I suppose any week is a good week for Dickens, but this week has been especially perfect. I’ve returned to school with an abysmal cold: sore throat, congested head, scattered thinking at best. My dear children correct my mistakes and say, “That’s all right, Mrs. S—” secretly thrilled, I suspect, to be the only ones with the right answers.
The weather has been below freezing until today. Earlier this week, in fact, it was so cold that school was cancelled for Monday and Tuesday. But now, as I write, there is a steady rain falling. Rain, on top of mountains of snow, which only makes for sheets of ice on which to drive. I pray for my beloved son to come safely home while sirens echo in the distance.
I’m a third of the way into Great Expectations, which I’ve read before but am reading again with Tom for January’s end. I love this book more now than I did the last time I read it. (In fact, I wonder if books shouldn’t be read through more than once to get the proper feel for them.)
I can relate to Pip’s distress at being “coarse and common”, and while I can see it’s foolish for him to deride the good in his life, I can understand perfectly his desire for more.
And poor Miss Havisham, sitting by her rotted bride-cake from under which the spiders crawl about, while all the clocks stand still at twenty minutes to nine…
Time does stand still, sometimes. It stops dead in its tracks until we figure out exactly where our expectations have gone wrong. It waits for us, for me, to shake myself. To sit up tall. To say, proverbially, “This is a rotten bridal-cake (or train of thought, or attitude). I’m going to throw it away and get on with my life.”
We’ll see what happens with these two, Pip and Miss Havisham, by the end of the month. You still have time to join us if you choose, and I can’t say enough good about this work of Dickens’ to help persuade you.