Are you watching Downton Abbey? Most of us are enjoying a glimpse into the aristocratic lives of our favorite characters in season three, while the downstairs staff intrigue us with their style of living.
Charles was born 200 years ago. To celebrate, San Francisco presented a bicentennial Dickens fair at the Cow Palace. We interacted with sailors on the London docks, ragpickers in the stews and alleyways, and junk dealers with dented silver from the swells.
My favorite characters were the chimney sweeps, filthy in black clothing, who handed out gold coins for luck (with a picture of Thomas Jefferson on one side and George Washington on the other. Go figure.)
Professional singers and actors and real shops with period merchandise for sale enchanted our senses and brought us a sense of belonging to another time.
Why the craze for all thing English right now? Do you know? And why was the London pickpocket texting on his smart phone?
One of my favorite and meaningful writings comes from Charles Dickens, where I am reminded to be intentional not to waste my time in this one short life; and I am also reminded to embrace hardships and suffering at times, to become strong, like the steel in the steel mills where I grew up in Western Penna– steel that went through fire to purify it and make it strong. Here are the words of Dicken’s character, David Copperfield:
“What is my life? Is it a series of accidents, or is there a deeper meaning? Waste! Waste! Life asks more of us; demands it! It’s not enough to be talented or beautiful or even simply loving–even simply loving! We must be strong, or else the gifts God sends us into the world with, will just fade and wither in the first cold wind that blows on us. The gift to life: The best steel must go through the fire.”
Thank you Marilyn, for a delightful and meaningful website! Sincerely, in Christ, Kathleen Ruckman