The chocolate of literature

I am in the throes of reading the memoirs of Helen Thomas. I cam across her work completely by chance at work and it only took a couple of sentences to realise that I had to devour every book she had written. So I have a pile of 5 to work my way through. I have already finished ‘As it Was’, which was exquisite and now I am reading ‘World Without End’. I have not come across an author who so successfully puts into words emotions and feelings that are very difficult to describe. Her prose enables you to re-visit such emotions and feelings. Her life was in the late 1800s and in her memoirs she talks about life with author and poet Edward Thomas and her struggles with loving ‘the typical male’ – gorgeous, maddening and brooding.

Over the next few days I will write excerpts from her memoirs, one from As It Was, I am tempted to email to the National Childbirth Trust as an example of how childbirth can be a positive experience without pain relief.

For today, I give you this excerpt, which I am sure most of us can relate to in the highs and lows of life:

“In an unconscious way as I grew older I came to realise that everything that is a part of life is inevitable to it, and must therefore be good. I could not be borne high upon the crest of ecstasy and joy unless I also knew the dreadful depths of the trough of the great waves of life. I could not be irradiated by such love without being swept by the shadow of despair. The rich teeming earth from which all beauty comes is fed with decay; out of the sweat and labour of men grows the corn. We are born to die; if death were not, life would not be either. Pain and weakness and evil, as well as strength and passion and health, are part of the beautiful pattern of life, and as I grew up I learned that life is richer and fuller and finer the more you can understand not only in your brain and intellect but in your very being, that you must accept it all; without bitterness the agony, without complacency the joy.”

Helen Thomas, World Without End

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef – the blogging version of a social enterprise. If you can support Unicef please see my page on their site here.

Thanks for reading.

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