‘How passionately she longed to be important to somebody again – not important on platforms, not important as an asset to an organisation, but privately important, just to one person, quite privately, nobody else to know or notice it.’
I read about three books at one time. There is the book for commuting, the book for bedtime and without saying, the book for bath time. I cannot relax in a bath (much looked forward to at the end of the day) without a good book to feast on submerged in bubbles. The bath time ritual is important, I am a ritual aficionado.
Mornings are ritual orientated too. Dailies to be read, the world (why would I read about the dramas so early in the morning she asks) with the Nespresso to bolster one for the day. But I digress.
Before going to Italy, and wanting a book to sort of encapsulate the journey, I bought ‘The Enchanted April.’ It is dated, it is a classic, a profound comment on society with the universality of human emotion. Transpires that the holiday, and bath time ritual, was less conducive for reading and more for late nights aprés sublime dinners beside bobbing boats, so I continued reading ‘The Enchanted April’ on my return.
You have no idea how many passages I marked as ‘wow’, I must remember this, but the one most true was the passage above. The longing to belong.
There is a difference to belonging and possessing. Have never been comfortable with the latter, but belonging is something we all yearn for. Knowing that someone out there, wants, needs, and thinks about us all the time. The stages of our lives gives us belonging – be it as children belonging to our parents, or parents belonging to our children. In a relationship. We may be single, or with someone that seems empty, or strong, it matters not, we all have a need to belong: a single entity, a group, a tribe. We are strong in ourselves, but having the feeling of belonging gives us purpose. It’s the receiving ideology of the echo significance.
And I thought of my mother. In frail care, all single individuals, she fell in love with another. In her late eighties. Really, at her age, what about her deceased husband etc, etc, but I smiled at her fussing and faffing about another – she felt useful, she felt wanted, she felt acknowledged. Her children were in other cities, loving, but not beside her. Nurturing another in her immediate space allowed her to feel she belonged, for a short while and that was a generous act.
The book is about four women who, on the spur of the moment, through an advertisement, land up in an enchanted villa in Italy. Each brings their history, their disappointments, thoughts and dreams to this place. Surrender to it, their lives on hold, surrounded by the intoxicating beauty of place and nature, but with time to become introspective about the how, the wherefore and the future. And the need to belong. Each one strong and some pedantic in their rituals – yet each with a desire to belong, in society, in their relationships, in themselves. Do I want to put it down, not yet, will I read it again, for sure. A classic is a classic. I love clever writing.
I don’t need nobody else I hear you say. I am ok just as I am. And I am. And I am not – we all need another to manifest us as being important, we all need another to make us feel special and we all need another, or others to make us belong.
The book was written in 1922. Old for sure! Charming and light hearted and ideal for the bath time ritual. Enchanting.
At tne moment my reading list du jour is:
Commute reading: The Land where Lemons grow.
Bedtime reading: Beneath the Scarlet Sky.
What are you reading at the moment and loving it?
Image: Amazon (sorry, not a big fan of Amazon)