Breaking Sorrow 

 

She sat, her legs tucked under her, wrapping her cream-coloured cashmere blanket tightly about her. The trees branched over her, dark in the shadows, but glinting white with frost when a beam of moonlight fell from behind the many enclosing clouds. Tears, inside which seemed to lie worlds – worlds of silver and dark reflected from the real world, but looking different when they lay in those tiny shining drops, fell from behind her closed eye-lids, pale as the frost. Her hair fell in soft waves of shadow about her shoulders and trailed down her back. She sobbed – quietly, but audibly because of the softness all about. She idly picked up a pebble from the ground, and threw it, bitterly, into the pond or small lake the banks of which she was sitting upon. The surface of the water was stilled by shining ice, cold and brittle as the girl’s heart – it cracked into pieces, with a sharp sound that echoed round the clearing and came back to her again. ‘Good, you are broken.’ said the girl ‘Like me.’ she added, softly, lying her head upon the ground with the shivers running through her and looking up at the sky. Clouds hid the moon, and most of the stars likewise – the sky was an abyss of darkness – rarely broken up by any beam of light. She closed her eyes once more, and once more, cried.

The girl awoke to a peculiar yet familiar feeling of – happiness. She opened her eyes – the sunlight was dancing on a surface of  water rippled by a gentle breeze. The air was chill and bracing, but clear. A swan, with soft, pure plumage of a far happier white than the night’s silver frost, by now all gone from the trees, glowed in the brightness. Brightness. Brightness was all around, it filled her soul, her heart – nature’s beauty, nature’s joy – it can put happiness into those most forlorn, most forgotten. She looked about her at the dancing sunlight, at the few pale green leaves that had come on the bare branches of the trees, through which the light shined like stain glass. She had sensed it was the right thing to do, to go out on that night, and to stay there till morning. She was proved right. 

 

 

 

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Random writing inspired by pre-Raphaelite paintings

Other bloggers I’ve noticed do this thing of getting random photos off Pinintrest  and writing about them. I love the  idea but have two reasons for not being able to do exactly that – one is that I have no idea how to use Pinintrest  – two, that it is illegal to use other people’s photos. But I have always loved paintings, and felt inspired by them, and I have   e decided to do the same as them but using paintings instead of photographs. I may start to do this all the time and use all sorts of paintings – but this first day I am using pre-raphaelites – there are so many of them and they have inspired me since I was very young. You will find a lot of these ones are John William Waterhouse – and I know the real story behind almost all of them. 

 

Listening

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She laid her head against the crack in the plaster, and listened. Her dark, sleek hair, tied into a silken bunch, was pushed to one side – the lines about her mouth spoke hatred – her brows were drawn together in a slow frown, a realisation, half an acceptance and half a resistance, of sorrow – and all was contorted with regret, bitterness. She averted those eyes, full of a dark flame, which hitherto had been fixed upon the crack – and glanced with coldness, with disbelief, with incredulous bitterness, at a necklace, all freshwater pearls, with little silver balls and pieces of lapis-lazuli between, hanging upon the door. Something in her gaze, her posture, shrunk away. From love? From a knowledge of what she did not want to have a knowledge of? She was intent – unable to draw herself away from the crack. There was determination in her face – in her chin that was slightly put forward – and yet there was hopelessness.

 

A Blue Glass Bowl

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She looked at him, as she raised the bowl to her lips – her gaze pointed and serious – Really? Should I do this? Remember this moment – are you sure we want to go through with this? He nodded slowly. Once more she raised the glass dish – once more she gazed into his face, questioning. Do your realise what we are doing? 

‘I realise,’ he replied – out-loud, unlike her – she had spoken with looks. She glanced at the sea out of the large, rounded window beside her – as though asking the waves what to do. They rolled on, steady, the first like the next. She glanced at the wood of the window pane – it was steady also, and still – of course, it was wood. She glanced down at the liquid in the bowl – it was clear as crystal – from it, unlike from the waves, unlike from the wood, came an opinion. There is was, so clear, so tempting, calling her. She sipped.

