Marcy S., age 16, Tennessee


Dear Diary — I have just been reading some of Thoreau’s essays for English tomorrow. I wish to always remember certain parts of his selection entitled, “Where I Lived.” —

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. [I love that — it expresses my feelings exactly] I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear… I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.”

Also from “Conclusion” — “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours… In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air; your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundation under them…”

Oooh! how I love that!

Now for just a brief outline of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Friday: On the whole, a bad day (not weather). Weather cold. I kept thinking of that sentence in Margaret S’s letter, “I can’t begin to tell you how fortunate I feel in having you for a friend.” If she but knew me! Oh, Diary, somehow a grand week has been spoiled. Oh, why was I ever born! Why, why, why?! I can’t say I wish I were dead because I’m afraid to die, but rather that I’d never been born. No one would miss me, Diary, really they wouldn’t. Not even Mary — oh she would in a way, but just because I’ve always been here and she’s used to see me every day. The same goes for Helen and other people whom I see every day, but they couldn’t say truthfully, “She lived such a beautiful life, always thinking of and helping others. Oh! I miss her so much. Somehow life seems sort of empty without her.”

Diary, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is better to be unaware of your faults than to see them and yet not be able to correct them. There is only one way by which I can change, and I’m afraid to take that Way. I can’t even tell anyone, although I believe Mary has guessed it. In fact I know she has because of what she wrote in her diary. I wonder — can she help me? Would she want to help — I mean would she feel it her duty to?