👀 Visiting Jane Austen
#375 | Half agony, half hope
When I find myself in times of trouble, Jane Austen comes to me, whispering words of wisdom, "It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.” And what I do is read, find ways to diminish feelings of helplessness within my own microcosm, and seek comfort in between.
Austen, for me, has always been a source of that comfort. Although I confess I'm yet to finish Mansfield Park, I've devoured most of her oeuvre since my teens. Her stories kept me company from before I could fully grasp the depth of her words.
In 2021, I even had the opportunity to visit Bath, the site of many woes and wonders for her characters, and passed by her house turned museum. Of course, it was shut the day we went :)
I don't think the privileged should look away during moments of crisis because it's tough, but rather find ways to bolster ourselves so we can keep looking for the ones who have it way, way, way tougher. So that's what I'm doing.
And Ms Austen is my vehicle. Whether it's going through exhibitions, re-reading bits from Persuasion, or rewatching that scene from the 2005 Pride & Prejudice film, I'm shoring up on comfort to tackle the hard bits. I think she'd dig it.
Fellow Austen fans, go for a visit - and feel free to start a vitriolic debate about the best Austen hero in the comments.