Thursday, July 1, 2010
I have been meaning to blog about this for some time. It has been playing on my mind for a couple of weeks.
Usually I only wax poetic when I have been reading too much. Specifically when I read Anne of Green Gables too much.
Ah, but it does my soul so much good.
My roommate, Shannon, had never seen the 1985 TV movie series and I considered this a great sin so we sought to remedy that fact by watching them. I do so love the movies, but my family never watched them with me. I'll admit, it takes a certain amount of patience to enjoy them. It is a little easier when you love the books.
So naturally, after we watched the movie, I had to re-read the series, just to remember all of the differences between the two formats. (The books are SO much better, BTW.)
I love turn of the century novels. There seems to be an inherent goodness about them, an innate sense of optimism. Bad things may happen, but spring always comes, nature is always renewing and all stories end happily ever after. Old-fashioned goodness seems to flow off the page and it makes me want to slow down and savor life more.
Anne made me want to find romance again. Not the kind of romance that is BYU happy-valley edition: too fast paced, like love is race against graduation and old-maid-hood. But the golden, soft, pure romance that makes life sweet and rich.
It seemed a beautiful twist of fate that I stumbled across an old essay from my high school creative writing class. It is entitled "Romance" and it was given as a commencement speech in 1983. It helped me get started finding romance again, for as the author, Robert James Waller says "Romance is hard to get, hard to keep, and fairly easy to drive away." (pg 46) Waller also says that you can't examine it because like most things "too much analysis of certain things removes the romance from them" and kills the magic. Mostly he encourages those who would like to see romance dancing back in their lives to read poetry every day. Actually make something with your own two hands. Collect things, purely for the sentimental value. TRAVEL. Play a musical instrument. Listen to good, soft music. Keep a record of your life, remember where you have been, who you have met, what you have seen. There will come a time in your life when you will need those memories to uphold you in times of loneliness, sadness or even in times of joy. Memories you make now will bless your life and enrich it a hundred times more. They don't need to be epic, dramatic exploits because while there is a certain level of "romance" attached to epic dramas, the best kind of romance is your own brand. Things that are special to you and moments that take your breath away."Romance [does] not come into one's life with pomp and blare; perhaps it crept to one's side like an old friend through quiet ways." (pg 366)
I tried to describe my sentimental feelings to a co-worker. And while he tried to understand, I don't think he fully did. I like Anne of Green Gables because I feel like I identify with her. It seems silly to love a character so much and like horoscopes, I tend to see similarities where there are none. Maybe there are and maybe there aren't any.
I can be imaginative and dramatic, whimsical and silly at times.
I can be loud when I want and quiet when I choose.
I love my friends with the depths of my soul and always rejoice when I find new ones in unexpected places.
"If we have friends we should look only for the best in them and give them the best that is in us, don't you think? Then friendship would be the most beautiful thing in the world." (pg 171)
I have this inexplicable need for anyone and everyone to love me.
As Anne said "I want everybody to love me and it hurts me so when anybody doesn't." Not many people understand this, but it's an undeniable fact about me.
I want to change the world and leave it a better place, but I don't know where to start.
I want to teach and inspire, but even more so, I want children to be good.
"Perhaps she had not succeeded in 'inspiring' any wonderful ambitions in her pupils, but she had taught them, more by her own sweet personality than by all her careful precepts, that it was good and necessary in the years that were before them to live their lives finely and graciously, holding fast to truth and courtesy and kindness, keeping aloof from all that savoured of falsehood and meanness and vulgarity."
I sincerely appreciate superficial aesthetics. I love things to be pretty and charming and I love it even more when pretty things are accompanied by beautiful souls.
Anyways, this is what has been playing on repeat for the past week or so on my mind. Maybe not many people would cite Anne of Green Gables as "great literature", and maybe rightly so, but for me, it makes me want to be a better person and to look for the best in other people. Which, in the end, I think is the purpose of great literature, to make mankind better, kinder, more humane than before.
Some more delicious quotes from Anne:
"What I want to get out of my college course is some knowledge of the best way of living life and doing the most and best with it." (pg 359)
"That's a lovely idea...living so that you beautify your name, even if it wasn't beautiful to begin with...making it stand in people's thoughts for something so lovely and pleasant that they never thing of it by itself." (pg. 253)
*It has been a secret desire of mine to have one of my friends name a child after me. Because I was such a good person. This is not as vain as it sounds, because a. it makes me try to be a good person so someone will notice and b. ok, so it is mostly vain. But Kiera IS a good name. I just have to live in such a way to make it better so that everyone will have lovely and pleasant thoughts whenever they hear it. :)
Anyways, have a beautiful, romantic, blissfully happy day!