Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Today is Lucy Maud Montgomery's birthday. For an overly talkative, freckled, gawky, precocious kid like me, there was no more inspiring heroine than Anne Shirley. Anne began as an overly talkative, freckled, gawky, precocious girl and grew to be a writerly woman who, while not conventionally beautiful, managed to charm the socks off Gilbert Blythe. Sigh. I think I'm going to re-read the series and maybe some of L. M.'s other books over Christmas vacation. I need a good escape from reality.

Also, I can never be grateful enough for my college roommate, Hannah, who owned the Anne of Green Gables movies. We spent many a rainy Sunday holed up in our dorm watching scenes like this:

A few overly flowerly, perfectly Montgomery quotes for the road:

""It was November--the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul."~Anne of Green Gables

"Anne always remembered the silvery, peaceful beauty and fragrant calm of that night. It was the last night before sorrow touched her life; and no life is ever quite the same again when once that cold, sanctifying touch has been laid upon it." ~Anne of Green Gables

"Look at that sea, girls--all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds."~Anne of Green Gables

"It will come sometime. Some beautiful morning she will just wake up and find it is Tomorrow. Not Today but Tomorrow. And then things will happen ... wonderful things." ~Anne of the Island

"She was richer in those dreams than in realities; for things seen pass away, but the things that are unseen are eternal."~Anne of Windy Poplars

These are passages [from letters to G. M. Macmillan] that eternally seal the fact that Lucy Maud was truly a "kindred spirit": 

"[...] I grew up out of that strange, dreamy childhood of mine and went into the world of reality. I met with experiences that bruised my spirit - but they never harmed my ideal world. That was always mine to retreat into at will. I learned that that world and the real world clashed hopelessly and irreconcilably; and I learned to keep them apart so that the former might remain for me unspoiled. I learned to meet other people on their own ground since there seemed to be no meeting place on mine. I learned to hide the thoughts and dreams and fancies that had no place in the strife and clash of the market place. I found that it was useless to look for kindred souls in the multitude; one might stumble on such here and there, but as a rule it seemed to me that the majority of people lived for the things of time and sense alone and could not understand my other life. So I piped and danced to other people's piping--and held fast to my own soul as best I could."

"A girl who would fall in love so easily or want a man to love her so easily would probably get over it just as quickly, very little the worse for wear. On the contrary, a girl who would take love seriously would probably be a good while finding herself in love and would require something beyond mere friendly attentions from a man before she would think of him in that light."

On that note, I'm signing off to dream of fanciful things. Nerd out.

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