Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's just me, folks.

Is it me, or is life zooming by? I didn't want to go to sleep last night because I knew that when I woke on Saturday morning my weekend would be over before I blinked. I'm telling myself that it is just a stage in my life and it won't be this way forever, but I'm just not sure I believe me. Homeschooling this year has kept me rather busy. Ever heard of unschooling? It's a term I've run across quite a bit lately on blogs and such. If you ask me it sounds divine. My children quietly teaching themselves all sorts of cool interesting things all of their own initiative, but, come on, what's more likely is that after not long at all my offspring would resemble Jethro Bodine.

It's not just lack of time; there's also a certain key something that inspires writing that's been hard to locate since May when my mother passed away. I still have the desire to put thoughts to paper, but can't. Perhaps there's something unsettled in my spirit; she was my sweet mum after all. And perhaps it's supposed to be that way, but I have missed ye olde blog. There's something satisfying about writing (even if I have no talent in that direction): it restores the tissues.

I have also found that reading P. G. Wodehouse restores the tissues. I've been reading him nonstop since my mom got sick and he's wonderful. I've been trying to keep up with the funniest things he says HERE. My noble aim in life is to collect all of his hardback books that Overlook Press is printing. I've got about 30, so... what?... about 66 more to go?

I recently read Jill the Reckless which in a way seems to parallel Wodehouse's own life. Jill is in England, engaged to an Englishman (Derek) who is climbing the political ladder, some unforeseen circumstances bring her to America (after her fiancee breaks the engagement) where she meets up with a man (Wally) she knew as a boy in her childhood. Wally is a great comfort to Jill and understanding of her in a way that the stiffer Englishman is not. Anyway, there for a bit the suspense is on as to which of these fellows she will link up with (Derek briefly tries to win her back): the good-looking suave Englishman or the American who has a twinkle in his eye and a joke on his lips - unless is comes to defending Jill, then you'd better watch out! But of course she ends up in America just as Wodehouse did. The Englishman is not hated or even disliked, but pride makes him misunderstand circumstances and takes Jill all wrong... much like the English did with Wodehouse. Jill realizes she loves the American and, "Peace stole into Jill's heart as she watched the boats dropping slowly down the East River, which gleamed like dull steel through the haze. She had come to Journey's End, and she was happy."

I love how Wodehouse has that impressive knack for showing you a picture with words, "Mr Goble stared again at Jill. The inspection was long and lingering and affected Jill with a sense of being inadequately clothed. She returned the gaze as defiantly as she could, but her heart was beating fast. She had never yet been frightened of any man, but there was something reptilian about this fat, yellow-haired individual which disquieted her, much as cockroaches had done in her childhood. A momentary thought flashed through her mind that it would be horrible to be touched by him. He looked soft and glutinous."

And I'll never tire of his biblical references, "'Don't you worry, honey!' advised the well-meaning girl who would have been in her element looking in on Job with Bildad the Shuhite and his friends. 'Don't you worry!'"

I'm always learning a word or two that I'm not familiar with such as his reference to jezail bullets. As it turns out Jezails were very personal weapons which were commonly used in India, Central Asia and parts of the Middle East, and, interestingly enough, was the weapon which wounded Dr. Watson. Another phrase Wodehouse uses in this book is the French phrase, je ne sais quoi, literally ‘I don't know what’, a certain something, an intangible quality that makes something distinctive or attractive. Which Jill possesses...and so does Wodehouse for that matter. I do hope it's catching.


Katy said...

Delighted to see you back, E!

Esther said...

Thanks Kate! :)