BOOKS ....... FREE STORIES ....... TALES OF TAM YS ....... ARCHIVE ....... EDITING ....... SARAH

the protection of beauty

Some days I strive to remember that the world is generally populated with good people. The small unpleasantries that strangers sometimes inflict upon each other as they share a moment or a pathway ... the commonplace cruelties ... when I see this or have it happen to me, I am left shaken and reluctant to go out amongst people again. At these times, I try to fill my mind with images I have gathered of flowers, country lanes, gentle afternoons - which is why I often spend part of a morning browsing and archiving images. It helps to have beautiful imagery fresh in my imagination so I can use it like a shawl, or a wide-brimmed hat draped with chiffon or lace, when going out. Not a shield, but a softener.

I was delighted to find this book yesterday for a very low price. Afterwards, I sat in a tea house hugging it and every now and then smelling its old and dusty pages. I have Edith's visual diary, of course, and also the enchanting video series about her life, but I did not know her artistic work was so diverse. I will be rummaging through this book for weeks to come.

Where I live, there is not much scope for imagination, and I can find myself wilting, and also struggling to create. When this happens, I read books like those by Edith Holden, or LM Montgomery, and dream myself away. We need more books of wholehearted, lush-flowering beauty, don't you think?

This world seems very masculine to me. I know there are men who make lovely gardens and gentle art, but I'm talking about masculine energy. Even our woman-centred movies hold that energy - for example, Wonder Woman. Even some feminist neo-religions can be quite masculine in their monotheistic, active-power viewpoint. I would love to see a feminising of the world, without people fearing that it equates to a weakening. Not all the world all the time, but a balancing. Until then, I shall dream of roses and meadows and peace.


  1. A better balance would be a wonderful thing indeed. Gentle {{hugs}} Sarah. Wishing you a star filled night and a day filled with dreams and posies.

  2. yes, and yes, and yes---there is an overwhelmingly masculine feel to much of the world, even in the architecture and furnishings that fill public places these days, and certainly in the ALWAYS ON nature of everything beamed at us by the media. we are starved for silences, for rest, for gentle--realistic--rhythms of living...starved for images of tenderness and nurturing and simple life. even wildlife programming on telly is all extreme everything: SHARKS!!! EXTREME PREDATORS!!! LIFE ON THE EDGE!!! i just want to exist in a reasonably quiet state of appreciation for the gifts of this world and do my work, such as it is, without spending hours locked in a cubicle (thankfully, i don't, but most of my friends DO), and tend my hearth in peace, and go through a day without being bombarded by adverts trying to sell me crap i do not need or want.

    you say above that there is a video series about edith holden??? i didn't know! must check into that.

    roses, meadows, and peace. nothing better...

    1. I love this reply so very much, and couldn't agree with it more. This is exactly what I mean.

      The thing is, look at the huge popularity of tv programmes like Downton Abbey and Call The Midwife. Look at how many women shyly put on lace blouses and go to the park to pretend secretly to be Anne Shirley. This balance is desperately wanted. It's why the romance genre of literature is so massively popular - women can't get lovely positive relationship stories anywhere else, at least not without having to put up with sci fi or politics or murder as well. (Not that I'm against sci fi or politics, or particularly like the romance genre myself, just making a point.)

      I know more than one young woman who has no other goal in life but to have a home to care for and to help other people - be a mother, be a homemaker, a hearthkeeper. They are told that's not enough. They must *do* something in the world, they must have ambition, as if love isn't the greatest ambition, the most important doing, of all.

      I hope you find the video series, its very old but beautiful.

  3. Although I agree that our culture is overly masculine, my daughters receive the most pressure to be+do from women--especially women in their middle years and older. Both of my daughters are constantly being asked what their plans are, what they are 'going to do with their lives'. Ironically, one of my daughters works full time, yet the questions and pressure keep coming (even though she has chronic health issues!) Just the other day one of the older women at her workplace asked her "...but, don't you want a *career*--something for *yourself*?"

    As an at-home mother, homemaker, and home educator, I have felt this pressure myself from women more often than men. Sometimes I feel like other women despise me, and it is a bad feeling; one that has led me to my withdraw from society to a certain degree and become rather hermit-like.

    Sarah, what would a 'feminising of the world' look like? I would love to hear more of your thoughts on this topic. ♥

  4. Oh yes, I completely agree that most of the pressure comes from women. Especially those who are middle aged or older, exactly as you say. Same here as in USA obviously. They can't seem to hear or comprehend that a young woman might not want a career, might not be ambitious. I appreciate that they are the brave and strong women who led the second wave of feminism and for whom we have much to be grateful - and I am a huge advocate for feminism of course - but I think it should also embrace women who want to me homemakers, or quiet dreamers living frugally in the countryside, or so on. And yes, even those with chronic health issues are still expected to be career-focussed! There is no one more despised in society than an invalid.

    Almost no pressure comes from men, but I do wonder if that's a positive sign or not. I've heard young men say that they want women out of the workforce getting in their way, taking their jobs - the old misogynistic attitudes are still there I'm afraid. :-(


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