round and round...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I beg your pardon, I need a literature moment:

"Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."
— Nathaniel Hawthorne

I found this quote today. (OK, OK, Real Simple magazine emailed me the quote, I found bupkiss) He wrote the Scarlet Letter. Not exactly the epitome of glee in literary form. Granted, it's my favorite book of all time (the link shows my Scarlet Letter - look closely, the "D" is for Dreamer), but I don't love it because it makes me happy. I love it for what it says about love and perseverance and overcoming circumstance and social constructs.

To think that Hawthorne had thoughts about happiness kind of blows my mind. He led a fairly miserable life. He hated Puritanical society, yet he was engulfed in it well before he started his job at the Customs House. He made Hester Prynne a woman who found joy in small things, even in spite sometimes, amid her sad social standing as an outcast. The personal writings I've read of his (letters, etc.) aren't very chipper.

I guess this goes to show that even if you don't lead a life of bliss every day you should still find ways to honor your spirit and look for the happiness, however small, wherever you can find it.

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6 What people are saying:

Blogger Monogram Queen rambles...

Amen - sister - Amen!

5/21/2008 11:18:00 AM

Blogger Sandra rambles...

Walking in Hawthorne's footsteps was one of my favorite things about visiting Salem MA and the House of Seven Gables...gah, you made me want to go back again, so bad!!

5/21/2008 11:34:00 AM

Blogger Brown English Muffin rambles...

Ok so here's my problem "if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."...who the heck has time to sit down!!!! And where's my damn happiness!! LOL Just joking!

5/21/2008 11:44:00 AM

Blogger Anisa rambles...

is that your tat?

and great post...what a good reminder!

5/21/2008 01:18:00 PM

Blogger Anisa rambles...

that IS your cool. i want a tattoo too!!

5/21/2008 01:19:00 PM

Blogger Melissa rambles...

Patti - :-) It's my new refrain.

Sandra - Ooh, I want to go! I think maybe I'll drag M up there in a couple weeks when we head up to RI. It's not too far for a day trip from there.

Brown English Muffin - That's the hard part, right? I know that's the most challenging part for me... and I don't have a Baby C like you do!

Anisa - You are too funny! That's one of several I have. Matthew and I are getting our monogram tattooed on our forearms. I'm SO excited for that one. I will warn you - once you get one it's hard not to get more!

5/21/2008 05:20:00 PM


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