Thursday, March 8, 2012

People that inspire

Advanced warning: No proof reading was done here. It is an emotional spill. Proceed with caution.

Sometimes the world doesn't make sense. Do you ever question why things happen? Why do certain things happen to people? Why do people act the way they do? I suppose it is the question of our life and we'll only find out when it is all done.

I've been quiet the past couple weeks. Not only were things busy with work, but I suppose I just needed some quiet time.

I'm sure if we all had to think about it, we could come up with a few people that helped shape our lives. Those few people that, without them, you'd wonder where you'd be today? One of my favorite teachers, my Middle College High School English teacher, Susan Plesko, passed away. She was a total inspiration to me. Without her, I don't know if I would have pursued my degree in English. A few years ago we "reunited" over Facebook. It was wonderful. I got to tell her how much she meant to me and how she was a huge influence in pursuing in my degree in English. In the English program, I found my niche. I felt like I belonged. Over the couple years I adored swapping stories to read and catching up with Mrs. Plesko (you know, people like that will always be Mrs. Plesko). A couple weeks ago I went to share something on her Facebook wall that I knew she would like... all to discover her obituary posted by her son.

Me: Devastated.

When she was my MCHS teacher, she was battling breast cancer. Can you believe this amazing woman would go to her chemo treatments, then come to teach us? The whole time, she would show up to work. Her will power and passion was incredible. When I found out she was battling cancer again, I thought for sure she would beat it just like last time. It didn't seem possible that she was gone. Immediately I broke down. To be honest, after that day I haven't wanted to talk much about it, nor even write.

However, the time for mourning has passed... I keep having all these weird dreams that I know are dreams telling me I need to start writing again. Writing is my passion, and it is time to pick up the pen (er... or... keyboard? laptop? the modernized pen & paper?) and get on that "horse" again. After all, John Donne speaks it wonderfully with A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning (one of the poems Mrs. Plesko and I had the pleasure of discussing, as John Donne is by far one of my favorite authors)... even though the poem is about two lovers forbidding to mourn while he travels away on business -- Donne, the genius he is -- has a way of helping it relate to all our lives:

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
"The breath goes now," and some say, "No,"

So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;

And I had a Gilgamesh moment where I questioned everything...

But Gilgamesh said to Siduri, the young woman,
'How can I be silent,
how can I rest,
when Enkidu whom I love is dust,
and I too shall die
and be laid in the earth for ever.'

Nevertheless, I must remember (from Donne):

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

Meanwhile, as I'm still here (from Epic of Gilgamesh)...

'Gilgamesh, where are you hurrying to?
You will never find the life for which you are looking.
When the gods created man
they alloted to him death,
but life they retained in their own keeping.
As for you, Gilgamesh,
fill your belly with good things;
day and night, night and day, dance and be merry,
feast and rejoice.
Let your clothes be fresh,
bathe yourself in water,
cherish the little child that holds your hand,
and make your wife happy in your embrace;
for this too is the lot of man.'

RIP Mrs. Susan Plesko 11/28/45 - 1/30/12