes in Siberia trade several sheep for one Amanita muscaria and use the mushroom for orgiastic practices. 97

Coming back from an all-Ives concert we’d attended in Connecticut, Minna Lederman said that by separating his insurance business from his composition of music (as completely as day is separated from night), Ives paid full respect to the American assumption that the artist has no place in society. 153

“Cultivate in yourself a grand similarity with the chaos of the surrounding ether. 88

Dad is an inventor. In 1912 his submarine had the world’s record for staying under water. 99

David Tudor and I took a taxi down town. 121

David Tudor and I went to Hilversum in Holland to make a recording for the Dutch radio. 144

David Tudor and I went up to New Haven to do a television class for the New Haven State Teachers College. 63

David Tudor gives the impression of not being overly fond of mushrooms. 106

Doris Dennison had been born Doris Suckling. 132

Dorothy Norman invited me to dinner in New York. 90

Down in Greensboro, North Carolina, David Tudor and I gave an interesting program. 9

During a counterpoint class at U.C.L.A., Schoenberg sent everybody to the blackboard. 44

During my last year in high school, I found out about the Liberal Catholic Church. 40

During recent years Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki has done a great deal of lecturing at Columbia University. 83

During that Greensboro concert, David Tudor and I got a little mixed up. 11

Each one of us has his own stomach; it is not the stomach of another. 122

Earle Brown and I spent several months splicing magnetic tape together. 59

“Elizabeth, it is a beautiful day. 108

Four years ago or maybe five, I was talking with Hidekazu Yoshida. 26

Franz Kline was about to have the first showing of his black and white paintings at the Egan Gallery. 127

Generally speaking, suicide is considered a sin. 36

George Mantor had an iris garden, which he improved each year by throwing out the commoner varieties. 150

Have you ever noticed how you read a newspaper? 91

He is a large man and falls asleep easily. 42

However, to come back to my story. 10

I am not a good historian. X10

I dug up some hog peanuts and boiled them with butter, salt, and pepper for Bob Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. 156

I enrolled in a class in mushroom identification. 60

I have a friend whose actions resemble overwhelming inspirations. X3

I never had a hat, never wore one, but recently was given a brown suede duck-hunting hat. X4

I once had a job washing dishes at the Blue Bird Tea Room in Carmel, California. 80

I took a number of mushrooms to Guy Nearing, and asked him to name them for me. 87

I was arguing with Mother. I turned to Dad. 130

I was asked to play my Sonatas and Interludes in the home of an elderly lady in Burnsville, North Carolina, the only person thereabouts who owned a grand piano. 157

I was never psychoanalyzed. I’ll tell you how it happened. 79

I was on an English boat going from Siracusa in Sicily to Tunis in North Africa. 85

I was surprised when I came into Mother’s room in the nursing home to see that the TV set was on. 135

I was twelve years old. I got out my bicycle and rode over to KFWB. 136

I went to a concert upstairs in Town Hall. 49

I went to hear Krishnamurti speak. 170

In 1949 Merce Cunningham and I went to Europe on a Dutch boat. 50

In 1952 I was asked to write a manifesto about new music. 67

In 1954, when I went to Europe, I no sooner arrived in Paris than I noticed that the city was covered with posters publicizing a mushroom exhibition that was being held in the Botanical Gardens. 48

In 1960 I received a letter from a university president giving me an appointment for the following academic year. 128

In connection with my current studies with Duchamp, it turns out that I’m a poor chessplayer. X1

In New York, when I was setting out to write the orchestral parts of my Concert for Piano and Orchestra which was performed September 19, 1958, in Cologne, I visited each player, found out what he could do with his instrument, discovered with him other possibilities, and then subjected all these findings to chance operations, ending up with a part that was quite indeterminate of its performance. 17

In the poetry contest in China by which the Sixth Patriarch of Zen Buddhism was chosen, there were two poems. 46

In Zen they say: If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. 75

It was a Wednesday. I was in the sixth grade. 37

It was after I got to Boston that I went into the anechoic chamber at Harvard University. 6

Just before Christmas I visited my mother who lives in a nursing home. X2

Just before I moved to the country, I called up the Museum of Natural History and asked a man there what poisonous snakes were to be found in Rockland County. 173

Just the other day I went to the dentist. 35

Kwang-tse points out that a beautiful woman who gives pleasure to men serves only to frighten the fish when she jumps in the water. 21

Last October when it was terribly dry I went to visit the Browns in Rochester. 96

Lois Long (the Lois Long who designs textiles), Christian Wolff, and I climbed Slide Mountain along with Guy Nearing and the Flemings, including Willie. 155

Lois Long, Esther Dam, Ralph Ferrara, and I were in the Haverstraw cemetery gathering Tricholoma personatum. 111

