I just finished The Secret Life of Bees today. Originally, I was in a hurry to finish it so I could start The Bell Jar again (love Sylvia Plath!) but a few chapters into it, I was reading even more rapidly because of the way the story unfolds and every thing ties together.
Any time I finish a book that I think was any good, I read all those pages between the end and the back cover. I read the discussion points, Q&A with the author, about the author…the whole nine yards. And Sue Monk Kidd had included this quote in her Q&A that inspired a large chunk of the book:
People give pain, are callous and insensitive, empty and cruel…but place heals the hurt, soothes the outrage, fills the terrible vacuum that these human beings make. – Eudora Welty
I had to read it a few times. The word “place” seemed like it should read something more uplifting or even religious. “Hope” or “Jesus,” perhaps. But she meant exactly what it said. There is a place you go that soothes you, calms you, recharges you before you’re released back into the muck of the world. My place is my home.
I am a homebody. I don’t mind that I’m snowed in right now, because there is so much I have time to do. Put away Christmas presents (but I haven’t), shave my legs, try out that exercise DVD with the balance ball (it read “beginner” but I think it was mislabeled). Listen to my new Norah Jones cd. And read, read, read. This is my fortress of solitude where I can shut out the world and walk around as myself: broodingly moody then happy; productive then lazy; longing for Steve’s attention, then dying to be alone. My life a constant versus.
Just like my life inside and outside this fortress. The outside life usually beating out my inside one, but occasionally – in instances like these, I find myself again.