"Their friendship was like a wilted bunch of flowers that she insisted on topping up with water. Why not let it die instead? It was unrealistic to expect a friendship to last forever…" -David Nicholls, One Day
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Phantom Kangaroo accepted one of my poems a couple weeks ago. As of yesterday issue no. 10 is up on the site; you can go here to read my poem.
When I first received the acceptance email I was really excited about having another poem published and out there for the world to see. But my excitement's been tempered by recent events. I'm just not quite in the mood to celebrate. Or maybe I just don't like this idea of life simply going on in the face of tragedy - even if I know that is of course how the world works. It feels like everyone should sit and mourn for a while before going on with life as usual; as if moving forward so quickly is disrespectful (and no, I'm not sure what "moving forward" even means exactly). I know that's all pretty irrational, but it's how I'm feeling right now.
Anyhow, just wanted to share my first online publication with my faithful readers.
"'Dead?' said Sophie. She had a silly impulse to add, But she was alive an hour ago! And she stopped herself, because death is like that: people are alive until they die." -Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle
"'Among the tortures and devastations of life is this then — our friends are not able to finish their stories.'" -Virginia Woolf, The Waves
And once again, I find that Diana Wynne Jones' quote about death is spot on and sadly appropriate for the times. Chip Switzer, another Novi High School alum, passed away yesterday. He died peacefully in his sleep. He was twenty years old. He wasn't my friend, but he was an unfailingly kind person, and his passing away so suddenly is yet another (and at this point unnecessary) reminder of this world's constant, torturous transience. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.
"My friend has gone away from me
From shadow into perfect light,
But leaving a sweet legacy.
My heart shall hold it long in fee—
A grand ideal, calm and bright,
A song of hope for ministry,
A faith of unstained purity,
A thought of beauty for delight—
These did my friends bequeath to me;
And, more than even these can be,
The worthy pattern of a white,
Unmarred life lived most graciously.
Dear comrade, loyal thanks to thee
Who now hath fared beyond my sight,
My friend has gone away from me,
But leaving a sweet legacy." -L.M. Montgomery, "My Legacy"
I ran across that poem in The Watchman and Other Poems a few months ago and my mind immediately went to Erica Teevens. It just seemed so incredibly apt. That's why I copy down quotes from everything I read - it's so nice to run across something, anything that manages so succinctly to express thoughts and feelings you've had. Cause we're all a jumble of emotion most of the time anyhow, and nothing manages to get sorted out.
Today is six months since Erica Teevens passed away. It's a rather large milestone, and for the people who were particularly close to her, it's a horrible reminder that someone very near and dear to them is no longer around and hasn't been around for so many months. There's nothing anyone can do about the fact that time is going on and on and things are happening, and all the same Erica isn't around anymore to share in any of it. I know my sister is one of those people having a really hard time with that concept. I wish I could help, I wish I could do something or anything but in this situation there isn't anything to do really. So I'm limited to writing poems and making paintings and pulling quotes out of books thinking that at least someone out there will appreciate how perfectly writers like J.D. Salinger and L.M. Montgomery and Virginia Woolf were able to express how they're feeling. Cause I guess that's the only thing anyone can do for those people hurting so much right now: actually understand that terrible lonely ache and so somehow manage to make them feel a little less alone.
"'Never take advice!'" -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
"Amy's lecture did Laurie good, though, of course, he did not own it till long afterward. Men seldom do, for when women are the advisers, the lords of creation don't take the advice till they have persuaded themselves that it is just what they intended to do. Then they act upon it, and, if it succeeds, they give the weaker vessel half the credit of it. If it fails, they generously give her the whole." -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
"…'All children must look after their own upbringing.' Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands." -Anne Frank, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
"Perhaps, then, there is something to his advice that I should cease looking back so much, that I should adopt a more positive outlook and try to make the best of what remains of my day. After all, what can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished?" -Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
"'…advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise…'" -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
"If it isn't fun, don't do it.
You'll have to do enough that isn't…." -Robert Creeley, "Sad Advice"