Austen Has Saved Me

This morning, filled with tumultuous clashes of thunder and despondent grey clouds, I once again found my heart. It was misplaced, you see, for reasons unbeknownst to me and was recovered at the break between losing all hope and hanging on to just a thread of it. I have doubted myself of the one truly great thing that this world has to offer and that is love.

What a silly notion this little thing called love is. Something so hackneyed and so ubiquitous one would think that the causes and the sources would be an easy riddle to solve. Nevertheless, it remains enigmatic to many, including myself, which brings beauty and mystery to its nature. In my old age, I have found that love, in its truest form comes from all sorts of things that grace this world. Romance may be between a man and a woman. But love, in its most pristine shape, is found between a woman and the world. For it is worthy to first fall in head-over-heels love with the very place in which we dwell, not the current neighborhood that you reside in, or even the very room in which you sit, left hand propping up your chin as you doggedly peruse this rambling, but in the notion of that there is adventure in the great wide somewhere.

Having finished reading “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen”, with tears stinging my eyes and coffee cup still quite filled with a now icy brew, I have fell in love with the world again. Austen has written such poetic and heart wrenching prose in not some, but every one of her novels including her memoirs. The beauty of her heart and her soul will continue to draw readers until the end of time. That is because she has written on the one thing that will stand the test of time: love. It will continue to surround us, playing coyly with our feelings at one  moment and unabashedly flirting  with us in the next moment. Austen highlights the notion that this love is the most grand concoction that this world has and that it entices all.

Having loved and lost so terribly, Austen lived by the notion that the only love to pursue, the only love that is worth the chase and the fight, is the truest and most passionate. Her words have given me such comfort. She has validated my inner romantic that I so like to ignore and muffle its shouts of opportunity and fantastical ideas. I know now that my want of love is not flighty nor reprehensible, but is the greatest source of fulfillment that I can tap into one that pours out with such lavish syrup that a single drop will constitute but a lifetime.

I thank her for her gracious words, but most of all I thank her for her heart. I thank her for showing me, while indirect it still proves to be poignant, that following your heart will never lead to dissatisfaction, that marrying to escape answering life’s toughest questions is not just wrong but a sin of the heart, and that “deep, true, passionate love, built on respect, esteem, friendship, and a meeting of the minds”.

If I were ever to have just a pinch of Jane Austen’s writing talents, then I truly believe my entire life would change.

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