 

Wilted

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It was twilight. The last rays of the sun fell dim and golden about – the shadows in the trees were growing darker. Light and shadow made the scene.

In a clearing in the forest, one birch tree shot up, silvery, from a ground scattered with the bright faces of flowers. Beside the birch was a girl. She was dressed in robes as white as the moon, which rose now, thin and fragile looking, for as yet day remained and it had not yet earned full shimmering power over the forest. Her feet were bare upon the flowery turf – a trail of ragged brown hair once soft, hung down her back, and her head was wreathed with a wilted crown of leaves. Her hands were tied tightly to the lower half of the tree, forcing her to bend uncomfortably low. Her eyes were shut – it was as if she wanted to shun the last rays of sunlight, and the brightness of the flowers below – because for her they held no pleasure – for her, a dim veil seemed to hang over all, and to see them there, glinting faintly from behind the darkness, bright and smiling for others to see, but offering no comfort for her, made them seem mocking – and she shut them out. There was suffering in her face – not suffering from the hurting tightness of the chains, nor from the un-comfort of bending low, but from inside. And yet, she seemed resigned to that suffering, as the sun was resigned to its fate of drawing back every night to shadow – and she trusted, not to hope, for hope, like white figures in the distance, had left her – but to sorrow, and put herself in his hands.

Regal Haughtiness

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All turned to the lady. She was standing, richly dressed, in the darkest corner of the room – she stepped forward now. A light smile – more like a mere hint that she was smiling in the inside, than a real smile on the outside, hung about her faintly pouted lips, red as pomegranate jewels. Her eyebrows, light gold as the hair that hung, wispy as faint strips of cloud at sunset, were raised above her pale, smooth eyelids, hiding eyes regally and haughtily cast down. The opal fixed on her high forehead by a black silken string glinted tauntingly. Her expression seemed to say – now, finally, I am looked at – what will they say now? I have not been consulted so far, though all of what they have said depends on me. It is now that my turn to have some power comes. But I will not speak – they may be in suspense a moment longer – t’will do them good. 

‘My Lady -‘ she turned toward him, revealing blue eyes savoured at this moment with a sharpness.

‘Yes,’

‘What do you say?’

The hinting of enjoyment about the corners of her mouth widened. ‘Yes, you are wanting to know that, aren’t you. And I will tell you, by and by.’

The Letter 26eba848dcffcd4236dd993eaa8a923a.jpg

A small voice called – she looked round. In a little brick alcove, sparsely grown with ivy, stood a little girl. She was dressed in a frilled frock covered with tiny rosebuds, and she had curls as bright as the sun and blue eyes. She was wearing a necklace of pale green stones; round her face and her frizzy gold curls was an overly large dairymaid’s bonnet. She held a letter in her hand.

‘Please m’am, here is a letter for you.’ Her blue eyes were trusting and expectant.

The tall girl took the letter out of her hand, and looked it over.

‘For you,’ said the girl ‘read it.’

‘Who sent it? My mother.’

‘I see. Have you anything sharp about you?’

The little girl took off her green glass bead necklace, and handed it to the taller girl.

‘It fastens with a hook,’. The girl stripped the envelope open, and took out the contents. The little one stood on tiptoe in her brown boots to read it. The taller girl nodded, and then took her hand.

‘Come along then.’

 

Cold Glass      72ee88ed72111e3d319f4df0f0fda231

The marble floors were cool beneath her bare feet as she walked down, and the pattern of black and white made her head spin slightly. She moved along softly and noiselessly, through the half light of the hall, and dropped down before the great shiny mirror that stood there, her soft white silks spreading on the floor, showing up snowy against the white check parts of the tiling – and she had thought a moment ago nothing could be whiter than that. Throwing back her head, she ran her fingers through the sweep of ebony black hair that hung down her back, glinting even in that dimness. The air was perfectly still; the only sounds or breaths of breeze were caused by her skirts – but they was icy sounds, icy movements, like the floor, like the cold smooth glass of the mirror. She looked at her reflection; a face of fair skin, with dark eyes beautiful behind half-closed lids, and she sighed, remembering one day. A tear glistened on her cheek – she made no attempt to brush it away, and it fell warm and wet upon her skirts, and she felt glad of its melting warmness. She looked harder at the reflection – one seeing it without knowledge of what it had seen – and endured – would have thought it fair – thought, like her one day, that the owner of it would live to have a true love, one who, perhaps, when lured by her beauty, would notice elegancies of mind also, and for this reason their love would be true. But that reflection would be deceiving them – as it had deceived her so many times.

