Jane Eyre is one of my favourite novels: orphaned girl, unloved, throwing hissy fit in red room, eventually makes good and marries the man she loves; after the odd house fire, and an encounter with the Mad Woman in the Attic. Having taught the novel for a number of years, I don’t re read it often. I have more sympathy for child Jane, as opposed to the adult Jane, and part of my irritation with the novel is because Jane Eyre narrator, and Charlotte Bronte author collide when they address their reader. Like Milton , who “turns notes to tragic ” Charotte Bronte places herself inside her text and draws attention to the act of authorship.
One starter activity I completed in the past was “Write a letter to your future self” which detailed a few obstacles that I knew faced me.Another one is “Write a letter to a relative you wish you had met”. One task I could never set is “Write a letter to someone who is dead” though there is a teen novel based upon this premise. One that occurred to me yesterday, was “Write a letter to your intended reader.” Much in the same way I imagine the Brontes sitting around their table with their writing desks, did they imagine their intended reader? Could they envision an intended future reader?
Certainly, they wrote with publication in mind, but did they also write for themselves? A blog is much the same: I write for myself but know it will be read. So I edit and revise the text ( as best I can ) before posting . Similarly, I edit my thoughts because this space is public. I don’t need to imagine my reader, I know most of you who have been invited here, and it occurs to me that I held no curiosity until I looked at the stats for my readership. So I imagine in this “midnight Moments forest” you, my reader.
You’re accessing this on your I phone on a New Jersey beach. The sand is wintry and a snowy, and a keen wind blows inward from the sea. The sky is a thin blue sky and your skin cracks and dries in the air. The dogs snuffle at your feet and their breath fogs in the minus ten air.
Or it is Easter in New England. You’re sitting in your wooden kitchen, in thecurved seating under the cupboards. The dogs pad on the wooden floor as you make egg salad sandwiches. Tulips are beginning to bud in pots on your porch, and your easter tree is decorated with chicks, bunnies, carrots and eggs. Your kitchen smells of garlic and onions , as the casserole cooks slowly in your crockpot. Your grandchildrens voices echo outside and you begin to plan more holiday activities for them. Perhaps egg painting later?
Or further up the North Shore, you’re cleaning out your fridge, and planning menus for a week. Youre looking at the church rota, and googling Ina recipes on the Good Food Channel. Perhaps you’re planning your travels, when to meet up with friends, and tnis will ping in your inbox and make you smile.
Perhaps you just got back from a surprise trip, and you’re making the most of a dry day, and your floor islittered with washing. You’re making a Tesco list for your husband, planning a fire in the grate, and wondering when to have your son and his wife over for supper. Perhaps you live in the mountains or on the coast next to the sea. Perhaps you live in an urban sprawl, and long to smell the smells of your summer island. Perhaps you live in the biggest state, and you’re heading off to church, in a mess of sneakers,ribbons, hair bobs and Star Wars Lego. Your Kids sing praise songs to the CD in your people carrier then switch to Taylor Swift who is “Never Ever getting back together.”
You could be up the Empire State Building jet lagged but about to propose to the girl you love. Her ring in your pocket, and your hands are icy and trembling. Its not a total surprise for her, but the city lights glow at your feet and cheesy red heart light shows flash in distant windows.
You may not be where you thought you were yesterday or where you thought you would be today. You could be heading home, heading out, heading away.
Wishing you a happy weekend, reader.