When I'm reading, I keep a small stack of post-it tabs next to me so I can mark passages as I go. Often, I look back at the places I mark as I am drafting posts and wonder, "why did I mark this?"But going back to see what I have marked is a whole other journey. I can tell what kind of mood I was in when I was reading. Sometimes, words of inspiration were marked. Other times, I mark things that made me chuckle, or appreciate the skill of the writer in placing together such perfect phrases.
Sometimes I don't mark anything in a book. Sometimes, the idea of stopping to mark something hinders my enjoyment of it, so I just keep reading. It is an imperfect system, but it works for me.
I am talking about my marking skills to bring you back to a conversation about the lovely Jane Eyre, which I feel I need to write just one more post about. There was a particular passage that I loved so much that I have randomly picked up the book multiple times since finishing it just to read it. It is a passage that I posted on facebook out of love, discussed with my husband, and have simply savored over the last couple of weeks since setting Jane Eyre back on the shelf. This is the passage I am talking about;
"I have now been married ten years. I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest - blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband's life as fully as he is mine. No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. I know no weariness of my Edward's society: he knows none of mine, any more than we each do the pulsation of the heart that beats in our separate bosoms; consequently, we are ever together. To be together is for us to be at once free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but more animated and an audible thinking. All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character - perfect concord is the result."
There is something so real in this passage that is simply speaks to me. I have not been married for ten years (a few months over a year now), but I feel like I completely understand what Bronte wrote here. I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. Shouldn't all couples feel that way?
I know that I am an extremely lucky girl, to have a man like my husband. He truly understands me and while we do have our differences, we have a great marriage that rests firmly on our love for one another. When Bronte writes, To be together is for us to be at once free as in solitude, as gay as in company. *sigh* I KNOW that feeling, and I love the Bronte captures that connection between two people who love each other so clearly.
I think that is what I loved most about Jane Eyre. Even with all of the twists and turns in the novel, it was, at its core, a novel about two individuals destined to fall in love and be with one another. The romantic in me loves that notion. I did feel that Rochester and Jane were suited and their passion fit their story. It makes my heart swell when I read that passage-knowing that through struggles and pain, they managed to remember the one thing that brought them together: love.
I am my husband's life as fully as he is mine.
Just another example of how powerful literature can be, and why we should all cherish these words.
Has there ever been a passage or line in a book that has stuck with you? What was it?