Sunday, August 14, 2011
You are my equal and my likeness.
It took me a long time to read Jane Eyre the first time around but by the time I was finished, I felt changed somehow by the story, because despite the things I didn't like about her, I was like Jane in ways I couldn't yet properly comprehend. And then when I was eighteen I walked away from the only home I'd ever known because I felt, strangely, that I deserved more. And I ended up alone in a farmhouse in Canada, in a room without a curtain or a light and woke up before dawn when I had no idea what to expect for the coming day. So I wandered downstairs, barefoot, out onto the wraparound porch. I crept round to the back of the house and sat with my knees pulled up to my chin and looked out at the sun rise over the lake that preceded the horizon, among a landscape I'd never known before. I waited down there for an hour, watching to see what this new place was all about. Scared and exhilarated. I imagine that kind of feeling is only allowed once.
Anyway, I went to see the new adaptation today and it was lovely and heartbreaking and reminded me, as always, of all the reasons it's sometimes important to run away for the right reasons. And those horrible moments when somebody asks you why you don't believe that they love you and you have to admit it's because you feel unworthy. The times when all you have to sustain you is a love you can't touch, work that will never properly reward you, and people that do nothing but mildly ease numbness.
Except it's all Christian and idealistic and uncompromising and other things one should probably take with a grain of salt. But when you identify with something- and really, a love for pretty words is all I have- you have to revel in that, I think. Because otherwise we just feel alone and ungrateful for being adrift in a world that'll always be a little alien, long after we stop being sheltered and unsure of what we think. Jane was right about what she needed to do, ultimately. I think I am too.