This is the first post of my “The Ten Most Important Things I’ve Learned from Literature” series. It was originally supposed to be a collaboration with a friend, but things didn’t quite work out. Perhaps that post will still happen further down the line, but I’ll keep you posted on that.
Regardless, this is my list of the ten most important things I’ve learned from literature (novels, plays, and poetry). I have a couple of other people lined up to write posts for this, and I’m always willing to take more people’s opinions on this subject.
I’m also planning on wrapping this series up with a post on the ten most important but also humorous things I’ve learned from life. After all, certain life lessons from certain fictional characters (Beatrice and Benedick, I’m looking at you.) are important, but at the same time, they ought to be taken with a grain of salt.
However, after far too much ado, here is my list…
The Ten Most Important Things I’ve Learned from Literature
10. You don’t need scores of suitors. You only need one, if he’s the right one. (Little Women)
I haven’t yet met my Mr. Knightley, but I believe that I will one day. I hope that I will not need a line of beaux on a string or scores of suitors to find the right man. I hope that like Meg, Jo, and Amy I will meet with the right man at the right time.
I believe that Amy March spoke her greatest wisdom when she said that you don’t need scores of suitors…or a line of beaux on a string, Ruby Gillis…all you need is the right man. It worked for her and for her sisters. And all Anne Shirley ever really needed was the right man. She just had to come to that realization in her own time.
9.”Tomorrow is a clean slate, with no mistakes in it.” (Anne of Green Gables)
Some days are pretty disastrous. But at the end of the time, it is always comforting to go to bed knowing that I haven’t screwed tomorrow up…yet.
8. Be on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan. Live as a Narnian even if there isn’t any Narnia. (The Silver Chair)
In other words, I will believe in God no matter what. And Puddleglum supports me on that. To me, this quotation is pretty self-explanatory.
7. That which we are, we are. (“Ulysses” by Tennyson)
Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone else. I’m not sure that was exactly Tennyson’s message, but that’s what I’ve always taken from that line.
6. Tread softly; you are most likely treading on someone’s dreams. (“He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” by Yeats)
You never know who you’re impacting. You never know whose dreams you’re walking on or whose life you’re impacting. This poem is probably my favorite thing about the movie, Equilibrium.
5. I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young. They’re still princesses. All of us. Didn’t your father ever tell you that? Didn’t he? (The Little Princess)
All girls are princesses. All girls-no matter who they are or what they look like; all girls are princesses, and they deserve to be treated as such.
4. Watch what you say; you never know who just heard you call her tolerable. (Pride and Prejudice)
You never know who is listening. As a teacher, I am frequently reminded of this. You never know who just overheard what you said or how that impacted them.
3. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. (The Lord of the Rings)
We don’t have to make the truly BIG decisions in life. We don’t have to decide the fate of the universe. All we mere mortals must do is decide what we’re going to do with our lives and how we’re going to live them.
2. When you are real, you don’t mind being hurt. (The Velveteen Rabbit)
Being Real means being loved. Being loved inevitably involves being hurt. But when you are really and truly REAL, you don’t mind it because you understand it more.
1. “If I have taught you to carry the cross and die on it, then I have taught you everything. Have I taught you this?” (Father Elijah)
We have now successfully made it to the
eighth, oops, tenth month of the year. That name is so darn misleading. Octopi do not have ten legs. Octagons do not have ten sides. So why is October the tenth month of the year? I’m going to take the easy way out and blame Julius Caesar.
October means some big things are stirring behind the scenes of the blog. I have two posts sitting my draft folder that will be posted during October. Both are on the topic of the lessons we can learn from literature. I’m very excited about both posts. However, this working with drafts and spending weeks stewing over a post is different from my normal posting style.
Typically, my posts are what I, as an English teacher, like to call “quick writes.” I pick a topic, I write about it for less than an hour, I edit the post, and I post it. It works for writing reflections on my life or blogging about my knitting and sewing.
However, these two pieces require thought and reflection. They’re more like essays. The first is a piece that I expect to have posted by the end of the weekend-provided that my workload doesn’t suddenly increase dramatically and thwart me at the pass. The other piece is a collaboration with a good friend of mine that will kick-off a series of guest posts on the topic “The Ten Most Important Things I’ve Learned from Literature.” I’m hoping to be posting this series every Thursday or Friday this month, but I’m not entirely sure about that.
Beyond these two (potentially) awesome posts, there are also some other big things coming your way. For one, my Kerrera *should* be finished by the end of October. I’m not promising anything here, but I’d like it to get off my needles and into my wardrobe ASAP. And I’d also really like to get a lovely fall photoshoot with it while that’s still an option.
I’m also going to have some fun little girl knits popping up here over the next month or so. One is about 50% done and the other two are sitting in skeins of yarn that need to be wound into balls. I’m thinking those should be fun, quick, and cute. Unfortunately, none of them will be modeled until Christmastime, but c’est la vie.
There may be a sock or two popping up to help celebrate Socktober…but again, no promises; I do know that my life is busy.
And there will be some projects that will only be in sneak-peak mode because, well, Christmas is less than three months away and in knitter-speak that means “start knitting. Yesterday.” (FYI: I didn’t.)
And this month, I may finally get around to writing the “100 things you never really needed to know about me” post that I occasionally think that I should write for kicks and giggles.
Beyond that, I’m not sure what else will be happening around here in October. But keep your eyes peeled for “The Ten Most Important Things I Learned from Literature.” I’m hoping to have the first post up before the weekend.