Monday, March 22, 2010
Over the weekend, we dealt with the clean-up from our latest adventure in old home ownership (and I'm not saying who or which is the owner or the owned). We painted the dining room ceiling, and set about Spring Cleaning the entire house, which was covered in a fine layer of white plaster dust. In fact, I will be continuing the job today, though the worst is done.
In my evening reading-for-pleasure, I have been reading Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell. I had enjoyed it on Masterpiece Theatre, so decided to read it. (I enjoyed the book as much, or more!) At the end of the volume, there are a few letters and essays by Ms. Gaskell. I'd like to share a portion of one of the letters with you:
"One thing is pretty clear, Women, must give up living an artist's life, if home duties are to be paramount. It is different with men, whose home duties are so small a part of their life. However we are talking of women. I am sure it is healthy for them to have the refuge of the hidden world of Art to shelter themselves in when too much pressed upon by daily small Lilliputian arrows of peddling cares; it keeps them from being morbid as you say; and takes them into the land where King Arthur lies hidden, and soothes them with its peace. I have felt this in writing, I see others feel it in music, you in painting, so assuredly a blending of the two is desirable. (Home duties and the development of the Individual I mean), which you will say it takes no Solomon to tell you but the difficulty is where and when to make one set of duties subserve and give place to the other. I have no doubt that the cultivation of each tends to keep the other in a healthy state, - ..."
Elizabeth Gaskell, February 1850
So I am, for a few days now, being 'pressed upon by daily small Lilliputian arrows of peddling cares' - which is a phrase I love and must now use often in daily conversation! But I will try to get some weaving, some escape into 'the land where King Arthur lies hidden' in my day, as well.
ps. While dealing with the 'Lilliputian arrows' of domestic duty, I decided I will probably title the hallway painting, "Winter's Last Light" because I painted it on the last official day of winter. Thanks for all your input!