Eyre Affairs

Reader, welcome to my life.

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Location: New York, United States

Monday, January 28, 2008

"I shall gather..." ~ Jane Eyre

Mute Mondays: Collections


Monday, January 21, 2008

"And asserting a right to predominate, to overcome, to live, rise, and reign at last..." ~ Jane Eyre

Mute Monday: Elements (of the best Football Team in the National League)





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Sunday, January 20, 2008

"Your decisions are perfectly judicious, madam..." ~ Jane Eyre

Right now life feels like I am in Grand Central Station staring at the track boards and wondering which is the right train to hop on. There are so many places to go, so many paths that are unchartered territory, and so many destinations one dreams of.

The first step I took was to Grand Central, because it has been grand leaving the classroom. It has been grand working at a University, and it has been grand having my colleagues become friends. I am reveling in the brightness of being in this station of life. But...I don't know if it is enough. I thought it was, but all of a sudden I see this all as a stepping stone, and there are more paths in front of me to perhaps take. Perhaps its the vision I see for the next decade of my life not being this particular life. Sure, its close, but why settle?

It isn't just about work, either. Its about relationships, too. Its about inner artistic passions not being fed externally. Its about lifestyle, its about environment, its about access to what matters most.

I am still restless in many ways. I don't know if I can sit for two more years for another Masters. I don't know if I can keep my writing here and here alone. I don't know if I can work and live in the small corner of the Gold Coast of Long Island. Perhaps I can, perhaps I will, but perhaps I certainly shall not.

Hence, I am at the train station wondering what to do. I would never hop any old train; the destination has to be all inclusive of what I want or I am not going.

So, I look for a train that takes me to an apartment in Astoria, my home away from home growing up. A train that leads me to a job I love in the city where I make good money and can take weekend car trips to ski in Vermont each winter. A train that takes me to a stage where I can do weekly readings with other writers in the city. A train that leads me to a romance where I am loved unconditionally. A train that speeds so fast that I never have to look back at the path forged in my twenties - I want that to fade as the sparks do on a third rail after a train arrives at the platform.

For now I am here at the station, sipping coffee and watching all of the travelers around me, silently wishing them good trips. Eventually, I know someone will wish me a good trip if or when I am ready to leave.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

"I was silent..." ~ Jane Eyre

Hmmmmm. Many fellow bloggers I admire have Dixie for their Mute Monday. Ok, Aunty Belle, I am in! This one is for you, mah dear!


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Sunday, January 13, 2008

"As he took the cup from my hand..." ~ Jane Eyre

I am watching the latest BBC production of Persuasion on PBS and am disappointed that they thought a remake 11 years later of the amazingly rich version with Ciarian Hinds as Captain Wentworth would be something authentic Austen audiences wanted. It an acceptable version, but not nearly as great as the one made by the BBC in 1995. Still, I sip some rich hot chocolate and am content to be viewing this beauty and sophistication of Jane's dialogue after watching such a brutal game of football this early evening. I am, though, thrilled that my Giants won but have become exhausted after the intense game. Fatigued, I am looking forward to climbing under my covers shortly and reading Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama. I went to Barnes and Noble this morning to pick it up and have already read fifteen pages. I hope that tomorrow morning I get to stay under my covers for a snow day; the New York tri-state area is expected to get four inches. The nice part about Academia is that snow days exist in its world just like they do in public schools. I have my snow chain list next to my laptop, praying it gets utilized in the morning. I hope that we do get enough snow tomorrow so Jack can use the snowman making kit I gave to him at Christmastime. It comes with a scarf, hat, buttons, a plastic carrot nose; all you do is add snow. I could use a snow that puts life at a standstill for just a moment; things have been so hectic and complicated lately. So hectic that didn't even think to stuff the top of my mug with marshmallows. You know life is busy when you don't have time or forethought to add marshmallows to your red mug filled with hot chocolate...

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Friday, January 11, 2008

"There was hope in its aspect..." ~ Jane Eyre

He brings me back to many moments of my childhood that compiled into the solidification of my love of country.

