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Showing posts from September, 2009

"Behind November came deep winter . . .

A calm day had settled into a crystalline evening; the world wore a North Pole coloring: all its lights and tints looked like the 'reflets' of white, or violet, or pale green gems. The hills were a lilac-blue; the setting sun had purple in its red; the sky was ice, all silvered azure; when the stars rose, they were of white crystal - not gold; gray, or cerulean, or faint emerald hues - cool, pure, and transparent - tinged the mass of the landscape.

"What is this by itself in a wood no longer green, no longer even russet; a wood, neutral tint - this dark blue moving object? Why, it is a schoolboy . . . who has left his companions, now trudging home by the high road, and is seeking a certain tree, with a certain mossy mound at its root - convenient as a seat. Why is he lingering here? - the air is cold, and the time wears late . . . Does he feel the chaste charm nature wears tonight? A pearl-white moon smiles through the gray trees . . ."

~ Charlotte Bronte, Shirley, ch.…

Don't Forget to Dream

Today, my good friend said that my next step in life should be to plant a garden. "And you could have a chicken," she added. "In fact, you could have a farm."

And a longstanding dream came flooding back over me: the small house with the big garden and the goat or the cow and the donkey and the farm dog and the barn cats and the berry patch and the pond with weeping willows around it and the Easter lily bank and Christmas tree grove. As we talked I added a lighthouse or silo which would be my office where I would write. "And you need an apple tree or apricot tree," said my friend.

It's been a while since I've let myself really dream. I miss it.

The Amazing Charlotte Bronte

Okay, so I did not like The Professor one bit - it's no wonder Charlotte couldn't get it published during her lifetime. But I just started Shirley, and it's splendid.

The story of Charlotte's own life is like a novel. Her life must have been extremely barren for her to have assigned so much value to the experience of attending school in Brussels, being taught by Constantin Heger, and falling in love with him. But only a mind as rich, introspective, and imaginative as hers could have reevaluated that experience again and again in her various novels, repictured Heger as Rochester, Emanuel, and Moore, and recast over and over that deeply rewarding relationship of intellects. And then to settle down neatly at the end of her life to a loving marriage with an Irish curate who had a sense of humor! (One guesses that laughter is the thing she needed most after all those years of rigid loneliness.)