Saturday, January 15

The Shell Seekers

by Rosamunde Pilcher

I read this when it first came out in introduced me to Agas and scrubbed pine kitchen tables and so many other things that we are fortunate enough to see often now in British magazines and movies. But it was rarer back then.

It was very, very good....tho' not as good as her later books, I think. I marked just a very few passages this reading:

"You couldn't say "I can't bear it" because if you didn't bear it, the only other thing to do was to stop the world and get off, and there did not seem to be any practical way to do this. To fill the void and occupy her hands and mind, she did what women, under stress and in times of anxiety, have been doing for centuries: immersed herself in domesticity and family life. Physical activity proved a mundane but comforting therapy. She cleaned the house from attic to cellar, washed blankets, dug the garden. It did not stop her from wanting Richard, but at least, at the end of it, she had a shining, sweet-smelling house and two rows of freshly planted young cabbages."

"I lived with sadness for so long. And a loneliness that nothing and no one could assuage. But, over the years, I came to terms with what had happened. I learned to live within myself, to grow flowers, to watch my children grow, to look at painting and listen to music. The gentle powers. They are quite amazingly sustaining."

The gentle powers...isn't that thought-provoking? There is a book or a blog or something that might be made of that idea...when the time is right.

And lastly...

September has come, it is here

Whose vitality leaps in the autumn,

Whose nature prefers

Trees without leaves and a fire in the fireplace.

So I gave her this month and the next

Though the whole of my year should be hers who has

rendered already

so many of its days intolerable or perplexed

But so many more so happy.

Who has left a scent on my life, and left my walls

Dancing over and over with her shadow

Whose hair is twined in all my waterfalls

And all of London littered with remembered kisses.

-Louis MacNeice

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