Today marks the would-be 77th birthday of my beloved muse, Sylvia Plath. I knew her birthday was approaching, but today it caught me completely off guard. That is, until I sat at my new writing desk overlooking my new country landscape and heard classical KING fm mention it. I found it so strange and appropriate that just last night I rewatched Sylvia (which is by no means an accurate depiction of Syliva's poetry, life, or demenour, but is such a fabulously done film on all other accounts) and have felt her with me so acutely the last few months.
Many only know Plath because of her tragic and terrible suicide, and even more unjust, many surmise that her death is the cause of her post-humous fame and following. I love Plath not only for her melancholy, or her haunting voice, or her fight for hope, or her literary ambition, or her love of shadows...but because in her, I have found a new genre for myself. Her journals have changed the way I write and read my own work. She wrote something of her life almost every single day in a prose that turns pages like no best-seller you have ever read. To be interested in the minute details of another woman's life reminds me that there are many out there (either now or to come) who will be interested in bearing witness to my life as well...even if only for my unborn children, friends, or family. To remind myself that I have lived by marking it with words and ink is one of the most soulful experiences of my 31 years. To find common interest (she loved Russian literature and needed the ocean) and solidarity in struggle (the writing life, introversion) in a soul long passed is the perfect reminder and inspiration to keep writing just as I have done since my first journal in 6th grade.
I cannot do justice to how she has inspired me in the last year. I cannot say how acutely I feel her untimely death and how I dream of sitting across a room from her with a cup of tea, admiring how this 77 year old woman has lived her life.
"The one requirement of life: an openness to what is lovely among all the rest that isn't."
Letters Home, 133
Happy Birthday, Sylvia.
Thank you for your life.