'For our wonder and our war'

via Pinterest
'This world is as wild as an old wife's tale,
And strange the plain things are;
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.
- Christmas Poem, 
G.K. Chesterton

In my grand estimation of things, I have been seeing myself as quite busy; I guess you knew that already though, seeing how little I have been blogging these past days. I have written some in A Love that Never Fails, but not anything to boast about - how trying it is to get past this 'first chapter' stage! And I keep reminding myself that this is only the very, very first draft and it can all be nonsense for what its worth so long as I just keep on writing. So far, this sound piece of wisdom which I have imbibed from so many others doesn't seem to be penetrating my brain very successfully though. Ho hum!

At any rate, I thought that there was this piece of a letter that Jane wrote to her father who's in England's Royal Air Force (RAF), early on in the war. I can't see it at all as fitting into the book so I thought I might share it somewhere. I hope you enjoy it - it has the hand of originality about it, only because it is so ramble-y and eloquent-less in its content. But then, Jane doesn't ask you to pass judgement on her writing... right now, she cares little how good it is. She's only trying to grow up amid a war that she cannot understand, trying to find the 'peace that is put in impossible things', and cope with her father being away where the clash of war puts him daily at risk.

August 4th, 1940, London

Dearest Pappa,
It seems so hard to put into a few scrawled words of ink and paper the words a girl wants to write to her dear father: I guess you know all that I would say if I could, even if I did not write them. But, I just want you to know that I miss you.  So much. Daily I think of you - wondering, as I peep through the black-curtained window of our attic, where you are and what you might be doing and if you are safe. I try to pray, remembering the things you told me. I know God hears those prayers and knows the ones deep inside of us that are unspoken too. There is just that one prayer, that I keep on asking though. The words seem to be always the same... you know?

Life at home hasn't changed so much for Grandmamma and me, only in little things which seem so big at the same time—perhaps I feel them all the more because of your absence and because of the closeness of the war around us. Every day now, when I walk to school I see the tell-tale signs of the coming warfare in those dreadful black-out screens on the shop windows, the air-raid sirens that keep on toiling, and the sandbags piled high before the shelter buildings, and in the anxiety and sadness on the faces of everyone I see. I wish I could give each of them a big hug and a comforting word or smile; I know that it would make me feel happier as well. But how can I? It just seems... so, so... wrong. Grandmamma has been silent and sad but not discouraged - she is so brave, it makes my flimsy determination seem so thin! But it is scary, Pappa. I hear the sound of the bomber-planes at night and I cower deep-down inside of me, while I pretend I am not afraid at all. Oh, Pappa! I cordially detest wars, and wish them to cease. But they don't... or won't, will they? Not the way we quite want them to now... but when the curtains of this world are rolled back then He'll come again and all our striving shall cease. Then the lamb will sleep with the lion. And until then His peace is here with us, inside of us. Sometimes, like a fool, I forget that; I keep looking at the storm and tempest... and then, I pray, and I know that everything is right... not necessarily alright, but right - because Jesus is walking on the water with me. What could be better?

I wish I could ask about all that you are doing, Pappa, but that would be silly. But if you do have something that you can write about, I am all ears! Grandmamma and I are doing just fine; we don't eat strawberry and cream scones any more, but Grandmamma is a magician in the kitchen - I wish such blessings were transportable by mail so I'd send you a batch of her muffins! As to school, well, I am enjoying my classes—if only I did not have grammar lessons to reckon with. My teacher, Miss Frost, is the perfect specimen of strictness! She gave me the look of February last week upon including two exclamation marks in my creative-writing essay. How dull. I miss the Literature lessons I had with you fiercely - they were not like flat soda, and, by George, so imaginative! Do you still get time to write in your book of poems? I miss those - especially the one about the bluebird; I still cry every time I read those last four lines. They remind me of you.
               Pappa, I am thankful from the bottom of my heart that I have a father like you! I love you so much. May God keep you and protect you with the palm of His Hand, and be with you. Grandmamma and I pray for you every day.
            Much love from your little girl,
                                                            Jane
P.S. Grandmamma sends her love to you too in a little package of hugs and kisses.
P.S.S. I have been reading Dickens lately, and I stashed away in my notebook a few quotes of his. Here is one that I hope might gladden your heart like a drop of cordial!
 "Nothing that we do, is done in vain. I believe, with all my soul, that we shall see triumph.” – Charles Dickens

