Friday, September 13, 2013

Untamed by Jayne Shoup Guest Post

The question of the day is, if I was a character in a book, who I would be? The easiest thing is to fall back on a classic, one my first and really all time favorite books, Little Women. When I first read it, I can remember very clearly wanting to be Beth with her pure sweetness of character, but I was more like Jo. For days after reading Little Women, I’d go around trying to be Beth-like, but it never stuck. I am just not that good of a human being.
            Like Jo, I was the middle child of sisters, the oldest a ‘golden girl’ and the youngest the pretty one. What can I tell you? I developed a good sense of humor early on. Like Jo, I write, and the writing was not very good at first. Like her, I was almost always restless in my skin. I often felt as if I didn’t belong the same way other people did. I felt displaced in time. Like her, I rather craved violence and adventure, thus the escape through imagination and writing. She didn’t care about fashion. Me neither. She saw through the shallow pretense of people. Me, too. She’s not a girly-girl. Me neither. Hell, I’m not only like Jo, I am Jo!
            Except she was better educated. She comments on Amy’s abysmal grasp of Latin, but, geez, what would she think of the Latin commonly taught today? My own grasp of Latin is limited to the most basic root words and warnings, catch phrases about seizing the day and the etching on U.S. coins.  I was going to add Queen lyrics to the list, but I just discovered that the phrase in Bohemian Rhapsody that I have always mistakenly attributed to Latin (‘Easy come, easy go, will you let me go? Bismillah, No! We will let you go!’) is not, in fact, Latin. It’s Arabic, used frequently as a blessing before eating or other actions. It means, ‘In the name of God, the merciful and compassionate.’
     If I’m counting correctly, that’s two unexpected bonuses for reading this blog entry, you learned something and Freddie Mercury is now singing in your head. Of course, if, in an hour’s time, you still can’t turn off, you’ll be thinking of it as something other than a bonus. Kind of ironic that I referred to that line, huh? ‘Easy come, easy go, will you let me go? Bismillah. No! We will not let you go!’
     In conclusion, and getting back to Jo for a moment, there is one way I desperately want to emulate her. In the end, she had amazing success with a novel. Here’s hoping. Or to coin a phrase from Cicero, Dum spiro, spero. While I breathe, I hope.



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