Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Having it all

Winchester Cathedral was the first stop on the Saturday morning program field trip.

What's at Winchester Cathedral? Mostly tombs of about a billion bishops. Also some really pretty stained glass.

This one shows the wedding feast at Cana. Do you ever get a biblical passage that keeps popping up in your life? It just shows up all over the place? For me, that's the wedding feast at Cana. This window was like the 1000th reference in the past few months. I'm not sure why.

I also visited a hallowed spot.
Jane Austen's grave. I knelt there in prayer for a little.

Later that day we visited her house.

It is small, simple and lovely. The perfect setting for her intimate domestic stories.

Here is her bedroom. She shared a room with her older sister Cassandra until she died. Their mother slept next door.

Here is her dining room. They had breakfast between 9 and 10 am every day.

After breakfast, Jane sat here and wrote all morning until lunch.

Here is Jane's backyard. Every afternoon she went for long walks with Cassandra.
Imagine spending all morning writing and all afternoon strolling in the English countryside. Imagine having that freedom, and the talent to create beautiful literature with it.

Sometimes I think I have that talent. Surely I know that I love to write, that the world makes sense to me through writing, that I need to record my stories and can't stop unless you cut my hand off and even then I'd keep talking. Sometimes people tell me I am alright at writing too. But alright is not Jane Austen material and if there is one thing I want, it is to write books that change people's lives. Books that mean to some other girl what Jane's books have meant to me. I'm not sure I have the skill but I want to try.

But I'm not sure I can. In spite of all that's been accomplished, women still can't have it all. Someone has got to raise the babies. There's daycare or nannies, but daycare is awful for children's development and I don't want my babies calling some other woman mom. You can't have both a big happy family and an illustrious career. Sometimes I feel as though I have to choose between happiness or greatness and I don't know which to pick.

Happiness vs. greatness... which would you pick?

Things to consider, The Book Girl

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