In her book "The Child of Your Dreams," Laura Huxley writes: "Look at the whole picture: a baby continuously and irrevocably present in your life. Not just for one hour, for play and fondling; not just for a pleasant afternoon of relaxation; not just for a day, as an exquisite gift of life; but day, after day, after day--and night, after (sleepless) night."
Huxley, 82, is appalled at the conditions under which some children live and is convinced that if only people would more seriously consider the decision to have a child, a great deal of human suffering would be eliminated.
Huxley--author, therapist and lecturer--is the widow of Aldous Huxley, best remembered for his novel "Brave New World." She will celebrate the centenary of his birth with a conference this month titled "Children: Our Ultimate Investment" at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Hancock Park.
The goal of the conference is to instill such thoughts in people. The birth of a human being, Huxley believes, is the most important happening in society--an event for which one must prepare physically and emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
Conceiving an infant is not to be taken lightly, Huxley says. Her organization supported a day-care center in Santa Monica where teen-age boys and girls volunteer a few hours a day and learn how much responsibility is involved in minding children. (It recently closed, although she is ready to open another if she could find the funding for it). "A teen-ager taking care of a 2-year-old is prevention against pregnancy," Huxley said. "(The teen-agers) are exhausted at the end of the day."
Huxley does not believe women should raise children on their own.
"How can a single mother, barely getting by, fight the gun lobby, the cigarette manufacturers, the liquor industry, violent television and inadequate education? So much is against her," she said.
When Huxley talks about children, she speaks with the sensitivity of a loving mother, although she never had children of her own.
"I was 43 when I married Aldous. I knew I would have to stop everything else in my life if I had a child, and I didn't want to stop," she said.
As for being married to a scientist and artist with one of the first-rate minds of the 20th Century, she said: "It was easy to be married to Aldous. He was not neurotic. He was someone who could delight in my ideas too."
Laura Huxley, who lives in the Hollywood Hills, was born in Turin, Italy. From age 10 until 26, she trained as a concert violinist. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as a teen-ager.
"I'm still self-involved but much wider," she said, "still greedy for life, but everything is fascinating--especially finding a very simple and effective way to do away with complications. I feel I would be an accomplice to the cynics by not doing positive or creative things.
"I would betray myself if I believed nothing could be done. I do believe much of human suffering can be prevented."
Huxley's concerns include the elderly. And she has a dream that the generations will bond.
"I envisage on every city block a serene, soundproof, pastel-colored room, furnished only with comfortable rocking armchairs and pillows. This is a caressing room where the new and the old will meet and loneliness will dissolve," she wrote in a 1978 preamble for Project Caress, one element of a nonprofit organization she created for the "nurturing of the possible human."
And so, 60 years after her husband wrote about the danger of overpopulation, propaganda, inadequate health care and pollution, Huxley celebrates his birth by offering a conference that asks for a lot more than ideas. It's a call to action and solutions.
Aldous Huxley died on the same day as John F. Kennedy. Both men left a legacy of ideas that can flower in a thousand fields.
Aldous Huxley wrote in "Island:" "Never give children a chance of imagining that anything exists in isolation. Make it plain from the very beginning that all living is relationships. Show them relationships in the woods, in the fields, in the ponds and streams, in the village and in the country around it. Rub it in."
To live in a world where cynics are taken more seriously than idealists is diminishing to the human spirit. Where the Farrakhans and Limbaughs rush in to nourish hate and envy, Laura Huxley says: Why not something beautiful, gentle and loving?
Will the future be a "Brave New World" without vision or an "Island" composed of a loving society?
\o7 The Aldous Huxley Centennial will be April 28 through May 1 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 743 Lucerne Blvd. Information: (213) 461-8248 or (213) 461-8976. \f7