As a child, I idolized Lincoln and wrote books on Theodore Roosevelt (illustrated by my hand, might I add). I was taught about FDR from my grandparents and knew the details of the attack on Pearl Harbor and how American fought back and won. There is a picture of me and my sister, age seven, standing at Lincoln's memorial in D.C. saluting old Abe with beaming smiles. By the time I was in middle school, I hoarded American historical fiction designed for readers my age and must have read the book Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi two dozen times because it was an educational epic about the Revolutionary War. I visited Philadelphia and saw the Liberty Bell; I walked the Freedom Trail in Boston. My older sister and her friends became obsessed with the series North and South, and it became a teaching tool my father used to have us read more about the Civil War even though we admit we were more into learning about Patrick Swayze. By the time I was a teenager I was rocking mock trials in American History and got a 5 on my AP American History test not because I studied hard but because the material was something I was extremely passionate about. I will never forget climbing Lady Liberty, seeing Missisisippi Burning for the first time, and going to Fraunces Tavern in the city where Washington gave his farewell speech to his troops. I will never forget hearing the first opening bars to Ashoken Farewell for the first time when it debuted on Ken Burns' Civil War and asking my orchestra teacher to order the music. All that I learned about the glory of this country and the bounties of democracy were kept close to my heart.

As a child and teenager, I felt safe and secure as an American. I was aware of the flaws, the horrible moments of shameful history, and the corruption that has ensued. I was aware of succceses in addition to failures. Still, I never lost faith and I believed we were moving in a direction that would always overcome any obstacle in our way as a nation.

And then in my early twenties, my faith was tested and all but lost.

My city was attacked because a terrorist was not stopped when he should have been years before; the sidewalks of my New York will forever be tainted with blood of the innocent. Another city I love was destroyed because the goverment failed to uphold levees that were safe and secure; American citizens dead...floating away as if their lives didnt matter because they were black and poor. I popped sleeping pills all through the summer of 2006 when D.R. was on the streets of Samarra during his first tour of Iraq. Now that he is behind a desk during his second, we have no opportunity to talk on a regular basis because he is so overworked. The economy eats away at my savings and my generation will never get our Social Security. My nephew has never experienced a true snow because of global warming, and more and more people I know are being affected by cancer at a younger age, probably due to toxins in our enviornment.

My twenties were about fatigue, not passion. They were about anger, not love. They were about anti-establishment, not patriotism.

And then he came into my life.

This man can resurrect the dead.

When he speaks, Lincoln's perseverance is alive, Martin Luther King Jr's dream is alive, Teddy Roosevelt's tenaciousness is alive, FDR's leadership is alive.

I am alive.


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Friday, January 04, 2008

"Her salary will be thirty pounds a year..." ~ Jane Eyre

If my life were opening movie credits, I would say that my twenties was the opening from a Rogers and Hammerstein musical: hopeful, naive, and spanning wide open spaces with endless possibilities. A bit too whimsical, a tad too unrealistic...

As I enter my thirties at the end of this month, I would say the opening credits parallel Breakfast at Tiffany's. The music of Mancini is beautiful, but there are undertones of sadness in Moon River...a bit melancholy despite the lyrics about friends and rainbows. The character is a bit worse for the wear from pain, but still doing things that make her feel content and hopeful. Despite elegance and confidence and a big heart, neither myself or Holly have a diamond engagement ring from Tiffany's. Still, it is of no matter, because we can both hop in a New York City taxi cab at any time and go where we feel the most safe and secure. For Holly, it is Tiffany's and for me it is probably The Met. Nothing bad can happen there among Van Gogh paintings and ancient sculptures of Demeter because one remembers that one can, indeed, leave a legacy in so many creative ways. At thirty, I appreciate the simple things in life, like drinking my first cup of coffee in the morning as Holly does. She, too, knows you have to feed your soul literally and figuratively. As rich and full as my daily life is with friends and family, there are mornings that exist for me in solitude such as Holly's, where we drink coffee and ponder the same things. In some ways I feel like I have been a call girl to my career in my twenties as a teacher, compromising myself and allowing the lack of morals of students and parents around me to overrun my life; I put myself out there for far too long. There are no regrets, just going the way of the dream-maker, as Johnny Mercer puts it.

In the opening credits Holly stares at a chandelier in the store's window and tilts her head as she focuses on her symbol of hope. She isn't quite there yet, but she knows she will get there. She will get security and she will get the unconditional, committed romantic love she always dreamed of as a little girl. She turns the corner off of 5th with confidence...

I am not there yet, but I will get there. This I am confident about; I will get to the rainbow's end.

*At this time the clip of the scene is not available on any videostreams online, which is an indicator to you that you need to rent the film and enjoy each moment, from the opening credits to the final scene. If you choose not to Netflix, than you are missing a masterpiece, including the best film opening credits in the English language to date...*

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