Photo by my friend Molly
I am a weary tree.
My back is its branches: gnarled with knots; my neck is as stiff as its trunk.
Winter brought stress and snow and mud; in it, my roots: they have sunk.
- November 24th, 2013
My soul aches. I've never had to deal with stress like this and not have breaks from it. I've been devoured by essay after essay, and it's taking quite an affect on my body. I've never had problems with my back, but here I've been having trouble sleeping due to the impossibility of a comfortable position. I'm exhausted right down to my bones.
Wednesday is the last day of this term, and then I am free!! (Well, for a little while, and I'm not even going to think about exams). Three essays to go, and then a much needed visit to a massage therapist.
Saviour of skillful hands, free this weary tree of knots;
I want to blow in the breeze like the weeds in the parking lots.
Also, I just finished reading "Ellen, A Short Life Long Remembered" by Rose Levit, and couldn't help but cry over it. It's a true story, written by the mother of a seventeen-year-old girl, Ellen, who died of bone cancer in 1972. I related so much to this person I'd never meet. In the book were many of Ellen's poems and letters to friends that were found after her death, and I was astonished at her outlook on life and the way she thought; she was so insightful and was happy looking at life in the simplest way, content on the fact it could not be described. I can't quite explain it in the right words, but the way she thought was so similar to the way I think, that the connection I felt with this deceased girl was.. well, just something powerful and emotional. Forty years ago, she has pondered and written the same things I've pondered and written about religion, education, life.
I have finally found a person who understands who I am inside, and I'll never share anything with her. Perhaps one day I'll meet her in Heaven, if I ever make it there myself.
My favourite quotes you may or may not be interested in reading:
"I believe in God but in my own way."
"God is Love. Love is something very giving, very allowing and very accepting, and so should God be. I don't believe in Worship. Love is not worship. I feel worship is following in the steps of your ancestors, saying "Praise God" because your ancestors have always said it. Tradition. When there is tradition-following, you cannot go your own way."
- excerpts from a letter from Ellen to Gypsy
"Things are very lonely here at home. This house is so big and the people far apart. But I am O.K. It gets me down once in awhile. But I am fine."
- Ellen, in a letter to Charlene
"She believed that since no earthly matter is lost but is just transformed into other forms, then people who die return to the earth and are used as part of an endless chain of life, re-use, and renewal."
- Rose Levit, talking about Ellen
"What is life - it is such a complex thing and yet at the same time so simple - it's silly to pin a definition on it. If you can understand all these complex things - fear, freedom, love - and still at the same time keep your mind simple - and love the beauty of a sunny day, just because it's a sunny day - then you can truly be free."
- Ellen, to her sister Jana
"It is very clear to me that the parents in this country, who elect all the administrators and the Boards of Education, don't give a damn about knowledge. All they seem to be concerned with is the grades that are brought home and the little piece of paper - the diploma - that says this certain student has fulfilled the requirements and has graduated from this High School. Are grades such a true symbol of a student's learning?"
- a newspaper article Ellen wrote
"We shared speculations and personal beliefs about the survival of the human spirit, about immortality and what that might be. Ellen stated hers simply. She hoped that she would contribute to the replenishment of the earth's vital resources. She hoped for a place in nature's eternal cycle of growth and decay and growth."
- Rose Levit, talking about Ellen