Monday, 23 December 2013

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 255

Sir Walter Scott in 1822 by Henry Raeburn

I seem to open my quote these days with apologies again for being late. My excuse this time was, again, a report overdue. But then also, I had difficulties in finding a quote that expresses what I feel at the moment (scroll down to see why). Thank God for our own Linda’s Loiterer; I found just what I needed there.

Here Linda compiled what male authors thought of Jane Austen post-mortem. Sir Walter Scott’s comments caught me, and I herewith quote it in its entirety. 

"Read again, for the third time at least, Miss Austen's finely written novel of 'Pride And Prejudice'. That young Lady had a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life, which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. The big Bow-Wow strain I can do myself like any now going; but the exquisite touch which renders ordinary common-place things and characters interesting from the truth of the description and the sentiment is denied to me. What a pity such a gifted creature died so early!"

The Diary of Sir Walter Scott
(March 14, 1826)

“What a pity such a gifted creature died so early!” is something close to my heart at the moment. This morning I received sad news that an old colleague of mine passed away last night after battling cancer for a few months. She was a mere 44 years old, about Jane Austen’s age when our authoress died. As for my friend, I think it was – among others – overwork that contributed to her illness. I was somewhat aware of this coming, when I learned that she had metastatic cancer a few months back. But still, I still feel that pang of loss. 

My friend, like Jane Austen, was a hard worker. She worked hard for her cause, such that she seldom took a rest. Her passing is a strong reminder for me to slow down this holiday season. Yes, I have some reports coming... but so what? It’s not like I’ve been laying around doing nothing for the last few months.

It’s just... in this era, everything seems to be measured with what we have done. What we have achieved. Those are important, I don’t deny that. But those achievements should not come at a cost; certainly not health and happiness as a cost.  

So, let’s commit to ourselves to slow down this holiday season. Put the tools down, as my old friend told me this morning, when I told him about my sad news. Take a piece of paper or a diary and start writing, hand writing, not typing... that is a healthier option. Walk down the beach you always want to walk; go up the hill you always want to conquer. Take time to smell the fresh green grass... and let’s be grateful that we are still here, healthy and happy, to celebrate Christmas, Year End and New Year.


Linda Fern said...

Oh, dear Icha, you have touched my heart. I needed to read that for my own feelings also. I am amazed that the old saying is so true about "nothing changes" because I find so many things written hundreds of years ago that are still true today.

I feel better now, so Thank You!

Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian

Amanda Sandoval said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend, and dont worry about being late. This is only a blog and there are much more important things in life.

Icha said...

Thank you, Amanda. I didn't realise until I read this that a few days ahead (22) will be a month after her passing. I am thinking of doing something then, just to remember her...