Zen Austen

Zen Austen

I am writing this oh so last minute. Life has been rather wild lately, for it’s own reasons, but at the heart of the chaos lies my 21 month-old little man. He is so charming, so clever, and so completely distracting. Very little other than motherhood is getting accomplished these days. I struggle to find the space to write. I have ideas brewing in my mind, but no time to record them. I’ve given up all hope of finishing my annual Halloween story, and now I wonder if I’ll manage to finish my rewrite of First Impressions before the end of the year as so fervently hoped.

Do I sound like I’m complaining? I don’t mean to. I can’t think of anything I’d rather be spending my time doing than playing with Jack. But it is stressful, having so many loose threads hanging all over the place. And what do I do when life feels a bit out fo control? I turn to Austen.

This is far from the first time I’ve written about Jane’s guru-esque qualities. It’s rather a running theme in my work. Yet I do believe it is the first time I’ve addressed the topic on this blog, and it’s such a cozy one to reach for in a moment of desperation! I can’t begin to recall the countless times I’ve found the perfect nugget of enlightened wisdom, just when I needed it, in her novels. My awareness of these moments of zen is forever evolving, but in this moment, at this crazy time in my life, those below strike me most from each novel. I’m not going to explain my selections, for they are complex and personal (and you may recall that time is of the essence). I’ll just say they bring me a sense of peace and purpose when things get a bit wild. Maybe they can serve you similarly.

Jane Austen by Cassandra Austen, circa 1810
Jane Austen by Cassandra Austen, circa 1810

Northanger Abbey – “If I could not be persuaded into doing what I thought wrong, I never will be tricked into it.”

Sense and Sensibility – In the mean time, till all these alterations could be made from the savings of an income of five hundred a-year by a woman who never saved in her life, they were wise enough to be contented with the house as it was; and each of them was busy in arranging their particular concerns, and endeavoring, by placing around them books and other possessions, to form themselves a home.

Pride and Prejudice – “Till this moment, I never knew myself.”

Mansfield Park – “How wonderful, how very wonderful the operations of time, and the changes of the human mind!”

Emma – To understand, thoroughly understand her own heart, was the first endeavour.

Persuasion – An interval of meditation, serious and grateful, was the best corrective of everything dangerous in such high-wrought felicity; and she went to her room, and grew steadfast and fearless in the thankfulness of her enjoyment.

So sorry for the brevity. Those of you who are parents will understand. I’ll pull it all together again soon. They don’t stay this age for long.

5 Responses to Zen Austen

  1. Congrats on Jack! I remember those days of stress and now I look back and wish I could do it all again, stress and all. Enjoy every moment as time really does go fast when it comes to your kids.

  2. Awww, that time is way too short to miss out on. It’s a good time in your life to adjust an attitude, let go of things that can wait while the people who won’t wait and deserve your time get what they need. Also a good time to accept help, or seek it. And just sigh and move on when those friends or family don’t ‘get it’ and understand because they haven’t experienced motherhood yet, or for such a long time they don’t remember. They’ll come around again, or not.

    So maybe, if you could afford some help you might find time to write a little. Because then your needs are being filled too. We all work it out the best we can and for everyone it’s different. So if we, your devoted readers, have to wait until your darling Jack is older to read your next work we will wait, we will come around again, we will send our blessings to yourself and your dear family.

  3. Take your time to enjoy your little man. It won’t be long when your post will read that he is headed off to college and your empty nest will make you wonder where the time went. We understand completely and appreciate your sharing your moments with us. I love how Austen quotes always fill the need. Amazing. Blessings and much love to you and your Jack.

  4. Congratulations on Jack šŸ™‚ Don’t miss a moment of him. We’ll all still be here.

    I do know what you mean, though. If I can’t find time to write, stress builds in me. Ideas I can’t put down ‘on paper.’ Dialogue I can’t write. Eventually, I can’t sleep because i”s all in my head, swirling.

    Maybe an amazon or google device, so you can say to it, “Hey, take a note” and then tell it your idea to save for later šŸ™‚


  5. That’s right enjoy that little guy while he is young cause he’ll grow up fast! Great post loved the comments on each book!

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