This is not a good day for me to write about Jane Austen. Because today I am wearing the high polish space helmet of insanity. The Good kind. We’ve talked about it before. The spider-fingers dash of Crazy creativity that gives me thousands of words at a time, and I feel so full that I have to start yelling out loud to myself about things like the luxurious sound of the vacuum cleaner over carpet and how the sound of rain is really quite unsettling – it makes me feel like the concept of small animals breaking (I know that’s weird, I’m sorry). Like I’m going to cry. Like I’m going to cry.
Like: When I think about the fact that water never sounds the same. It’s the same. It’s the same water that we’ve had for billions of years and yet water when it rains sounds nothing like water in a river and water in a river doesn’t sound at all like water in the oceans. Or faucet water. The shower. The toilet. That bizarre bird call of the high pressure sprinkler. It’s insane. Water out of the faucet is opaque. It’s white. True white like a paint color. White Paint = The Sound of a Faucet.
Oh, dear. These are hard days. These are hard Good Days. Because I need to be left alone. Because I need to be locked up somewhere quiet with tape over my mouth until it passes – and this is not acceptable when you need to do normal human things like Work and Raise Child.
These days can go horribly wrong if I’m not careful here in my space helmet.
But when it’s all over and the language ecstasy passes, and I’m just a regular collection of confusing word associations – sometimes I look behind me to see what got left on the floor (or the walls, or my hand, or my phone, or on someone else’s phone…) and what happened is something worth picking up and straining for clarity and signing and dating and holding onto for maybe sometime in the future. Maybe – if I am outrageously and heinously fortunate – 200 good solid years in the future.
Join the those lovely people at the Jane Austen Society tonight at 7pm for a celebration at Locust Grove honoring the bicentennial of Jane Austen’s classic book, Pride & Prejudice. 200 hundred years is a long time. Longer than I understand how to think. I can only measure time in divisions of 10. It’s because human beings like to live in decades before we die. Moving on:
With guests encouraged to dress in Regency attire to their heart’s joy, tonight’s event promises to include plenty of Jane Austen party flair for fans of the famous novel. Free to any and all, the evening will include a trivia contest with prizes, film clips from various adaptations with discussion of favorite scenes, tea and scones – and a chance to meet Mr. Darcy. Attendees will also get a first taste of the 6th annual Jane Austen Festival slated for another round this summer.
Things like this please me. Everything we do should always be about language and its writers. It should be honored for lots of 200-year-periods. Jane Austen probably never had “space helmet days” – but that’s simply because Space hadn’t been invented yet. Here’s to a bicentennial of creative frenzy and just how Good a hard Good Day can be when you grab its slender horns and ride it down the hill like a bike. Or something.
Locust Grove is located at 561 Blankenbaker Lane.
Photo: Courtesy of event press release.