Comments

  1. A blog post about sweet Jane and "A Love that Never Fails"?!!!!! *does a happy dance* :) 'Tis so lovely to have you chatting about ALTNF again and writing it too! I thoroughly sympathize with you, dear, regarding those bothersome first chapters. Even though you know it is JUST the first draft you still want it to be proper and all that... *sighs dolefully* I'm very thankful I didn't have any trouble with the first chapters of my Runners book and the animal story but they were inspirations of the moment so that makes all the difference. :) Now, when it came to the third chapters! *dramatic groan*
    *reads letter twice and smiles* Jane is a dear, and I like Grandmamma even more now. :) Thoroughly enjoyable letter, my lovely! It's like a breath of fresh air in its unaffectness, originality, and chatty tone. :) I loved what Jane said about her literature class. It made me chuckle. :) And I always like it when people say, "by George!". No idea why... O.o The postscripts were very sweet. :) What book is the Dickens quote from? It sounds familiar but I can't place it... The descriptions of the war surroundings sound spot-on. I think description must be one of your writing strengths, darling. :)

    I'm so happy you're writing again on ALTNF! Despite the fact you've only been able to manage a bit. :) I'm praying that your studies go well, dear. I hope something beautiful happens to you today. :) *hugs* <3

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  2. Just stumbled onto your blog today, and when I read Jane's letter I could imagine her in my head, in a blue denim frock with a shoulder-length braid, and black buckle shoes, and I could hear her voice but I don't know how to describe it. It's funny how you managed to do that to me. You didn't say a word about the way she looks but I know it. And you didn't say anything about her voice but I can hear it. That means you're a good writer. Just one blog post and Jane is already real to me; I can imagine her next to me and I know what she'll say, how she'll talk. It's wonderful how she wrenches at your heart and makes you chuckle in the same letter.

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  3. Oh, Jane's letter is just lovely! Thank you for sharing.

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  4. @Annie Hawthorne

    Aww, thank you, Annie dear, so much for your sweet comment (ya know I always love reading them!!!!). *grins* I am glad you enjoyed this post and are happy I am back to writing ALTNF, hard slog as it has been. I believe you have hit the nail on the proverbial head though; the stories that come on sudden inspiration are usually quite wonderful and easy to write for starters and are akin to Palace Beautiful but somewhere along the third/fourth chapter there is some great Mount Difficulty to climb ;). I feel meanwhile that I must traverse through the Slough of Dispond for a little longer before I reach the Wicker Gate! But we better press through, eh? I hope your coming chapters in Little and Runners stories will go smoothly *hugs*.

    *so tickled you liked Jane's letter* - Jane is such a dear, ain't she? And Grandmamma - I am finding just how amazing she is by the passing of the days ;). Ohh, I love that literature part too and 'by George!' is such fun thing to say (reminds me of Ed Pevensie it does) and I was delighted I had the opportunity to squeeze it into Jane's letter.

    That quote by Dickens is so good, isn't it? I can't be sure, but I do believe it is from A Tale of Two Cities :D. *nodshead* I love description - I am needing to learn though not to overuse it ;).

    Aww, thank you, again, my dear *hugs* <3

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  5. @Mokona

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving this beautiful comment. It really, really was so encouraging to hear your thoughts and it put a smile on my face the whole day!

    I am so glad that you enjoyed this letter and that my character felt so real to you. Wow, you can actually imagine how she sounds and what she might say! That's pretty amazing, though it is pretty high praise which I hardly deserve! Thank you :).

    Jane is a bit like that - she makes me laugh and cry in turns and I love her dearly :). Glad you enjoyed her character too. God bless you!

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  6. Thanks, Tarissa :). I am glad you liked Jane's letter and thanks for commenting!

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  7. @Meghana - isn't the girl in the pic so sweet? She is so Jane for me!

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