Christine suggested to me that Marge’s letters and papers were a legacy to me. As I was cleaning out her old files and papers, I regarded myself a best a custodian, just cleaning things up. So, what do you do with a legacy? Spend it? Hoard it?
I think most of all to pass it along. So what I am going to do for this post is to copy some of Marge’s writings from before I knew her, in her high school days.
May 27, 1954
Once long ago, when the world was very young,
The sea called the mountains to play.
Their play was rough, Oh, very very rough,
And the mountains finally had enough.
The sea did not realize the price that was to be,
For suddenly the mountains fell headlong into the sea.
Then the Maker of Things looked down on the quiet sea,
And he cursed it and vowed.
“Never again shall the mountains
Fall into the sea,
For the mountains shall never again
Play with thee.”
But every new dew drop rained into the sea,
Sees the high-mountains and calls again for play,
But the mountains do not heed the sea,
So they say “Never again may we play with thee!
And the dew-drops run back to the sea.
August 28, 1956
dark and small.
distance of the sky.
I can see him no more—
he is gone…
Suddenly I am empty
My brave eagle
is not here.
I’ve Been Away a Long Time
“I’ve been away a long time -” The man thought to himself. He walked up the old road that he had known long before, and his feet seemed to remember the ruts and holes that his eyes could not see. The night was bright with moonlight; but the trees made the road as dark as an unlighted tunnel. The road turned; and the tunnel ended.
He saw the house he had once lived in washed in moonlight; and he stopped to look at it and remember. The house was dark; and it had a deserted look about it. The only sounds he could hear were the crickets, and the sleepy call of a bird.
He remembered every curve; every shadow, every bush and tree. Only – some of he trees weren’t there . The brick was gone – and half of the ash tree and several pines were gone too!
“Ah well; it has been a long time, after all/” The smooth lawns he remembered were weed grown, and lumpy underneath his foot as he walked toward the house. He tried the front door – and it opened – protesting -shambles.
He left as quickly as possible – he could not bear to see this – this house – in the clear light of the sun, and dawn was just over the mountain.
He stumbled, in his haste to get away, and almost fell. “I’ll never – come – back here again” he panted as he haltingly found his way down the road. “Never-”
Had he stayed a little longer he would have seen something that would have cheered him, perhaps. But perhaps he would have been more dismayed.
You see, the house is not deserted. It is not in ruins, The floors are being sanded and refinished. The kitchen remodeled; the upstairs made into another separate place to live: and the dining room is being lived in.
When everything is done the house will be very beautiful again.
Beautiful to eyes that have not loved the house before, that is. But the man would be even more distressed if he knew that that was what they were doing to his house.
A net to Snare the Moonlight
- The dew, the rain, and moonlight
- all prove our Father’s mind.
- The dew, the rain, and moonlight
- Descend to bless mankind,
- Come, let us see that all men
- have loved to catch the rain,
- Have grass to snare the spheres of dew,
- And fields spread for the grain.
- Yea, we would give to each poor man
- ripe wheat and poppies red –
- A peaceful place at evening
- with the stars just overhead:
- A net to snare the moonlight,
- A sod spread to the sun,
- A place of toil by daytime
- Of dreams when toil is done.
Undated, but probably 1956
They don’t know what it is to be alone. they have their girl friends, and telephone calls from their boy friends. and they have brothers and sisters, and a Mother and Father always there when they are needed.
But you, you are alone now. In more ways than one. Your mother is gone now, gone to take care of your sister who is sick and needs her. Your father is in the Army. You are proud of him, but you really don’t know him and he is gone now, too. He is overseas. You get a letter from him now and then, but he doesn’t say much.
Your closest friend is your sister and she is five years older than you and is engaged. Soon you will lose her, too..
Something in you is not right. You are smart in school, but when you are with them, with a crowd, you are with them but not of them.
For a while,about a year, maybe a little more, there was a boy. At first he was just a boy, but he grew,and now is handsome and tall and, if her worked a little, smart. He liked you, but now you have lost him.
You haven’t seen him in almost 2 weeks, but you heard that he asked another girl to the Junior Prom. You like the girl, and you hope she will have fun with him, but you wish, oh you wish with all your heart, he still wanted you.
You long to ask him, Why don’t you want me?, but you know he would not answer.
You are alone in the big house now. You will be alone for several more weeks to come. it is quiet, and the silence you used to know and love as a friend is pressing in on you, making you think.
The books from the City Library are over there on the chair. But you cannot lose your mind in another world now.
You think, Loneliness is like frost. It starts in the easy places to reach, and spreads and travels to the heart – finally -and kills.
You like to think of yourself as a girl, tall and straight and slim. proud and unafraid. You know you are tall and straight, and slim. You know, because it has been wounded deeply, that you have great pride.
But you are not unafraid. You fear many things. But the thing you fear most of all, unconsciously,is your mind, and what it can make you do. And not do. And you fear being alone.
They do not know what it is to be alone. I know. And I wish I was like them.
For I am alone.