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REMEMBERING MORIAH by oldest friend, Ellen Eller


Moriah and I met as Ithaca College freshmen in the fall of 1966. We were both majoring in Spanish, although she soon switched to Sociology, even though it meant taking Statistics (the bane of her existence back then).

It was an exciting time to be in college, with the Viet Nam War, the Civil Rights movement and the Generation Gap as a backdrop. We enjoyed Freedom with a capital "F"... outrageousness of all kinds and great music. And living down the hall from each other, on the 4th floor of a Hi-Rise dorm for 4 years--yes, the same hall of the same dorm for 4 years--Moriah and I transitioned into adulthood together, with all the craziness and mystery of that emotional roller coaster.

I remember one time we chopped down a live Christmas tree for the dorm, against all rules. Moriah and I had to smuggle it up 6 flights of stairs. No one realized the tree that had looked so small in the forest would be too big to fit in our car. We ended up stuffing as much as we could of it into the trunk, and Moriah volunteered to ride back there to keep it from falling out on the bumpy ride back to school...

 I remember piling into a friend's car one dark night, driving out to the empty service roads of the Tompkins County Airport and sharing a joint we made by emptying the tobacco out of a Newport cigarette and sucking up grass through the paper tube, since none of us knew how to roll...TO READ MORE AND COMMENT CLICK BELOW

I remember how the two of us would stroll down to the cafeteria at 11-ish on a Sunday morning for a leisurely brunch, looking out over Cayuga Lake through a spectacular array of picture windows while we talked about whatever over coffee laced with chocolate milk. More than once the conversation started with Moriah, ever the explorer, asking, "What do you think we'll be like in our 30s?" Or 40s; or 50s...

I remember the fun we had shopping for bell-bottoms and turtleneck sweaters at the Ithaca Army Navy Store, and borrowing each other's beads and stuff as we dressed to go out, heading downtown on a Friday night or hitch-hiking over to Cornell to "study" in the library there, where we could scope out guys...

It did seem that wherever we went, guys would come over to me just to ask, "Who's your friend?" Because Moriah was a beautiful blonde with a radiant smile. In fact, when she was down in the dumps about statistics or term papers or a boyfriend, I used to tease her and say, "Well, at least you have a pretty face." It didn't solve her problems, but usually made her laugh.

Frankly, I should have been really jealous of Moriah in those competitive formative years. But she was just too REAL...too completely Authentic, even back then. So, lucky for me, we became best friends.

We kept in touch after graduation, hung out at her studio apartment in New York City, basked on Long Island beaches, went dancing in discotheques before formalized disco dancing became popular.

We missed a few years of each other's lives along the way, reconnected eventually and wove our families together, even bonding with our respective dogs and cats--"fur-babies," as she called them--when we'd share Labor Day Weekends in Shelburne Falls and Thanksgivings on Long Island.

And in between, ever thoughtful, Moriah had Zayne send me tapes of Chats with the Tibetan and let me speak my truth in the School's quarterly newsletter Transformational Times.

So I had an idea what the Marstons were up to. But it wasn't until my family moved here that I truly came to appreciate and admire all that my sweet friend Moriah had accomplished with Zayne by her side. I found myself awed by the teachings transmitted at Chats and the way the "college chickie" I once knew had transformed into a respected Psychotherapist, Channel and author. She'd found a way to touch and heal and delight others by drawing on her prismatic personal magnetism...her depth of understanding, compassion and wisdom... her gift for JOY, which she gave so freely, as everyone in this room can attest.

So I say hi to Moriah every morning...listen to her voice on my tapes of old Chats with DK...imagine talking to her, or babble out loud, whenever I feel the need for a heart to heart.

I miss her every day and I guess I always will. We were sisters of the soul for nearly 50 years, and I'm so sad she's not still with us on the earthly plane.

Yet even as I feel tears building up again, I remember one of her most oft-repeated lessons: the importance of gratitude. I'm simply and profoundly thankful to have known her.

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