Sunday, December 2, 2012

Words to Live By

The following quote came from Ralph Waldo Emerson in Nature on page 243 of our textbook Volume B: “Yet line for line and point for point, your dominion is as great as theirs, though without fine names. Build, therefore your own world.” What profound words! They say to me: life is what we make it-do not be dependent upon another person or thing to build your life, your world. It is your world for the taking and the making! It takes work to build a world, but it is within each and every one of us to do so. The quote also says that everyone is created equal, no one is any better person than anyone else, we all are imperfect, we all make mistakes, and we all have emotions. When we realize that we are equals on this earth, then we can build our own world. Do not let anything hold you back-go on and build that world!

Another great quote from our textbook, again Volume B, page 269 (I almost overlooked it) reads: “Ne te quaesiveris extra”, which means: “Do not search outside yourself”. This goes along with what I have been saying and I could not have said it better myself. All there is, is in us, there is no point in trying to find happiness outside of ourselves, it is generated inside. I believe the first step to internal happiness to have self-love, and then inner peace comes along with happiness.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Remembering a Time Not So Long Ago

I just finished reading Louisa May Alcott’s selection in our textbook (pp. 1750-1756), which is taken from Little Women. I admit Little Women is one of my all-time favorite books, along with Jane Eyre! I have read Little Women several times over my lifetime so far, with the last reading being about 5 years ago.

I have fond memories of this book. I first read it as a child of about 10. I fell in love with the characters, the setting, everything. My favorite character has always been Jo, the writer of the family, because she is very determined and independent. All she does, she does for the sake of her family.

The story itself reminds me of my childhood- running around everywhere with pencils and notebooks, to write my poetry, short stories, and plays. Most of all it reminds me of my simple, laid-back, slow lifestyle. I grew up in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky, in the Daniel Boone National Forest to be exact. Life was different there. We grew most of our own food, we cut our own firewood, we were basically self-sufficient and most important, we were a very close-knit family.

The story reminds me of watching Daddy build our house from the ground up, of our large wood burning stove, and a foot of snow on the ground outside, being in the warm house and eating homemade beef-stew, which simmered on the wood burner all day! This is the setting for my first encounter with Little Women. We, like the March family, pulled together for the best of the family, we had to and loved every minute of it! Unlike Mr. March, who was gone because of the war, Daddy came home from work at the telephone company every evening; yet like Mr. March, Daddy did always have words of encouragement for me and my aspirations!

I lost my precious Daddy to cancer in July 2009, almost 3 ½ years ago, but his memory is alive and well within me and in all the people’s lives that he so dearly touched. The story of Little Women always brings me back to my happy childhood memories!