This is a story about a girl and her tree — a tree that helped keep hope alive, even as the world closed in on her.
Three times in Anne Frank’s widely read diary, the young Holocaust victim wrote about a tree. She could see it from the attic window of the secret annex where her family hid for two years, before being betrayed.
"From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind," she wrote on February 23, 1944. "As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be."
The tree that reminded Frank of the promise of life still looms high above the courtyard behind the Anne Frank House, now a museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, that just marked its 50th anniversary. But at about 170 years of age, Anne Frank’s tree is dying.
The Valentino Achak Deng Foundation is a US-based nonprofit organization working to increase access to education in post-conflict Southern Sudan by building schools, libraries, teacher-training institutes, and community centers.
You can donate to the website at various amounts. $9 gives a girl school supplies; $30 buys a student a full set of textbooks; $300 gives a girl a scholarship for one year.
“People often say that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder,’ and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.”—Salma Hayek (via kari-shma) (via dreaminginthedeepsouth)
“It’s important to remember that feminism is no longer a group of organizations or leaders. It’s the expectations that parents have for their daughters, and their sons, too. It’s the way we talk about and treat one another. It’s who makes the money and who makes the compromises and who makes the dinner. It’s a state of mind. It’s the way we live now.”—Anna Quindlen (via bearbearpdx) (via missworld)
“No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould and tilled with manure.”—
I MUST read Anne Frank’s diary again. I read it years ago and haven’t given it another look but a combination of factors has convinced me that this needs to be on my reading list and preferably the definitive edition that includes entries that were edited out, where she talks more about her relationship with her mother and her sexuality and other private things. I want to read her diary as she intended it be read. I will go to bed tonight with Anne on my mind. I don’t think she, and other diarists from the Holocaust, ever really leave me.
I am currently exploring The Secret Annex virtually. If you are interested in Anne Frank and The Holocaust this is just mind-blowing. You can explore each room and learn more about the people and Anne herself. I’m just enjoying it so much.
Walt Whitman just has the look of a trust-worthy writer. He’s like Santa, minus the jolly
This actually made me laugh out loud so thank you for your reply! He just looks familiar doesn’t he? There’s something wise and full about him. I’m one of those people who imagines meeting great writers from the past like Woolf or Dickinson or even Whitman and you wonder what these people would have been like if you had passed them on the street. Did they walk around with this power about them? Could you feel some kind of energy emanating from them? Whitman is so larger than life for me; so sensuous and libidinous and exuberant and alive that it’s hard to believe he isn’t still existing among us in this century. Thankfully we have his poetry. Leaves of Grass is my bible!
He is one of my favorite poets and one of the greatest writers who ever lived. In this superb documentary done for the PBS series “American Experience,” we are taken on a journey of Whitman’s life and poetry. A must-see for anyone affected by Whitman’s verse and humanity.
I’ve posted this before but I’m posting it again mainly for thedrysalvages, but it’s well-worth watching if you ever have the time!
I see you ordered Blood Meridian from the library . . . you're in for a treat. I hope you like it as much as his other works.
I hope I do too. Now that I’ve read McCarthy, it’s so hard to read other people but I am loving Eudora Welty right now.
I was going to finish the Border Trilogy that begins with All the Pretty Horses and I still want to but I just could not wait that long to read Blood Meridian so I’m diving in and seeing what happens! You’ll know I like it when you see me shamelessly spam you with numerous quotes, which I tend to do when I really love a book!
“You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.”—Annie Proulx (via wordpainting)
The entire writing process is fraught with perils. Many writers would argue that the hardest part of writing is beginning. When asked what was the most frightening thing he had ever encountered, novelist Ernest Hemingway said, “A blank sheet of paper.”
Other writers believe that ideas are easy, it’s in the execution of those ideas that the hard work really begins. You have to show up every day and slowly give shape to your ideas, trying to find just the right words, searching for the right turn of phrase, until it all morphs into something real.
Then comes the wait to discover how your writing will be received. Chilean author Isabel Allende once said that writing a book is like putting a message in a bottle and throwing it in the ocean. You never know if it will reach any shores.
So just how do you go about facing an empty page, coaxing your ideas into the world of form, and steering the end result toward shore? You can start by studying the tips and advice from writers presented below.
1 The first 12 years are the worst. 2 The way to write a book is to actually write a book. A pen is useful, typing is also good. Keep putting words on the page. 3 Only bad writers think that their work is really good. 4 Description is hard. Remember that all description is an opinion about the world. Find a place to stand. 5 Write whatever way you like. Fiction is made of words on a page; reality is made of something else. It doesn’t matter how “real” your story is, or how “made up”: what matters is its necessity. 6 Try to be accurate about stuff. 7 Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die. 8 You can also do all that with whiskey. 9 Have fun. 10 Remember, if you sit at your desk for 15 or 20 years, every day, not counting weekends, it changes you. It just does. It may not improve your temper, but it fixes something else. It makes you more free.
Hello :) I'm a huuuge follower of your tumblr. You post the most lovely quotes about reading and writing! I recently made a Tumblr for my writing inspiration (yes that includes you) and I was wondering if you can share this link to your followers... perhaps they can find something helpful in there too. :)
here's the link: http://aliceisdaydreaming.tumblr.com :) Thank you very much!
Thank you so much. I’m so glad that the quotes I post and reblog can help someone as much as they help me! I would be pleased to tell everyone about your tumblr and I hope they check it out:
“I think the people who become the most interesting writers are always going to come from, in some sense, desperate circumstances. There is a great deal of very private testing that has to happen in a writer. It has to be faced.”—