Elinor Knows Best

Today I am pruning my unruly branches.
The impetuous girl inside of me is like a wild vine.
A romantic vine.

She is young and foolhardy.
And I don’t love her.

She is,
Zest of the orange,
Spice in the chili,
The zing on your tongue from a soft drink,
And a facet of my personality that I struggle with, even though I know her joy is necessary to some personalities in my group of friends.

She is Marianne Dashwood from Austen’s _Sense and Sensibility_;

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So excited about new adventures,
Running forward without a map,
though the road be twisty and turny.

But she can overlook true goodness in the face of excitement.

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Calm Waters...

I don’t like that about her.
Yet I love her even still,
Because I am her.

Sweet punishing ambivalence.
To enjoy the playfulness of exuberance even while being so powerfully -and unhappily- aware of its acompanying flaws.

I prefer the temperate nature of Elinor.
Sweet, sedate, cautious, patient, Elinor.

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I will be calm. I will be mistress of myself.

Elinor who held her words in.
Elinor who loved in action, always.
Elinor who suffered silently when her love was simultaneously desired and denied by the same man.

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Edward: Your friendship has been the most important of my life. Elinor: You will always have it.

She embraced her situation,
Embraced her lot,
Facing moments, every day, with strength and a smile and resolve that held the Dashwood household together when cruel fate, and worse – cruel people, threatened to unravel every strand of their bond.

I admire quiet strength.
I strive to develop Elinor-like tendencies even as I tweak off the stubborn twigs of Marianne’s impetuous nature which grow inside of me, without my consent.

When Willoughby’s love was denied…
Marianne allowed her broken heart to take her to the brink of death.
She allowed emotion to dictate reason,
which is never a good idea.

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Love is not love, which alters when it alteration finds...

She was fortunate.
There was a love that resided in one whose affection was so deep, so faithful, so selfless  that when she was discovered missing, it drove him out to find her.
To carry her miles, in the rain,
To save her.

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There is nothing lost, that cannot be found, if sought.

The two natures of Elinor and Marianne are displayed on the novel’s pages and silver screen as examples to us all.

I confess, it is easier to be led by the passion and zeal of Marianne,
But the practical nature of Elinor rises up within me to gently take her place.
Therein is my ability to love my self, even as both natures struggle for dominance.
I know that Elinor will always win.

Knowing this, I live each day with secret hope.

I am aware of the good man in my small universe,
The deep and quiet waters of him.

He did not escape my attention, for his serenity is a beacon of light in every dark hour and spending time breathing the air of his gentle nature is, I think, the closest thing to heaven on this earth.

To be near a calming presence is, I say with conviction,  one of the greatest blessings of life.
It is life.

Patience, dear heart.
True Love, Real Love, Lasting Love is sometimes long in coming.
But it is always worth waiting for.

Let Marianne have a bit of fun,
But do not let her make the final decisions.

Elinor knows best.

-Leah

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