Yes, I’m cheating by doing this in Quick Takes form… a week after the topic was published.
This topic was meant to be a light one, just in time for Valentine’s Day, because no matter your vocation or marital status, there have been and always will be literary men in your life. As Liesl explained in her literary crush piece, “Excuse me while I swoon:”
I think one of the things I have learned most from my literary crushes is not that they have shaped my heart, but that they show me what is already imprinted on my heart.
We are who God created us to be when He first knew us, before He formed us in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). We are His children, at our core, no matter what additional outer layers we allow others or the world to attach to us.
|When you KNEW you could fly
My college art show focused on a related phenomenon: the concept of memory and how your life changes and experiences change your perspective on memories.
For instance, Anne of Green Gables was one of my first chapter books. Therefore, my perspective as a 5 or 6-year-old reading about Anne’s contentious relationship with Gilbert Blythe was simplified. I might have picked up on their undertones, but I certainly didn’t analyze it and try to apply my results to my own life like I did as a teen.
My perspective as a happy, confident, and in-Love 24-year-old reading this classic is less analytical and involves far more guffaws at some of my previously similar behaviors. Oh Anne, you’re almost as clueless as I was a few years ago!
I can only imagine that I will revisit my 24-year-old perspective as an older woman and share a few more guffaws with and at myself. It’s a cycle, folks, so embrace it!
|Say a prayer that everyone may shed the extra layers
This whole concept rests on the notion that we are who God created us to be at our core. My favorite quick quote is JP2’s “Family, become what you are.” As Catholic Christians, we believe God created our souls and and gave them a home in our bodies.
Our souls should come first in the health pecking order, but many times we feed our body and our pleasures first.
Throughout our lives, we pack on outer layers of junk. I know I formed some weird habits during my tween to teen years. We all add habits and mannerisms to ourselves in order to fit in or do what we think will be best for us. Unfortunately, this is often only “best” for us in our pleasure-seeking short term.
Praise God, we’re still US at our core. Through discernment, prayer, the will of God, and sometimes an Ah-Ha moment, we can shed these outer layers and reveal who we were created to be.
This inner person, the core, is the one with whom others fall in Love! This is who Gilbert noticed about Anne, not her red hair or temper. I believe he fell for the passion that motivated the temper.
Captain Wentworth tried his best to forget about his Anne, the one who broke his heart. He thought he healed from the romance bruise, but as soon as he saw her again, seven years later, and noticed her resolve, clear-headedness, and strength, he shed the blinders.
Julie, Liesl, and Sarah mentioned these fine fellows, and rightly so. I used to think that I Loved Gilbert because he was just a nice, intelligent country boy who is part of an example of an iconic Love story. I once thought I swooned over Capt. Wentworth because he secretly pined over Anne and then wrote a beautiful letter to make his affection known.
It’s both more complex and more simple than that: they Loved their Annes to their core and recognized the lovable qualities buried deep in them. Once more, swoon with me. This is why they are so swoon-worthy. Gilbert embraced Anne’s Anne-ness from the beginning and Capt. Wentworth couldn’t fall out of Love with his Anne, even after years and distance.
These are the men we want, ladies. Go find them.