I spent the other day at Starbucks with my laptop.
It’s one of my favorite things to do: get highly caffeinated, then write.
After finishing a first draft of an essay I’m currently writing on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, I suddenly had the keen urge to read Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre again. Not cover-to-cover; just a few passages.
So I went home, cracked it open, and once again…tears began to flow. Jane’s conversations with Helen Burns are so intense, so lovely, so prayer-like. Charlotte was a genius. She truly was. Then it dawned on me: Why haven’t I read her other books?
A quick trip to Barnes and Noble ensued and I’m now on page 75 of Villette. I’m already feeling a sense of satisfaction (maybe not the level of satisfaction I get when reading Jane Eyre…but close).
…I sat at the fireside sewing. The wind was wailing at the windows: it had wailed all day; but, as night deepened, it took a new tone-an accent keen, piercing, almost articulate to the ear; a plaint, piteous and disconsolate to the nerves, trilled in every gust.
“Oh, hush! hush!” I said in my disturbed mind, dropping my work, and making a vain effort to stop my ears against that subtle, searching cry. I had heard that very voice ere this, and compulsory observation had forced on me a theory as to what it boded. Three times in the course of my life, events had taught me that these storage accents in the storm–this restless, hopeless cry–denote a coming state of the atmosphere unpropitious to life. – Villette
Today, the wind is wailing here in New York as well (weakly, but there’s some minor wailing going on), and I am indoors reading Charlotte’s words.
And, it is well with my soul.
Let it rain!