Thursday, December 12, 2013

About today... and other days... or what about England during the first half of the 1900s

on Tuesday we found a note saying that
a package was waiting for us,
never mind that we were both home
at the time when they were there
delivering the note about the package.
next day I trotted off the post office,
since I had things to mail for Christmas,
including many cards...
We had mailed a box of books, mostly
that I had waiting for me in MI, English major that I was...
we mailed them book rate but insured,
and so they came and was the package waiting for me.
Well, that was a heavy package.
Luckily I was going to go out and buy a new
box of clementines so I had my trusty
red cart with me.
I stayed there taking all the books out,
re-bagging them
and then was on my way home...

when a woman told me that she was watching me
put the books in the cart and said
you should do an ad for that cart
I could not believe you got all those books in there!
It's true and more over because of the cart,
I did not have a sore back from walking a few blocks home.

Well, I have a good sense of how to pack
and utilize space.
The top book is an old used copy of a book
Bloomsbury at Home
that is rather a coffee table like book on
the crowd that Virginia Woolf was in.
I used to collect her letters and journals,
had to read a few of her novels for my undergraduate
in English Lit.
I find it well, fascinating, strange, of note and peculiar
all at once that both
the Inklings and Bloomsbury
were happening nearly at the in time;
perhaps it is not surprising that the Inklings were,
if Wikipedia is correct on it, later
and it seems during the time of WW2.
One of my more,
I guess you would say,
intellectual interests, 
has long been England in the first half of the 1900s.
I don't know that I have written a post on
why feminism failed me
and I am still not sure if I could articulate it all,
but Kathleen Norris' books helped.
Years ago I was quite fascinated and frankly stupidly
deluded by feminism and wrote what now seem
to be the most simplistic papers that were
shallow in reading literature, shamefully so,
at least my read on Tolkien.
Virgina Woolf, no offense to her,
I discovered during that time...
I have long wanted to know why?
Why did so many artists and intellects reject God,
our Loving Saviour, the Church, traditions of the church,
traditional society?
If you know anything about Bloomsbury,
you will know that they were not only non-believers
but ones who took a lot of license in terms of moral behaviour.
Well I talked to Mr. Husband,
who has a good mind for history,
about it.
He said that many try to replace God and the need for
transcendence through licentious behaviour;
I think many it seems replace God by the often appealing idol of
Art and Writing.
It seems also that there was a great deal of epicureanism and
the belief that there is no need to worry about an after life.
I find it really pitiable,
in the old sense of the word,
as in sad, lamentable, needing mercy,
that Virginia Woolf was so hard up against God,
that she had such severe mental struggles / illness,
that while she was with private means and
great connections,
sees things in ways that I find to be most sad.
Yet I don't know what to say to her;
she writes of Christina Rossetti's life
and says it is the first thing / example of
what she would have as a case against God,
how she, Rossetti that is, sacrificed so much, love, her writing,
and at the end had a religious crisis.
Some how this seems to be a bit,
well, not quite seeing things the way I would at any rate.
It makes me think of Jane Kenyon and how
her going to India had shook her;
she was working on a poem that
wrote of a possible religious crisis,
a poem that she did not finish nor wanted published,
but published it was.
Jane, if you did not know,
suffered from severe depression and wrote many poems about it.
She also wrote of God and at times her poems has
such a depth because you know she fought
melancholy of a deep sort
and yet she had and came to faith in Christ.
That Jane suffered, that she struggled,
even that she was shook by India and the poverty,
does not to me seem to be something that
I would say is an example of a case
against God.
No, something would not be understood then.
The suffering of Christ,
the patience of Christ,
the love of Christ;
did He not know every suffering and temptation known to man?
Does Christ not dwell with us
deep, invisible often but really, solidly, with us,
when we can't sense Him or His Presence.
To say suffering is a case against God,
well, it's a very used one, often that is,
but it seems short-sighted.
Now that Virginia Woolf has a case
against God, well,
that is nothing new in itself,
and really in some form at least,
she seems to say that suffering is the reason
she is against God or of the idea of His existence,
at least in that early journal of hers in 1918.
Sometimes I think, since I am short on bookshelf space,
that I should just give away all my books
on Virginia Woolf and the others.
But yet I have this desire to understand history,
a history of letters in that I am often drawn
to reading non fiction letters of all sorts
and am quite taken by the time period before, during and after
the two Great Wars.
Any comments on this topic or on books and when to keep,
what it means to keep them or not...
quite welcomed.
About this week, these days.
I am buried in card writing, package taping,
emails and ink.
But I put out the lovely table runner yesterday.

The day before that I baked.

I hope to bake again if I can get the cards done.

I am working on a wash cloth,
a knitted scarf and still have to finish the slippers.
I am still waiting to see what is going to come
in the mail every day...


October Rose said...

English major that I was (and graduate student too), I too have many books that I've wondered if I should get rid of. Some of them I have. I especially don't like the idea of having certain books on our shelves that, once my children are old enough to pull books off and start reading on their own, I will have to say "No, not that one," at least not yet.

If it were me, I think I would keep Virginia Woolf, unless you *really* want more shelf space for books you would rather own. I don't have any profound thoughts as to why, at least not that I am able to put into words. You have made me want to think about it though and maybe I shall try to put it into words sometime soon. :)

elizabeth said...

Thanks O. Rose ~ Yes. It is a real question and not easy to answer...

Well, I ended up just putting the books in the closet for now... to think about again later...

would love to hear more of your thoughts! :)

Maureen E said...

Hmmm, I have not read Virginia Woolf, but I do have thoughts about Rossetti. Namely, that to take her as a normal example of Christianity is dubious. I love her poetry a LOT, but I think she went quite a bit overboard in her sense of sacrifice. Of course sometimes God does call people to extraordinary sacrifices, but I have the sense that in Rossetti's sense, there was a kind of self-will involved that's not very healthy. The Rossetti family as a whole also had some pretty severe mental health issues, which also gives me pause. Like I said, I love Rossetti's poetry, but even in certain poems (like Monna Innominata) you can see a kind of wilful self-abnegation that strikes me as not truly Christian (at least in the way Orthodoxy would define it).

You've caught me on a subject I've thought quite a bit about--sorry for the huge comment!