I was shocked and appalled to read Moira Greyland’s posts about her mother on Facebook. Child abuse is one of the most terrible of crimes, because the perpetrators are those who should be the victims’ protectors.
Because the current discussion has led to confusion about where Marion lived, I’d like to provide some background.
In 1971 I and my family bought a large house in Berkeley which we called Greyhaven. In addition to me, my husband and our son, the family included Marion’s mother and Marion’s younger brother and his wife and daughter. Since my husband had been unofficially adopted into the Zimmer family, I thought of Marion as my sister-in-law.
In 1973 Marion’s family moved into a house about a mile away which they called Greenwalls. Marion and her family never lived at Greyhaven. They did come here regularly for holidays and Sunday afternoon tea. The confusion between the two households arose because in 1983 Marion edited an anthology featuring stories by many of the people who used to come to discuss their writing around the tea table, and called it Greyhaven, since that was where the discussions took place.
I saw Marion’s children at family parties, and in passing when I was at Greenwalls for meetings, which usually took place in the Center for Non-Traditional Religion’s room over the garage. I never personally observed, nor had any reason to suspect, that she was abusing either of her children.
After living elsewhere for a number of years, both of Marion’s younger children have now returned to the Bay Area. Moira’s brother is currently living with us at Greyhaven. Moira herself lives in the area, joins us for family parties, and leaves her youngest son here for play-dates with his cousins. We at Greyhaven have done our best to provide a loving and supportive family. Moira has given me permission to quote the following:
“I would like to clarify for the sake of those who read the anthology Greyhaven that although our large, extended family often COLLECTED at Greyhaven in the Berkeley Hills, my mother’s house has always been called “Greenwalls.” … My brother and I often stayed at Greyhaven after school in the early grades, because it was a short walk from school, but we did not live there. The concept of Greyhaven as an extended family/writer’s colony exists to this day, as we meet for afternoon tea on Sundays as the decades roll past. Please do not assign any responsibility for my mother or father’s bad actions to those who lived at Greyhaven: if Diana had known what my mother or father was doing, it is likely she would have been on the phone with the police even faster than I was.”
The other context in which I knew Marion was the Center for Non-Traditional Religion. Our women’s circle met once a month to explore women’s spirituality and study the goddesses. The circle included both straight women and lesbians. I do not recall any overt sexuality within the circle, and I neither observed nor heard about any abusive relationships between Marion and any other woman or girl.