Sometimes I feel solar powered. The sun is out and I bustle happily about, immersing in the movement of energy outside in the yard and in the house. The wild roses are blooming, pink and white, and a multitude of plants are flowering. I prune and bring some of the most delicate inside. Blankets are drying on the deck and all feels fresh. Nectarines rest on a clean tablecloth, crimson and gold, to match the candles waiting for a fiery light.
These days I’m with self-care and kindness that begins with ourselves. A good friend, a cello player in the symphony, is loving and also struggling with the book Middlemarch by George Eliot. I point out that I analyzed it in several college-level classes so it is to receive from the book what comes to her now, and perhaps be less judgmental about traveling through the complexity of the novel.
The book is multi-layered and was written in a different time period when those reading had time to read. They knew the social references that were current.
Periodically my long-time book group re-reads Anna Karenina, surprised at the difference in our response and sympathies as time goes on. When I studied Middlemarch in college, I was told it was like reading the Bible, complex and with many intertwining stories to guide and digest. Middlemarch is a book of humility and non-judgment and the last paragraph is often quoted.
“But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”