To be an artist includes much; one must possess many gifts- absolute gifts- which have not been acquired by one’s own effort. And, moreover, to succeed, the artist must possess the courageous soul…The brave soul. The soul that dares and defies.
As a novel of quiet commentary, psychological depth, and feminine truth, The Awakening by Kate Chopin has rekindled my senses. Most readers lose the work as tiresome, but I find it as subtly exhilarating. Only because, like Chopin, I tend to dwell in topics about the soul- about character, emotion, and the passing of life. My thirst to speak of these is never quenched, since I hold a love for the mysteries of time and spirit. Lately I have been busy chasing after worldly pursuits, fulfilling the quotas for schoolwork and service, and have not had had a chance to return to my inner-artist. Yet am I truly an artist? I write to reflect the meaning of our existence, to ponder and paint the reality that captures all thoughts. I am by no means an accomplished genius, but by the definition above I wish to think I am nurturing the beginning of that courageous, brave soul. God interweaves Himself into my words, and I must express the longings of my heart- which I know (and dare and defy to say) are human qualities most ignore. It is when you step back and stare at the whole not the piece, when you look at the sky and not at yourself, when you discover there is more to living than being, that your identity… awakens.
My standing : Try not to get caught in the superficial- back your daily actions with eternal intentions. So someday you may look back, and see you at least touched the potential God gave you on Earth.
Here are various excerpts that snagged my attention in the novel, because they lifted from the literary to my reality:
At times the open path is actually the star-crossed one, the dark one that transforms us:
- “A certain light was beginning to dawn dimly within her- the light which, showing the way, forbids it… In short, Mrs. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her…But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, tangled, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. How few of us ever emerge from such a beginning! How many souls perish in its tumult!“
Don’t most crash on life’s cruise control, because they fear to see the universe beyond their little city? Don’t most accept easy evil and embrace it, because they are afraid to take the risk of difficult faith? Do most avoid deep thoughts, because of insecurity or selfishness?
- “Edna began to feel like one who awakens gradually out of a dream, a delicious, grotesque, impossible dream, to feel again the realities pressing into her soul.”
Many mornings I have felt this.
Last one. Does this sound familiar? It’s an extreme that can dampen us all, but maybe not always in this dramatic sense…
- “There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why- when it did not seem worth while to be glad or sorry, to be alive or dead, when life appeared to her like a grotesque pandemonium and humanity like worms struggling blindly toward inevitable annihilation. She could not work on such a day, nor weave fancies to stir her pulses and warm her blood.”
On the FLIP SIDE… When our confidence in God and ourselves is strong, life can be enjoyed in its spiritual simplicity.
- “There were days when she was very happy without knowing why. She was happy to be alive and breathing, when her whole being seemed to be one with the sunlight, the color, the odors, the luxuriant warmth… She discovered many a sunny, sleepy, corner, fashioned to dream in. And she found it good to dream and to be alone and unmolested.”
Good night. I might be sleeping in body, but I am always awake in mind.