M. C. Richards and David Tudor invited several friends to dinner. 71

M. C. Richards went to see the Bolshoi Ballet. 70

Merce Cunningham’s father delights in gardening. 178

Merce Cunningham’s parents were going to Seattle to see their other son, Jack. 169

Mies van der Rohe said, “The least is the most.” 104

Morris Graves introduced Xenia and me to a miniature island in Puget Sound at Deception Pass. 86

Morris Graves used to have an old Ford in Seattle. 30

Mr. Ralph Ferrara drives a Studebaker Lark which is mashed at both ends. 163

Mr. Romanoff is in the mushroom class. 167

Mr. Romanoff is sixty years old. 119

Mr. Romanoff says the Sunday field trips are better than going to church. 120

Mrs. Coomaraswamy told another story about business methods in India. 154

Muriel Errera’s house is next to the Royal Palace in Brussels. 95

Music and mushrooms: two words next to one another in many dictionaries. 113

My grandmother was sometimes very deaf and at other times, particularly when someone was talking about her, not deaf at all. 82

Now and then I come across an article on that rock garden in Japan where there’s just a space of sand and a few rocks in it. 28

Now giving lecture on Japanese poetry. 78

On another occasion, Schoenberg asked a girl in his class to go to the piano and play the first movement of a Beethoven sonata, which was afterwards to be analyzed. 45

On Christmas Day, Mother said, “I’ve listened to your record several times. 180

On the way back from New Haven we were driving along the Housatonic. 64

On Yap Island phosphorescent fungi are used as hair ornaments for moonlight dances. 112

Once Bill de Kooning gave a lecture in Philadelphia. 43

Once I was visiting my Aunt Marge. 57

Once over in Amsterdam a Dutch musician said to me, “It must be very difficult for you in America to write music. 77

Once when I was a child in Los Angeles I went downtown on the streetcar. 31

Once when I was in Ann Arbor with Alexander Smith, I said that one of the things I liked about botany was that it was free of the jealousies and selfish feelings that plague the arts, that I would for that reason, if for no other, given my life to live over again, be a botanist rather than a musician. 115

Once when I was to give a talk at Columbia Teachers College, I asked Joseph Campbell whether I should say something (I forget now what it was I was thinking of saying). 22

Once when Lois Long was on a mushroom walk led by Guy Nearing, a mushroom was found that was quite rare. 81

Once when several of us were driving up to Boston, we stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. 3

One day down at Black Mountain College, David Tudor was eating his lunch. 54

One day I asked Schoenberg what he thought about the international situation. 52

One day when I was across the hall visiting Sonya Sekula, I noticed that she was painting left-handed. 100

One day when I was studying with Schoenberg, he pointed out the eraser on his pencil and said, “This end is more important than the other.” 174

One day when the windows were open, Christian Wolff played one of his pieces at the piano. 4

One day while I was composing, the telephone rang. 53

One evening I was walking along Hollywood Boulevard, nothing much to do. 5

One evening when I was still living at Grand Street and Monroe, Isamu Noguchi came to visit me. 1

One of Mies van der Rohe’s pupils, a girl, came to him and said, “I have difficulty studying with you because you don’t leave any room for self-expression.” 172

One of Suzuki’s books ends with the poetic text of a Japanese monk describing his attainment of enlightenment. 89

One spring morning I knocked on Sonya Sekula’s door. 32

One summer day, Merce Cunningham and I took eight children to Bear Mountain Park. 139

One Sunday morning, Mother said to Dad, “Let’s go to church.” 140

One winter David Tudor and I were touring in the Middle West. 110

Patsy Davenport heard my Folkways record. 149

Peck says that if things are doing well in gardens, one can expect, in the woods, fields, and waste places, to find wild plants doing equally well. 109

Peggy Guggenheim, Santomaso, and I were in a Venetian restaurant. 101

People are always saying that the East is the East and the West is the West and you have to keep from mixing them up. 19

Pointing out the five cars in her front yard, the cleaning lady said they were wrecks her son had accomplished during the past year, that he planned to put parts of them together to make a single usable car for her. 138

Question or not (that is to say, whether what I will do will answer the situation), my problems have become social rather than musical. 18

Ramakrishna spent an afternoon explaining that everything is God. 134

Richard Lippold called up and said, “Would you come to dinner and bring the I-Ching?” 102

Schoenberg always complained that his American pupils didn’t do enough work. 62

Several men, three as a matter of fact, were out walking one day, and as they were walking along and talking one of them noticed another man standing on a hill ahead of them. X9

Some years ago on May 30, Mary Fleming noticed a strange amanita growing near her house in Upper Nyack. 94

Somehow I got through the lecture, and the day came to show my work to Buhlig. 69

Sometime after my father’s death, I was talking with Mother. 125

Sonya Sekula said, “Why don’t you come with me to the Reises’? 145

Standing in line, Max Jacob said, gives one the opportunity to practice patience. 166

