Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mercy and the Brontës

Connections @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We read the ‘Who's That Writer?’ section in our vocab book during Symposium. Emily Brontë! That's the author of the poem we've been memorizing! I mentioned that I 'strongly dislike' Wuthering Heights. Levi said, “Hey, that's the book that a character in High House quotes constantly” (and then found the book and quoted the quotes). I mentioned that I much prefer Jane Eyre by Charlotte. But of course, we have a book about that. “We should read more about the Brontës today...”

This was my "keep your eye on the low branches and look for kingfishers" of the day, filled with arguments and frustration.

:: Watching for Kingfishers: Moments of Mercy on the Odyssey of a School Year by Heidi White @ CiRCE

"I thought about school years, and watching for mercy. Anybody can passively wait for goodness, as I was waiting for our vacation to transform itself into a refreshing experience. But watching is different than waiting. Watching is active. It implies concentration. To watch means to pay attention."

This reminds me of the tiny glimpses of mercy in the stories of Flannery O'Connor. Barely perceptible, unless you're watching, unless you're paying attention.

Mary Oliver gives us “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

You cannot be astonished if you are not paying attention.

And if you are astonished, share the wonder.

It’s that simple.

[Clearly we were having trouble keeping a straight face for this serious autumn poem…]


Heidi said...

I just finished "Wuthering Heights." It was...ummm...different. I read it because I felt I needed to. I'm not sure I was missing much (although I have to admit the prose and dialog was well done).

Jana said...

She is precious!