Who Else Can You Really Trust?

The Dashwood sisters from the 1995 Ang Lee movie based upon Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility

The Dashwood sisters from the 1995 Ang Lee movie based upon Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility

There was no way that I could have predicted this, but after writing about trust on Monday I discovered on Friday that trust was the theme for Five Minute Friday. Oh, no! What is a girl to do?

Enter my sister from stage right. Actually she entered from the door on the right, but now I have drama on my mind. I don’t remember what she came to tell me. I know it was only a few hours ago, but what she said wasn’t important. What she did set the wheels rolling in my mind. She had a dust mop and she swept the floor of my study while we talked.

After I had shared the trust that dogs have for us. I likened it to the trust we should have for God. I thought that I couldn’t find more to say on the subject of trust in one week. Who can you trust besides God and your dog? Your sister! For those who do not have a sibling that you have always been close to, you will have to think about a dear friend who has been like a brother or sister for you. You can trust a good sister.

In the book, Sense and Sensibility, Marianne and Elinor are close sisters who experience loss, injustice, grief, broken hearts and much more. They are very close friends despite the fact that they respond to the vicissitude of life in very different ways. Siblings teach us that we don’t have to agree with everything someone else thinks in order to love and care for them. Elinor, Marianne and their younger sister Margaret help one another through a period of upheaval because they have learned to trust one another.

My mother always stressed that everyone needs someone that they can trust to always tell them the truth. Sisters we were taught should stand with each other through good and bad times alike. My sister is someone I can trust to tell me the unvarnished truth, even if I don’t want to hear it. She will help me no matter what. She will also sweep my study floor if she is holding a dust mop and talking to me. That is another picture of true trustworthiness in my book, as well as Jane Austen’s.

This post is number nine in the series A Fresh Look @ Simple Things. It is also teaming up with the Five Minute Friday team at Kate Motaung’s. Check out what else is going on by following the links above.

Adventures in Good Books

The (In)Courage writing group that I am a part of has been discussing Annie Dillard’s book, The Writing Life. This week we focus on chapter five. I love this chapter. This is where she discusses the influence of what the writer reads upon their output. I have long felt that it must be true. In my life when I read a lot of poetry. Much poetry pours out into my consciousness. Annie Dillard claims it goes deeper. I think she may be right. Who we become is in part shaped by what we read in quantity. The books I loved and read over and over as a child helped to shape my ideas of the world. Our voice as writers is doubtlessly influenced to some extent by our worldview and the writers we read the most.

As Christians, The Holy Bible becomes the seminal influence in our lives, shaping every aspect of ourselves. Spending time in The Word daily is critical to me. I want the Holy Spirit to be the dominant voice in my life, but I guess Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, John Keats, William Wordsworth, JRR Tolkien, Leo Tolstoy, Ann Voskamp, and yes, Lucy Maud Montgomery have all helped to influence my creative voice.

I think one of the factors that influences our fondness for a book is if they speak “our voice.” It isn’t enough that they write in English. L.M. Montgomery calls them “kindred spirits.” Some authors are just that. You stumble upon their work and somehow it speaks right to your heart; a play of words that arrests you; a poem that makes you feel more deeply alive. They see the world in a way that makes sense to you across miles, centuries, wild imaginings. These authors lead, and you are compelled to follow because you need to know where the story goes.

This week I have been reminded on numerous occasions of a poem I wrote quite a few years ago. I attached to this post with some trepidation. It is old. My sister said it lacked maturity. I’m hesitant to share my poetry because my style is not in fashion. Forgive me, dear reader if it falls flat, but it sums up what has been on my mind all week. “Vicariously, I lived on through the greatest books the world ever knew.”

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Somewhere between the covers of a book
Lies my life when I recall.
It seems I dwelt in paper ink, and all.
Somehow I lived in history
And literature and poetry.

And although no one has written a biography,
My life, it seems, has become a story.
The novel novel of my days
Spent freely though I lacked the ways
Life and money are generally used.

No, I have just meandered along
Never worrying about the throng.
Neither cared I whether my means
Could support all my dreams.

Dreaming them brought it’s own wealth,
Of a sort, and now I have quite a shelf,
A lovely leather bound library
And a volume of poetry
Composed by me.

And this I see when gazing back.
This, and not the common things I lacked.
So if you ask me where I’ve been,
In honesty, I’d have to say
That I have lived a book today.

And all my yesterday’s were such
That I have learned so very much.
Vicariously I lived on through
The greatest books the world ever knew.