Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Sunday, June 16, 2013

4-16-13 RMB Words have Weight
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
The boys keep various forms of diaries. I think it started with secret messages, the kind that leads to treasures. I mail them postcards sometimes even though they only live five blocks away. They feel the effect of words as a gift, a treasure in themselves.  
A big part of their discipline has to do with writing sentences about good behavior, counter to whatever they have done to be disciplined in the first place. It is good hand writing practice for the two older boys. The youngest was writing before he knew letters, he made some up, and has better penmanship than most adults. 
They also write letters to their moms, about how they will improve or what they are grateful for, sentences made up of words from their own hearts.
Words have weight. And…“Paper has more patience than people.” ~Anne Frank
I told them about Anne Frank’s diary; what a treasure it is and why. That led us to checking it out of the library. Now I read two to four pages to them every day we are together.
I read Anne Frank’s diary when I was ten and remember the impact, remember meeting a girl from the other side of the world, from another time. She opened a window to another way of life, different priorities, other cultures, compassion, insight, sorrow and more. Reading it again, I am reconnecting with an old friend.
Anne wrote “…it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen year old schoolgirl. Oh well, it doesn’t matter. I feel like writing and I have an even greater need to get all kinds of things off my chest.”
With her words, Anne showed us many things; she showed us ourselves - what we are capable of - our strengths, the atrocities we impose on one another, compassion on the level of a heroic quality. “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”
I believe in life everlasting, that the soul lives on; that Anne is able to celebrate our successes with us and help us through our struggles. I believe in words; their ability to heal…or destroy. With these letters I hope to bring some things to light; to show something to someone.
“Watch your thoughts; watch your words; watch your deeds.” ~Reverend Millie Landis
Watch them; make them the best they can be, for yourself, for others…for all of us here and now…for the future and to honor the past.

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