 

Sea Spray

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She stood, and the wind whirled her dusk blue skirts, shaggy as the waves ahead of her, sending them whipping, wet with spray, against her – her hair red as timber twirled round her head and blew over her face, and she peeped out from between the strands and watched the green-blue waves smash themselves against the sharp cliffs of rock, bringing a great ship with them. She half feared for a moment that the wetness on her face was tears – she could not, would not weep for him – but it was sea spray only, and she gathered her skirts about her and stood shivering against the gail, watching the ship break to pieces in the ragged torrent of waves and sea. ‘Yes, break it,’ she whispered, and felt calm – calm and ready to watch – calmer than the waves, though her heart broke inside her even as they broke against the beach and the rocks – even as the ship splintered in the water. The sea came up and drenched her leather slippers – she pulled them off and stood barefoot on the stones, some rounded, others deadly sharp. ‘I will not shed a tear for him,’ she told herself. A piece of timber washed up on the beach beside her – she grabbed it, and breaking off a piece, enclosed it in the leather purse at her waist. Then, she began to walk out – out into the lashing, thrashing water, boiling with spray and foam, and her skirts were drenched with the straggly slashes of rain and sea. She walked on till she was near the sinking ship, and she called through the noise of the gale. A man steering looked down at her through the spray – and she looked at him, a meaning glance, as the waves crashed down over her. Then the tears fell – and fast.

 

The Taste of Primroses

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He thought back to the days when she had been a young, flower-decked girl, coming with the others to laugh and sing and worship the gods in the forest clearings. He remembered the day he met her – on just one of those rampages with the other girls – he had come with  them being new to the town and wishing to get to know some of the girls.

She turned her fair, blooming face toward him, putting her hands to her head almost protectively, and fingering her soft, thick dark hair adorned with poppies, and the eyes green as the shaded olive leaves of the forest looked seriously and questioningly – a little nervously – into his. She was wearing a loose purple garment that enhanced the faint, delicate pinkness of her cheeks – the expression of her mouth was frail, graceful, quavering; sweet – like the taste of the primroses that grew by the stream. Her voice was like that too. So faint and delicate and sweet.

And now? Where was she now – who was she now? What now were her feelings toward him? He knew the answer to that question – but he would speak it, not even in his own mind – it was too painful a knowledge to be acknowledged as a knowledge – he could not bear to think it. How soft a young creature she had been then – incapable of any hard feelings. And so she might have been still – had not – he slammed his hand onto the table and sighed.

 

Empty

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One by one they came – one by one the golden vases were emptied. Each time, the bearer felt as though her soul was emptied. There were girls in muslins the colour of sea depths – others wore garments of the colour of the olive leaves – others wore mulberry red – some were red haired, other dark haired or gold haired – but yet, all felt the same as the clear water felt into the pot. Then they walked away, carrying the vases upon their heads or shoulders, or in their hands – silent, excepting what must come, and would come.

Till the last approached. She had auburn hair tied loosely up behind her head, and she wore a cloth the colour of woody shadows, hanging gracefully in loose waves about her. She came to the edge of the pot, holding the golden jar ready for pouring – and then, something in her face changed – and she lowered the pot and set it, steadily, upon the floor. The other girls gazed at her, astounded.

‘Desdemona – aren’t you going to put in your share?’

‘No,’ the girl replied, simply. ‘And you are not going to put in yours either,’ seizing the other girl’s water container and pouring the content onto the floor.

‘Desdemona!’

‘Yes.’

‘Why? You know we all have to,’.

‘Why do we have to? Look at that fearful face – those gaping jaws, and through them the water flows, down, down. And likewise will flow your courage, your self-respect. Will you let it happen?’

