Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: classic fiction

What Does it Mean to Feel Contentment?

To consistently feel contentment is a goal I’ve had most of my adult life. Oh my gosh, I sat here wondering if that were accurate for a few minutes and realized that I might be getting old. I wasn’t content as a young adult. I wanted my own apartment, college and career, all those things we are told to dream of in high school.

In my early twenties my dreams shifted to having enough money to pay the rent on time, or to buy food without wondering if I’ll run out of money before my next paycheck. Then I wanted that job, that boyfriend, those shoes, that vacation, the list went on and on. Once I had the next goal in hand, then I’d feel content. Only then would everything be as it should be.

I was generally happy in my pursuits. It never occurred to me that I was not or even should be content. Discontent is not a bad thing; it’s how we move forward and make things greater than they are. Progress comes from discontent with the status quo.

“Speech under present conditions would have seemed to me unnecessary, imperfect, and even vulgarly overt. She, too, was silent. But now that I am alone, and memory is alone with me, I am convinced that she also had been happy. No, not that exactly. ‘Happiness’ is not the word to describe either her feeling or my own. Happiness is more active, a more conscious enjoyment. We had been content. That expresses our condition perfectly; and now that I can analyze my own feeling, and understand what the word implies, I am satisfied of its accuracy.” From The Lady of the Shroud by Bram Stoker

That was my first decade of adulthood. In my second decade, the one where I acquired a husband, a home, and children, is where I realized I may need to slow my roll a bit and find some contentment. There is a balance in everything, right? We can’t run after new things non-stop without creating more discontentment.

I am currently entering my fourth decade as an adult, so it’s not accurate to write that I’ve had feeling consistently content as a goal most of my adult life, more like half of it as things stand.

I’m often happy, but rarely content, so this line struck me as a bit sad. How beautiful it would be to feel content, to long for nothing else than what you have in hand at that moment. And then I read the rest of the paragraph.

“’Content’ has both a positive and negative meaning or antecedent condition. It implies an absence of disturbing conditions as well as of wants; also it implies something positive which has been won or achieved, or which as accrued.” From The Lady of the Shroud by Bram Stoker

Struggling to consistently feel content is a lost cause. It’s not possible, or beneficial, to feel content at all times. Contentment in a moment is the result of something won or achieved, but it’s fleeting and rightfully so. Our hearts and minds rest in contentment and when refreshed they move on to the next goal to be achieved. What is it that the Mandalorian says? “This is the way.”

It’s fascinating what can bring enlightenment and change the way a person thinks about the world around them. For me, it’s more often than not a book I have stumbled across. This time a fictional work, written 110 years ago, about wild romance, a war, and the strange way it all came about has triggered me to rethink my pursuit of contentment.

And then my tv comes on…ugg…I swear this new tv has a mind of its own. I have no idea why it does this, other than an international communist conspiracy to distract me from my thoughts.

contentment
Top Ten Best Movies of all Time – Dr. Strangelove

Hop back to “Stoker’s The Lady of the Shroud” for more posts inspired by this book.

A Mysterious Compulsion Has Come Over Me

Oh my gosh…today’s Bloganuary prompt, “Write about something mysterious,” leads directly into the book I’m currently obsessed with reading. I read Clare’s Cosmos’ post first this morning and immediately knew what I would be writing about.

mysterious

Yesterday I read for over three hours when I typically read for an hour in the morning and then get on with my day. It was only partially the book that caused my slowdown though. After my morning routine, I was feeling so sloth like, moving through my day in a fog (another mystery). I figured, what the heck, I had a busy three-day weekend, I’ll get another cup of coffee and read for one more hour.

After another hour, I put the book down, made my bed, folded the laundry out of the dryer, and then had some lunch…only to find myself on the couch again with a bowl of pretzels, the book open in my lap. This lady is working some kind of spell on me, the same way she seems to have entrapped our poor Rupert, although he doesn’t seem to mind.

Some people are so easily lured to their doom by a pretty face and a mysterious meeting.

“Reason is a cold manifestation; this feeling which swayed and dominated me is none other than passion, which is quick, hot, and insistent.”

And not a feeling you want to follow without resistance, Rupert. He’s not a sheltered child. He’s spent time in adventures all over the world. Why does he not see how very strange these midnight meetings are? He’s letting that passion rule his brain and I’m afraid for him.

“What need was there for reason at all? Inter arma silent leges – the voice of reason is silent in the stress of passion. Dead she may be, or Un-dead – a Vampire with one foot in Hell and one on earth. But I love her; and come what may, here or hereafter, she is mine.”

You see what I mean? He’s clearly under some mysterious spell.

Who is this mysterious woman? She doesn’t seem evil or have ill-intent toward anyone. What binds her to death but won’t let her rest? What is happening in the village? Who are they arming themselves against? Is it her? What’s going on?!

Whatever happens (and don’t worry, I won’t ruin it for you), I’ll be there to read to the end. I can’t put this book down until I find out, much to the dismay of my husband who really needs me to finish painting the entryway so he can finish the floor this weekend.

Oh, the romance of it all. Why am I so in love with this mystery?

Hop back to “Stoker’s The Lady of the Shroud” for more posts inspired by this book.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

%d bloggers like this: