Friday, December 15, 2006

In which I admit to a certain degree of ennui

It's confession time again, because I'm pretty sure y'all love it when I confess stuff. What could possibly be more interesting, after all, than knowing something about ME that's a little shameful (or, maybe a lot shameful, depending on your tolerance for shame. But, I'm thinking, if you're HERE, then your tolerance for shameful things is reasonably high, and so perhaps my upcoming confession won't be so titillating. Whatever. It's all I've got today).

Confession time - I have not done a thing for Christmas.

No cookies. No decorations. No tree. No Christmas CDs. No Christmas/holiday-themed posts (though I came close yesterday with the red and green text...).

I've got a bad case of ennui, y'all, a BAD case.

What can I do to get out of it? I feel all victorian angsty, like a tragic Bronte antiheroine who needs a good meander about the moors (possibly featuring dried-up heather to crush satisfyingly underfoot) to set her mussed brain to rights. Maybe a good walk in the heathered moors in a fog....or a light drizzle....with a crocheted scarf around my shoulders and long full skirts that get damp around the bottom from the frosty dead heather. Yes, that's it. I need something like this:


I awoke this morning with my head full of distant discomfort, a malaise of the spirit had settled on me in the night and now weighed heavily around my person. There was no distinct reason for the change in atmosphere, for yesterday had been a day like most others at Manor Charlaine, with all the comforts a warm home and full servant staff could afford. My drawing lessons had gone well, the music master had praised my mastery of the minor scales on the pianoforte, the dinner Jeanette prepared was delicious as always, and our entertainments of whist and pantomime had lasted long into the evening.

Perhaps it was the brandy that had clogged my good spirits from bubbling merrily to the surface as they usually did. Certainly I had not needed to take that second snifter, but when the Captain held it to me, glistening in the firelight, his large beseeching brown eyes were too affecting to rebuff. Our fingers had touched as the transfer was made, an impertinence on both our parts, for neither of us wore gloves. It was a delicious sensation; his fingers were dry and warm.

Whatever the cause, the morning's mood was not abrogated in the least by a sumptuous breakfast of kipper and pickled eggs, and Father remarked I looked pale and listless. He made a suggestion that I walk outdoors, that the fresh crisp air of November would bring colour to my cheeks and strength to my leaden limbs.

I could not argue with him on that point, for Father was used to being obeyed and no amount of retort to the contrary of his positions would be tolerated. Thus, after having Delaine comb out my hair and fashion it into a style suitable for walking, I donned my tweed skirt and jacket, buttoned up my boots, and set forth with MacGregor, the Irish wolfhound, to walk.

A fine mist coated my face and hair almost instantly, bathing me in chilly dew. My breath was visible in the moist air, the words I spoke to MacGregor puffed from my lips in clouds of words. Mac trotted along beside me, his own breath smoking through the fog. We made our way to the top of the hill, along the sheep paths and over the gate stiles, until we reached the crest and could see the whole of the manorlands below. The great gray stone house, the red brick bakery and kitchens, the farrier's shop and smithy, the long drive coated with pearly oyster shells, all lay out before us in symmetrical harmony, a perfect place among the moors and stubble fields.

We stood like that for a good while as the mist sunk into our skins. The peace of the moors was perfect, silence surrounded us, we were alone in the world, the dog and I.

I'll never know what possessed me to turn away from home and hearth and walk away across the damp fields of spent heather. I'll never know what perverse part of my nature took me toward the Captain's home. I'll never discern what it was that called me toward him, toward the small cottage at the far end of the valley, toward the neat garden and stone chimney, toward the smokey beamed ceilings I've now had the chance to inspect at leisure. I only know that once he opened his door to me, drawing me in and entreating me to warm myself by his fire, the ennui lifted, and my life would never be the same.


Yep - maybe something like THAT would do nicely.

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