‘It has to happen.’

Wildflowers

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She was the daughter of the meadow and the countryside. Her hair was the sunlight that streams through the trees, and the darker patches were of the shadows in the forest, and of that substance also were her eyes – dark and flashing as the river waters. Her skin was of the wild roses that tangled her skirts. Her lips were the rose hips that come afterward upon the prickling briar. She was born of nature and she lived by nature. She cared for nobody but the wild animal and the rambling plants. To others she was heartless – she had no heart but what she found in the wild grass of the plains and the soil of the forest. But she was honey sweet as those wild roses – and she had an edge as sharp as the thorns growing upon them.

Guarding her Own

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There she will sit ’till time and time are done’ and there the waves will lap, softly, drawing back to leave the pebbles glistening and shining like unearthly jewels. There ever will she sit, looking out with sea blue eyes tinged with a faint longing, through the smoothed archways in the rock, toward the horizon. The she will sit, guarding what is her own. There she will sit, a’coming of her long, sea-smooth red hair, and singing, with a sound like the whispering waves, and the pebbles, drawn back, and flung, with a sound of thousands, of millions, of eternities. And she wraps it about her – that of the many changing colours of the sea, that that shimmers like the pebbles, and like what is in the silver bowl that she guards for her own – down there, she sits.

Sympathy

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She sits there, upon the harsh rock, because it is what They always expected her to do. She plucks the harpstrings because it is what They always wanted her to do. And ever since she was pearl and coral, lying at the bottom of the ocean, Their wish has been her command. She is one of Them now – and cannot escape, has never wanted to escape. She is a Siren – must be a Siren – alway has been a Siren. She cannot escape now.

She saw the ship smash against the rocks and sink, slowly – what was left of it. And she saw him fall, splashing and tossing into the waves, and come toward her. Still she plucked, and she had always been taught to do – until he grasped the rock, and looked up, hollow eyed, pleading and desperate into her face. He did not know who she was – but he saw her, and knew it was she who had wrecked his companion and the only thing that bore him on and gave him life. And he knew, too, that she could save him, by only reaching out one slender hand, white as sea froth, and pulling him up – and he asked her with his eyes, pleaded with her. She looked down at him, and tasted, as she did so, something she had never tasted before – and she felt as though her heartstrings – something she had never known she had before, would be plucked if she plucked the instrument any more – so she set it to rest on the rock, and gazed down, bewildered, sympathetic. Sympathy did not belong to a Siren, and she could not bear it. She shook her head – she could not. They did not want her to.

(Note: 

The background with the arch in the rock is the same in this picture as in the one before. That is interesting – perhaps it was a real spot which the artist was fond of painting.)

 

Tell me whether you think posts like this should become a regular thing!

 

 

The Land Of Evening

Land of Evening

=                                        When skies are pearly 

You can see it in Spring and early Summer, just a little before twilight, when the rich forget-me-not blue of the sky has paled to pearliness, tinted with a faded silver-blue like Athene’s eyes. Then the tops of the trees are dyed rich golden by the departing sun; then the horizon is a faint, tender peach colour, and the full moon comes out, a pale, fragile disk, half covered by whisps of pink cloud. Beyond that peach horizon, lies the Evening Land. It is a land of mist and dreams; a land you can neither see nor touch, only feel inside yourself – a land open to all who really want to go there. A land where there is no day, no night, only imagination and slow dreaminess – every moment is like a cloud floating by. It is part of a larger land – a larger experience, and everybody has their own way of getting there. For me, I  reach it by lying upon the grass, watching the Copper Beech branches wave above me, or I stand at the foot of the great tree, and my soul climbes it like a staircase – yes, the beech  is my bridge across – across whahat is for some an abyss – for others, nothing.

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Magic Times Page/My Birthday Morning

I just wanted to say that I added a new part of writing to my ‘magic times I will never forget’ page – which I just recently added to the blog. If none of you have noticed it there, I would love it if you would have a look – though most of it is taken from other posts so you may have read what is in it already. I have copied in the new writing I added – about my birthday morning last year – or the year before that? – below.

