Anne Frank, a Lifelong Muse
An ordinary girl who loved and played and read and acted out and maintained an enviable spirit, even under the most horrendous conditions.
Anne Frank was only 13 years old when her family was forced into hiding in the Netherlands, on July 6, 1942.
She had already begun writing in her new red plaid Diary that was given to her on June 12, her birthday. But it was her life in this secret annex documented in that Diary for the next two years that has made her not only a significant historical figure, but a heartbreaking inspiration of courage and boldness in the face of the ugliness and horrors of the world.
But this is not a history lesson. This is a post about the origin of my desire to write, share and create.
When I was 13, I received her Diary in paperback. I read it cover to cover and wept and laughed and wept some more for in those fanciful and heartfelt entries, I discovered a kindred spirit.
Anne was everything I was looking for in a friend. She was fun-loving and creative with a zest for life that allowed her to transform her simple cramped surroundings into, at times, an imaginative world of discovery.
She reluctantly accepted what she had been given and made the most of it, detailing even the smallest most mundane aspect of everyday life in a most unique and colourful way.
In that cramped space, she was still alive and well when so many others she knew were not.
She inspired me immediately. I wanted to write like her. I wanted to express all my inner feelings and struggles, get them down on paper in order to live a fuller life, unhindered by the burden of frustration or simply the usual emotional roller coaster any young teen girl would endure.
When I was 16 years old, I rediscovered her Diary. And after reading it yet again, I endeavoured to tackle a life-long promise. I would live the life, the many many years she did not get to experience, and record them in my own journal.
As part of this promise I would dedicate my book to Anne, addressing every entry to her.
All my highs and lows, my struggles and victories, my challenges and revelations were detailed and shared as if I was confiding to a living breathing friend. In my young life, I believed I was.
She was a great listener. She never argued with me. She offered guidance in a quiet unobtrusive way. That journalling truly helped me hone my writing in ways I only later realized.
Anne not only saved me during difficult periods in my life, she continued to inspire and encourage me to write. And so I did and have continued to do to this day.
We all have our muses or mentors, those people or experiences that awaken something in us that drive us forward with the desire to be better, create the extraordinary, live a life full of adventure.
With the recent 70th Anniversary of D-Day, I wanted to honour Anne in a special way. She died mere months before the successful Allied invasion and the end of World War Two.
Next week Anne Frank would have been 85. Yet though to many she is regarded as that incredible figure in history trying to survive the suffocating grasp of Nazi Germany, to me she will always be alive and well.
She remains my Mentor, friend, confidante that has journeyed with me and been my touchstone every step of the way. And for that I am eternally grateful and endlessly inspired.
peekiequeen copyright Saturday, June 7, 2014.