Staying in India and finding the sun unbearable, Mrs. Coomaraswamy decided to shop for a parasol. 151

The day after I finally won the Italian TV quiz on mushrooms, I received anonymously in the mail Volume II of a French book on mushrooms that had been published in Germany. 107

The day before yesterday towards the middle of the afternoon I noticed I was running out of matches. X6

The first time the mushroom class was given at the New School, many people signed up for it. 117

The Four Mists of Chaos, the North, the East, the West, and the South, went to visit Chaos himself. 27

The question of leading tones came up in the class in experimental composition that I give at the New School. 103

Then we had to go back to New Haven to do the TV class over again. 65

There was a lady in Suzuki’s class who said once, “I have great difficulty reading the sermons of Meister Eckhart, because of all the Christian imagery.” 84

There was an American man from Seattle who went to Japan to buy screens. 13

There was an international conference of philosophers in Hawaii on the subject of Reality. 116

There’s a street in Stony Point in a lowland near the river where a number of species of mushrooms grow abundantly. 55

This summer I’m going to give a class in mushroom identification at the New School for Social Research. 47

Tucker Madawick is seventeen years old. 168

Two monks came to a stream. One was Hindu, the other Zen. 15

Two wooden boxes containing Oriental spices and foodstuffs arrived from India. 39

Virgil Thomson and Maurice Grosser were driving across the United States. 171

We are all part and parcel of a way of life that puts trust in the almighty dollar — so much so that we feel ourselves slipping when we hear that on the international market the West German mark inspires more confidence. 152

We have the impression that we’re learning nothing, but as the years pass we recognize more and more mushrooms and we find that the names that go with them begin to stick in our heads. 131

We’ve now played the Winter Music quite a number of times. 14

Well, since Darmstadt, I’ve written two pieces. 20

What was it actually that made me choose music rather than painting? X5

When Colin McPhee found out that I was interested in mushrooms, he said, “If you find the morel next spring, call me up, even if you only find one. 118

When David Tudor and I walked into the hotel where we were invited to stay in Brussels, there were large envelopes for each of us at the desk; they were full of programs, tickets, invitations, special passes to the Fair, and general information. 160

When David Tudor, Merce Cunningham, Carolyn and Earle Brown, and I arrived in Brussels a year or so ago for programs at the World’s Fair, we found out that Earle Brown’s Indices was not going to be played since the orchestra found it too difficult. 159

When I came to New York to study with Adolph Weiss and Henry Cowell, I took a job in the Brooklyn YWCA washing walls. 165

When I first moved to the country, David Tudor, M. C. Richards, the Weinribs, and I all lived in the same small farmhouse. 148

When I first went to Paris, I did so instead of returning to Pomona College for my junior year. 147

When I got the letter from Jack Arends asking me to lecture at the Teachers College, I wrote back and said I’d be glad to, that all he had to do was let me know the date. 23

When I told David Tudor that this talk on music was nothing but a series of stories, he said, “Don’t fail to put in some benedictions.” 12

When I was growing up in California there were two things that everyone assumed were good for you. 142

When I was in high school I went out, as they say, for oratory. 74

When Sri Ramakrishna was asked why, if God is good, is there evil in the world, he replied, “To thicken the plot.” 33

When the depression began, I was in Europe. 68

When the New York Philharmonic played my Atlas Eclipticalis with Winter Music (Electronic Version), the audience more or less threw propriety to the winds. 126

When Valerie Bettis first got into the movies, someone interviewed her, asked how it felt to be successful. 137

When Vera Williams first noticed that I was interested in wild mushrooms, she told her children not to touch any of them because they were all deadly poisonous. 143

When Xenia and I came to New York from Chicago, we arrived in the bus station with about twenty-five cents. 72

While hunting morels with Alexander Smith in the woods near Ann Arbor, I mentioned having found quantities of Lactarius deliciosus in the woods in northern Vermont. 114

While I was studying the frozen food department of Gristede’s one day, Mrs. Elliott Carter came up and said, “Hello, John. 164

While Meister Eckhart was alive, several attempts were made to excommunicate him. 146

While we were sitting on top of Slide Mountain looking out towards Cornell and Wittenberg and the Ashokan Reservoir beyond, Guy Nearing said he had known two women who were bitten by copperheads. 179

Xenia never wanted a party to end. 177

Xenia told me once that when she was a child in Alaska, she and her friends had a club and there was only one rule: No silliness. 73

Years ago in Chicago I was asked to accompany two dancers who were providing entertainment at a business women’s dance party given in a hall of the YWCA. 7

Years ago when I was studying with Arnold Schoenberg someone asked him to explain his technique of twelve-tone composition. X8

You probably know the one about the two monks, but I’ll tell it anyway. 2

Indeterminacy . Index of names . Index of last lines