Path Through The Snowy Trees

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She turned the door handle slowly – glancing with eyes full of exited expectation at the smiling face of her mother, who stood beside her – and peeked in with a beating heart. She could see nothing from where she then stood – she tiptoed in, shuddering with excitement, seeming almost afraid of the happiness she was sure was coming. She then glanced toward the corner – her hands, clenched into fists, flew to her face – a motion that seemed to suggest the attempted containment of unbearable excitement – and she gasped joyously.

Smoothed onto the wall were static sheets depicting a snowy path, edged with the black trunks of trees, fading into the distance. She felt as she looked at it that she was really there, walking down that forest path. But placed in from of it was the wonder – a small, elegant little table she had seen often about the house – but it was loaded with a high pile of prettily wrapped presents, and draped with different sorts of strings of fairy lights, some decorated with dragonflies, others with roses and others with leaf skeletons. And as well as the lights, strings of fresh greenery trailed over the presents. Both lights and leaves were hanging down from another string of lights, fastened in some way from above – and the whole pile glowed in the dim room as her heart glowed with grateful joy. All together it formed a magical, otherworldly spectacle – and she felt as if, in the middle of that cold snow wood, she had suddenly stumbled upon it.

 

 

 

Quote of the Day – Day 3

“I am compliance itself—when I am not thwarted;—no one more easily led—when I have my own way.”

Sir Anthony Absolute – The Rivals

 

Very much like me – even closer in resemblance to my little brother – and very funny – I thought this quote was interestingly different from my romantic first two.

 

Tagging

Megan

Samantha

Alyssa

Quote of the Day – Day 2

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From Maud, by Alfred Tennyson, one of my favourite poets. There are other bits of that poem just lovely too, especially one part mentioning ‘a daffodil sky’.

This would have been much better if I had figured out how to put a misty square in the middle to make the words show up – but I don’t know how to do that yet. In case it is not legible, I have included the quote again below.

“From the meadow your walks have left so sweet,

That whenever a March wind sighs,

He sets the jewelled print of your feet,

In violets blue as your eyes,

To the woody hollows in which we meet,

And the valleys of Paradise.”

 

Aria

Emma

Cinderzena

A Moonlight Swim


Silver Surfaced

Sea below – a great, wide mirror, surface glazed with shimmering silver – still – crisp – silent. Sky above – a great, wide veil – soft – dark – blank. Magic drifted over those silver-surfaced waters – savouring the atmosphere – filling our souls. I came to the edge of the pale sands and stood in the crystal water – shivers of icy coldness rushing through me. Then I shut my eyes and sunk effortlessly into the still silver coldness of the sea. There was another splash as my mother and brother joined me – the mirror broke – shining silver ripples spreading around us. The water was clearer and more colourless, save for the surface of moonlight, than I have ever seen it before – the many coloured pebbles shone through, glinting in the wet like precious stones. I grasped my mother’s hand and we swam together – the feeling of swimming through that mesh of moonlight and crystal was indescribably calming – and yet it was bracing too – and energising – and when I arose at last out of the chilling beauty of the water I felt fresh, and ready for something – I knew not what.

And I made sure that those special moments of magic should never leave my memory.

This really happened – it was when we were on our holiday in Spain – I will maybe be posting a few more things about days on that holiday – it was lovely.

Quote of the day – day 1

I was tagged by Janie of Daily Delights for this – I don’t really know fully what this tagging thing is, but apparently the rules for this one are that I have to post a quote a day for three days, and each time choose three people to do this after me (nominating).

Here is my first quote

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I am quite proud of the way I designed it. It is from Tess of the d’Urbervilles – a great book but very sad. Read my essay on it Here. I had a vague idea when I designed it that the picture was supposed to be the Vale of Blackmoore, (which she is looking at when the quote comes in) or somewhere else around their – but it probably looks nothing like Hardy country. (It is actually taken from the moor around Lud’s Church – a post about which I am at present working on.) Also I was sort of thinking she might be looking at it through tears – hence the blurriness – but mostly it is all just random.

