Eyre Affairs

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"In the midst of my pain of heart, and frantic effort of principle, I abhorred myself." - Jane Eyre

In chapter 27 of Jane Eyre, Jane bolts from Rochester.

As a reader, I understand why she leaves despite having no sensible plan as to where she is going. To stay would compromise herself, and she has enough self-respect to place her dignity above all else. If a mousy, glorified babysitter can assert dignity, it amazes me how I sometimes I am unable to do so.

However, I ask if her bolt from Thornfield was dignified or dumb?

My true Jane-ian moment of bolting occurred two nights ago. This was not a mechanically coordinated exit like Jane executed; a bit sloppily done, really. Jane certainly pays the price for leaving without having a plan, and I paid the price because I had one. She ends up passed out, starving, and soaked. Is that dignity? I ended up completely humiliated on a full stomach in a warm, dry place. Nope, no dignity there. Instead we are both left feeling like absolute crap. Perhaps I am being too hard on Jane and on myself. Sometimes it comes down to fight or flight, and when you are emotionally exhausted and drained, you are just too tired to fight anymore. Your weariness makes you irrational, and I don't think my weariness has eased up since June.

She had to get away from that attic, and I had to get away from the bar's basement. She left an Edward of a first name, I left an Edward of a middle name. She missed him. I miss him.

I don't know if I want to talk to this Edward again. That is easier typed than put into practice, but there is a truth in this. My true friends allow me to be my true self with them, and this particular Edward has a role for me in his life that seems so unnatural and scripted. I am supposed to play a character who must turn off all emotions, meet him in specific places during our scenes, and pretend that no previous love scenes ever existed. He is writing this script and constantly editing it to the point where I feel as though I have nothing true to contribute anymore. My spirit is too independent for this kind of packaging.

During our last conversation (either for a while or forever), he reiterated that he had issues. I wanted to say to him, "Baby, your issues are my issues, so lets work together." But it would be so wasted on him.

Lewis tells me I need to forgive this particular Edward. It is hard to forgive stupid stubbornness, but I shall try.