Sunday, January 28, 2007

To Shelley, and friends

Why did you do all this for me?" he asked. "I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you."
"You have been my friend," replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die... By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heavens knows anyone's life can stand a little of that."

Charlotte's Web, E. B. White

'Charlotte's Web was one of my favourite books as a child. It was my sister's favourite book. And last year I found out that it was also the favourite book of a young woman from New Zealand, Shelley Marie Mather, whom I never met, but we shared the same journey to work one day in July 2005.

I made it, she didn't.

It is her birthday. Shelley, I never met you, but I think we would probably have got on pretty well if we had shared a beer. I'm toasting you with one now, you and those who love you. I have been talking to your lovely mum and her lovely partner; I have been honoured to have been corresponding with them both for a year or so now, and then to meet them both last year was a blessing and a privilege. They give the warmest hugs I have ever had.

Shelley's mum, and her auntie are poets. Shelley by all accounts, loved London, loved people, loved life, loved words. Maybe I can see where she got her love of words from. Her auntie. Her mum. Perhaps other people in her family too...

But nobody knows what makes you write. Just to write is a blessing.

"Do you understand how there could be any writing in a spider's web?"
''Oh, no," said Dr Dorian. "I don't understand it. But for that matter I don't understand how a spider learned to spin a web in the first place. When the words appeared, everyone said they were a miracle. But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel,keep the strength within you, you have unbelievable strength girl. RIP Shelley, taken from us far too early.

January 28, 2007 9:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel, I also have a well thumbed copy of Charlotte's Web at home. It was first read out to us as astory in class and I then went and bought it.

Wilbur is such a character, It shows how all of us live in a very small global village.

January 29, 2007 10:09 am  
Blogger Leigh said...

What a beautiful tribute. I'm sure she would have appreciated it.

Good luck on the book--only a few days of hell left!

xo, Leigh

January 29, 2007 3:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..and with the right words you can change the world. Isn't that a quote from Charolotte's Web? Good luck to you.

January 29, 2007 8:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Rachel
I have sent you a personal email but want to acknowledge publicly your beautiful posting for Shelley.It has taken my breath away and just reinforces the joy we have had in meeting you in London last July. You are a wonderful soul with a huge heart and an amazing skill with words. By our words we can maybe make a difference, that is my hope after all this. We will be in touch always and wish you well with your book, a story that has to be told. Maybe the voice of reason and truth about the consequences of such futile actions will seep through.
To you and all the Kings Cross United group, our love,thanks and admiration for your strength and courage.
Love to you and J
Kathryn (Shelley's Mum) & L

January 29, 2007 11:19 pm  
Blogger Calamity Jane said...

Rachel, you too are a poet. It is a lovely tribute to Shelley and her friends that out of such sadness something beautiful should come out.

I've been reading your blog for months but haven't commented because I don't feel I have anything worthy to add but I'd like you to know this, your blog is actually the one that inspired me to keep one of my own.

January 31, 2007 11:46 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know that your post still moves.

Thank you.

September 09, 2008 10:44 pm  

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