Oops – I spelled ‘beauty’ wrong.

Here’s another – the typo is corrected – also I made a few other alterations and left out the rounded corners. Which one do you like better?

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Oh, and I nominate

Misty

Clara

Simi 

Two-hundredth Anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s Birthday

Today is the two-hundredth anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s birthday!

She was an incredible author – her book Jane Eyre impresses itself upon a reader’s heart and remains there – it excites powerful,  unexplainable, and in some cases unidentifiable emotions – it fills heart and soul with feeling – and the author who created it must have possessed an incredible gift – so honour her today, and think on the wonder of what she created.

I have written an article – or rather, as I have no real argument, but rather a few little ones, a piece of writing containing my thoughts – on Jane Eyre in honour of the occasion. It is very long, however – too long for anybody to read in one sitting – and for me to finish today. So I will publish it in parts from this day onwards – starting with her childhood.

Note: (in the following parts of this the plot will be given away – so do not read unless you have read the book. Besides, if you have not, you ought to be reading it right now straight away, and not wasting time reading anything else!)

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Of these death-white realms I formed an idea of my own: shadowy, like all the half-comprehended notions that float dim through children’s brains, but strangely impressive. The words in these introductory pages connected themselves with the succeeding vignettes, and gave significance to the rock standing up alone in a sea of billow and spray; to the broken boat stranded on a desolate coast; to the cold and ghastly moon glancing through bars of cloud at a wreck just sinking.

I cannot tell what sentiment haunted the quite solitary churchyard, with its inscribed headstone; its gate, its two trees, its low horizon, girdled by a broken wall, and its newly-risen crescent, attesting the hour of eventide.

The two ships becalmed on a torpid sea, I believed to be marine phantoms.

The fiend pinning down the thief’s pack behind him, I passed over quickly: it was an object of terror.

So was the black horned thing seated aloof on a rock, surveying a distant crowd surrounding a gallows.

How very strongly is the coldness, the emptiness, the loneliness of her feelings conveyed in the manner with which she finds sympathy with the broken and the lonely objects in the pictures, ‘the cold and ghastly moon glancing through bars of cloud at a wreck just sinking’. She feels like the ‘broken boat, stranded on a desolate coast’ and like the rock, ‘standing up alone in a sea of billow and spray’. ‘Of these death-white realms I formed an idea of my own’. The ‘ghastly moon glancing through bars of cloud’ is intresting. The metephor ‘bars of cloud’ makes one think of prison bars – could the moon be in some way a personification of Mrs Reed – watching Jane’s wreck sink, behind, perhaps, the bars of a cruel nature? Or it might be the other half of Jane herself, behind the bars of timidity, of fear. For there is a feeling always that she needs to brake out of something. This might explain the feeling of most incredible relief, like the lifting of a heavy weight, when, a little later in the book, Jane expresses her hatred for Mrs Reed.

“…I had been trodden on severely, and must turn: but how?…I gathered my energies and launched them in this blunt sentence –

“I am not deceitful: if I were, I should say I loved you; but I declare I do not love you…”

Mrs. Reed’s hands still lay on her work inactive: her eye of ice continued to dwell freezingly on mine.

“What more have you to say?” she asked, rather in the tone in which a person might address an opponent of adult age than such as is ordinarily used to a child…Shaking from head to foot, thrilled with ungovernable excitement, I continued –

“I am glad you are no relation of mine: I will never call you aunt again as long as I live. I will never come to see you when I am grown up; and if any one asks me how I liked you, and how you treated me, I will say the very thought of you makes me sick, and that you treated me with miserable cruelty.”

“How dare you affirm that, Jane Eyre?”

“How dare I, Mrs. Reed? How dare I? Because it is the truth. You think I have no feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness; but I cannot live so: and you have no pity. I shall remember how you thrust me back—roughly and violently thrust me back — into the red-room, and locked me up there, to my dying day; though I was in agony; though I cried out, while suffocating with distress, ‘Have mercy! Have mercy, Aunt Reed!’ And that punishment you made me suffer because your wicked boy struck me—knocked me down for nothing. I will tell anybody who asks me questions, this exact tale. People think you a good woman, but you are bad, hard- hearted. You are deceitful!”

