Here's my profile:
If you're on Goodreads, please add me as a friend!
And boy, is it good to be back! It's been good to have this little break, but I've missed blogs and blogging just the same.
I want to say thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. I read and appreciated every one of your comments. Thank you all so much for taking to the time to share your thoughts, encouragement, and personal testimonies. I was very blessed by all of your comments.
And now a question for you all: what would you like me to post about over these few weeks? Book reviews? Movies/period drama? Art? Music? Any suggestions? (And no, I haven't read that great big book yet, so I can't write the next "Top 15" posts just yet!)
"So what are you going to 'do'?"
A familiar question to stay-at-home daughters in or approaching their late teens, frequently put to them by well-meaning friends and acquaintances.
I'm not good at talking, even at the best of times, and when posed by the above question, I almost invariably end up a red-faced, stuttering mess! The truth is, I know exactly what I want to "do" - have a home and a family of my own! But you can't just say that. The simple desire to be a wife and mother isn't acceptable - you also have to have some sort of a career, even if said "career" is just a farce, a pretext.
Family friend: "So you've finished school?"
Me: "Um, er, sort of. I'm still doing a bit of studying, and always reading, so I guess I'm still learning, you know, even if I have essentially finished school," *nervous laugh*.
FF: "Okay, so are you going to uni?"
Me: "Um, ah, well, not planning to at this stage. . . but there are lots of options available these days - for doing courses and uni degrees at home, by correspondence - especially with the internet, you know. . ."
FF: "Mm-hm, yeah that's true. So - have you decided what you're going to do yet?"
Me: "Um, ah, well. . ." *stutters and stammers, eventually subsiding to red-faced silence*.
A couple of hours later:
Me: Despairingly wonders what this person must think of me. Only losers stay at home with their parents after they've completed school, without going to university, or going to work, or going somewhere and doing something, right?
How do I convey to that person that I am busy, I am happy? I am learning and - I hope - contributing? I may be at home almost all the time, but I am not just sitting around at home doing nothing! I am (I pray) learning and maturing a little more everyday; and I am a contributing member of this mini-community of sorts, called a family?
But I can't seem to help it, I always find myself trying to fight back the insecurity and the doubts that gnaw at me because I am endeavouring to follow a different path than the world's way. Nearly every time someone asks "the question", I find myself battling all those doubts, all over again.
*Sighs*. . . Anyway, the whole point of this post is that last night, as I lay in bed, I was thinking about all this, and feeling terribly weighed down by it all. Then it hit me: Elise, you're worrying so much about what other people think of you! About what the world thinks of you! Stop worrying about something so stupid! God loves you and accepts you just as you are, so you don't need to worry about all this. You don't need to try to "prove" that you are mature or intelligent or an adult by going to university or pursuing a career. As long as your heart and your motives are pure in God's sight, you have nothing to worry about!
And it was amazing - I felt the weight lift right off me! I felt so free and happy.
Now if I can just keep that in mind (God loves and accepts you, who cares what the world thinks?) over the coming months and years - if I can only bear that in mind next time someone asks me "the question"!
I know quite a few of my readers are stay-at-home daughters - any hints or suggestions as to how to deal with those inevitable questions?
BTW, I am SO GRATEFUL for the internet as a means to "meet" and be friends with other young women who are in the same boat as I am - being a SAH daughter can seem a lonely path at times, it's so counter-cultural!
First off, let me say that I feel totally unqualified to write any POTO-related post! I haven't read the book, haven't seen the stage production. . . Fairly new to the phandom of the Phantom, I am just a girl who happened - quite by accident - upon a movie called "The Phantom of the Opera", and found myself being swept away!
Oh, and this will be a relatively brief post, unfortunately, because I don't have much time left to write it! I've been meaning to write a POTO-themed post all week, to join in with Alexandra's Phantom of the Opera week. Tonight came, and I panicked a bit, realising this was my last chance to write this post!! Fortunately America is a day behind Australia, otherwise I would already be too late!
