Daily Archives: April 14, 2008

Thank god I checked my e-mail to see that my next thesis meeting is scheduled for TUESDAY at 9:30, as opposed to forty-five minutes from now. Thank god, thank god.

It’s not that I need to work harder on my thesis; it’s just that I need to work on it more. Probably faster would be more accurate. I am consistently underestimating the amount of time it takes me to complete sections.

My biggest accomplishment yesterday was making two CDs for my sister. One is a surprise, the other is Senior Year!-themed (it’s called “I’m Going To Make It Through This Year If It Kills Me”). There’s something about making themed CDs for people that makes me feel very accomplished. It’s like trying to tell a story through songs. I know it would be faster and more efficent to just e-mail mp3s, but where’s the beauty and and joy of creation in that?

It was also a very weird and sad day yesterday. I heard the news that a professor I had lost her baby. As with the case of the freshman heroin overdose death, I was more upset than I expected to be. Someone sent out an e-mail to the rest of the class, suggesting that we compile different pieces of paper, letters, drawings, poetry, and so on, and send it to her. Part of me thinks this is a great way to show how much we care about and are thinking of her; another part of me feels that anything we have to say could only be trite, or worse, upsetting. I feel like that’s an inevitable consequence of the situation, that nothing anyone can say or do will provide significant comfort or respite from the terrible grief.

I flipped through my poetry anthologies, trying to find something that could possibly be comforting. I (re)found some poems I really liked, the kind that I’ve muttered under my breath and have quoted to friends without knowing I’m doing so. I’m not going to use them for this particular situation because I don’t consider them appropriate, but I will post them here to share. Er, hopefully posting them here isn’t a violation of copyright. I’ll even cite my source (always incorrectly–never learned proper MLA format. Literature major what?): Staying Alive. ed. Neil Astley. Bloodaxe Books : New York, 2003. pg. 375, 382, 396.

Death does not come from outside. Death is within.
Born-grows together with us.
Goes with us to kindergarten and school.
Learns with us to read and count.
Goes sledging with us, and to the pictures.
Seeks with us the menaing of life.
Tries to make sense with us of Einstein and Wiener.
Makes with us our first sexual contacts.
Marries, bears children, quarrels, makes up.
Separates, or perhaps not, with us.
Goes to work, goes to the doctor, goes camping,
ot the convalescent home and the sanatorium. Grows old,
sees children married, retired,
looks after grandchildren, grows ill, dies
with us. Let us not fear, then. Our death
will not outlive us.
Jann Kaplinski
translated from the Estonian by Hildi Hawkins

It is not true
that death begins after life.
When life stops
death also stops.
Gosta Agren
translated from the Finland Swedish by David McDuff

When I die I will return to seek
The moments I did not live by the sea
Sophia de mello Breyner
translated from the Portuguese by Richard Zenith

Oh, so many good poems! I had to force myself to put the book down before I pulled a “Limited Inc” (oh snap, Derrida in-joke! LOL ACADEMIA).

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Filed under Dear Diary, death, poetry, stress, thesis