Is there not, in these lines, a wild joy of relief and revenge? You want to cheer her on. She expresses herself the feeling of it –

“Ere I had finished this reply, my soul began to expand, to exult, with the strangest sense of freedom, of triumph, I ever felt. It seemed as if an invisible bond had burst, and that I had struggled out into unhoped-for liberty”

With Jane in this state of relieved triumph I will leave this section of the book – say a few words on her eight years at Lowood school, and then pass on to Thornfield.

The part of about Lowood may be slightly – or more than slightly – autobiographical. As a child she endured the hardships of a school much like Lowood – and two of her sisters died there. This may have been what gave the scene of Helen Burn’s death such tragedy – Charlotte knew what it was like.

I must move on – though I could write a novel’s worth about each part of this wonderful book, I have only so much time. The rest, however, will be saved for tomorrow – or for in a few days.

 

 

 

Cloaked in Diamonds

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She woke early – as soon as the first rays of silvery morning light began peep through the curtains and fill the room. It was the morning of the first day of May – and Armida had resolved yesterday to wake early, and bathe her face in the dew, gaining beauty for the coming year. It was not so much because she was vain that Armida did this every May Morning – but because the idea that those beautiful, shimmering, glistening drops bring beauty appealed to her – and because she wanted an excuse to wake up early and enjoy the beauties of the young day alone.

She slid open the window – it creaked – but nobody woke up. She shut her eyes, and dropped herself down, onto cool, wet grass. A chill of cold ran through her – and as she slowly opened her eyes, another of wonder.

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Silvery in the cool half light of the morning, and cloaked in glistening dew as a fair lady might be cloaked in diamonds, the trees and bushes stood. Like a silver glaze when seen from a distance, and like tiny, shimmering, crystal clear orbs close up, the droplets of morning dew were fair beyond the most precious jewels.

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They hung, trapped, in the faint spiders webs – they settled, large and clear, in the petals of a few white crocuses which had lasted a little longer than usual, standing in clutches about the shimmering ground – they meshed in the long grasses that rose, waving, to one side.

Armida’s mouth, the only brightly coloured thing in this world of silver, was parted slightly in amazement as, half soaking her white nightgown with the diamond-like drops, she pushed her way through the clump of trees that shrouded the lake.

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Silver stood the water – and still – save for the occasional clear ripple breaking the glassy reflections for a moment or two.

‘It is – so lovely,’ breathed Armida, to the trees and water. ‘It is such a pity, though, that this moment with so soon fly by – for I may never experience it again. Certainly I shall not. Even if I did see another morning as beautiful as this – which I almost certainly shall not – I will be changed by then, and so it will be changed.’

‘I might take a photograph – but even should I manage to capture the beauty in it, I should never capture the feeling. And it will not be the same without the feeling! It is odd to think that some people in the world have minds like photographs. They might see this wonderful lake and trees – and view it only as a pretty picture – the wonder of the scene might not find its way into their emotions at all.’

‘But I think I will take a photo; anyhow, it is better than nothing. It will – hopefully – capture the outer beauty at least, and it will remind me of how I felt at the time.’ And she ran back to the window to fetch her silver camera.

‘I can almost see Odette – gliding, a snowy swan, or a silver swan even, over the waters. I think that I will dip my face in the lake water, as well as in the dew. I am sure that must make you beautiful too – or make something good happen. I am just sure of it.’

She dipped her face into the silver waters – and let out a little cry as she felt the iciness of it. But she was certain it had done her good – she felt the goodness spreading through already.

Later, Armida sat in her room with the warm light of mid-day flooding in, admiring her photographs. It was when she came to the last of them that she saw, gliding along the water, the faint, ghostly, silvery outline of a swan – with a silver crown that glinted like the dew upon its head.

‘Why, it must have been a special photograph. It did capture what I was thinking, for there, upon the lake, is one of my thoughts! I suppose the morning made them too strong to be put aside.’

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See what I wrote for the first challenge Here

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