[This post is rather image-heavy - I hope it doesn't take an awfully long time to load. . .]
~The Stunning Baroque Splendour of POTO~
I'm going through bit of a Baroque stage at the moment, especially after watching this excellent series. A couple of observations on The Baroque: it is more of a living entity than an art movement. And: the Baroque can be a bit silly at times, but at its best, it is extremely powerful - it grabs your attention, then sucks you into its vortex of drama (often melodrama), emotion, romance, and beauty. It isn't subtle, and it doesn't appeal to everyone, but if you ask me, there is an almost unequaled scale of power, passion, and human longing and emotion in the truly great Baroque works of art. Yes it's messy and over-the-top, but I love it for that!
The Phantom of the Opera well and truly embraces that Baroque spirit, in the story, the music, the set design, costumes. . . you name it! And it is glorious to behold! Every element of this production - the colours, the textures, the music - everything melds together to create a most amazing experience. The word delirious comes to mind - a sort of dazzling, dizzying assault on the senses.
Right! Since writing this post ages ago (was it really only last year?), I have seen various new (for me) period films, and discovered many wonderful new heroes. Plus, there are several heroes who didn't make it into my original Top 10, but who deserve to be recognised!
So, without further ado. . .
Top Costume Drama Heroes ~ Part the Second
(And I think there may even have to be a "Part the Third" sometime, too ;-)
The Scarlet Pimpernel aka Lord Percy (Anthony Andrews - The Scarlet Pimpernel 1982) is sitting pretty with Henry Tilney at the top of my list of all-time favourite heroes! Lord Percy is awesome beyond awesomeness; his awesomeness defies description. (Yes that sentence is cringeworthy - forgive me, I'm an SP fangirl.) The ultimate superhero - the original "superhero" in fact - and the ultimate romantic hero. And guys, I still haven't gotten round to reading the books or watching the 1999 series, but I'm convinced Anthony Andrews (of SP 1982) will forever be the Scarlet Pimpernel, as far as I'm concerned.
Arthur Clennam (Matthew Macfadyen - Little Dorrit 2008) is a different kind of Dickensian hero. Many of Dickens' best-known heroes (think David Copperfield, Pip) tend to be young, earnest, and idealistic. Arthur is considerably older - approaching 40 - and has experienced great sadness and rejection. He has had almost no joy or light in his life. But in spite of all this, he remains tenderhearted and compassionate, rather than growing embittered with life and with others. A gem of a hero.
Eugene Wrayburn (Paul McGann - Our Mutual Friend 1998). Eugene, Eugene! Not really a hero - more of an anti-hero. A troubled soul who comes good in the end. For the first 20-odd years of his life, Eugene is aimless, lazy, purposeless - until love jolts him out of his apathy. I'd always had a great deal of sympathy for Eugene, but I had never thought of him as being a truly - well, deserving hero. *SPOILER WARNING* I mean, his intentions towards Lizzie were undecided and potentially less than honourable. If he hadn't been bashed almost to death by Headstone, his relationship with Lizzie would probably have ended in shame and heartbreak. Well, I put all this to my blogging friend Lizzy, and her response was an interesting one! (See the comments section in linked post.) In the end - Eugene didn't deserve Lizzie's love, and he did not deserve to live happily ever after with her - but he did. He was undeserving, but he was redeemed by unconditional, selfless love. Sound familiar? :-)
John Harmon's (Stephen Mackintosh - Our Mutual Friend 1998) and Bella Wilfer's romance is perhaps a little more conventional and predictable than Eugene and Lizzie's, but it is none the less beautiful. John Harmon is a wonderful hero - strong, patient, good-hearted, yet also with a vulnerable side that endears him to the reader/viewer. Stephen Mackintosh gave an excellent perfomance as John in OMF 1998.
Whew! And that rounds out the sequel to my Top 10 Heroes post! This has been a fun post to write. . . I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!
Please share your thoughts on any or all of these characters in the comments section! Or tell me who some of your favourite costume drama heroes are, and why.