"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau
I know I said "blog like no one is reading" but it's nice to know these people are
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
“To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - that is to have succeeded.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life seems to be a challenge lately and continuing to believe that what I do everyday is important is harder and harder. Boys constantly bickering and fighting, my continual nagging to make the bed, set the table, do homework, feed the dog ... it goes on and on and there never seems to be anything positive in return. In the end I want them to grow up to be three good men like their father, but not necessarily great. The world is full of too many men whom society judges great but who cheat on their wives, abandon their children and leave a trail of friends behind all for power, money or fame.
So I will continue to lie with my children before they go to sleep, listen to their fears and dreams and put up with their noise and fights, tend my family and my friends and hope that I will in some way have succeeded - at least by Emerson's very fine definition.
I'm in the process of figuring out who I am - mother, wife, daughter, writer, extrovert, hermit. A contradiction in every sense of the word. Maybe it's a cliche or just mid-life, after all it's the journey, not the destination.
What a fascinating way to write about the life and times of the famous silent film star Lousine Brooks. The Chaperone isn't really about Brooks, it is the story of a close to middle-aged woman living in a era when society's moral compass seemed to be swinging wildly from one extreme to the other. Cora Carlilse leaves Witchita, Kansas to chaperone Brooks for the summer in New York City while the not yet discovered starlet attends the Denishawn Dance Academy. Cora leaves behind her husband and her quiet, sheltered life to return to the city where she lived as an orphan at the "Home for Friendless Girls". The author vividly creates the exciting world of New York in the roaring twenties. Juxtaposing the free spiritedness of the flappers with Prohibition. Cora wrestles with her preconceived ideas of what is right and expected of women, trying to protect her young charge from ruining her reputation in the big city. Ironically, it is Cora who risks ruination when she meets a man who helps to change her mind about what she wants from life.