You Transfix Me Quite – Jane Eyre and Vampires

You Transfix Me Quite – Jane Eyre and Vampires

Charlotte Bronte was brilliant. She created magic in a tough and most amazing woman named Jayne Eyre.

Jane Eyre does not seek a man to rescue her. She doesn’t seek him to complete her. She doesn’t look to silly romance to make her life perfect.

Jane is real. She is smart. She is tough. And in her soul of souls Jane Eyre doesn’t take shit from anyone.

I love Jane Eyre.

The book came out I believe in 1847. My mother brought a copy of it out to California with her during the California Gold Rush. I read the well-worn copy when I was 13. It took my breath away.

If only Jane had been a Vampire I thought when I first read it. I imagined her taking care of her nasty relatives in a most creative and horrible way, draining the blood from the people at that horrible school, then she’d do away with the crazy woman in the attic. But then again, no Vampire girl I knew would do that sort of thing or leave their child in the hands of such harsh people. But then I thought about it again, in my 13 year old mind. Jane was a woman who owned her own soul. She didn’t need a man to make her happy. She didn’t need anything. Yet she knew what love was more than Juliet (of Romeo and Juliet). She knew the fire and passion that only a soul on fire could know. It wasn’t the flash of young love and innocence. It wasn’t the passion of lust. It was a slow simmering burn mixed with that fire of understanding that becomes an everlasting flame that defies all reason yet is reason itself.

You all know the story. Jane is an orphan, she is despised by her family who wants her wealth (which she knows nothing of), she is sent to the boarding school from hell, then off to be a governess where she meets Mr. Rochester whom she falls in love with body, mind and soul. But he has a crazy wife so she leaves him on the altar and runs. She ends up being taken in by a rather dull minister with a passion only for God, so Jane goes back to Rochester, who is now blind, but not their love.

I pulled a few quotes:

“No sight so sad as that of a naughty child,” he began, “especially a naughty little girl. Do you know where the wicked go after death?”

“They go to hell,” was my ready and orthodox answer.

“And what is hell? Can you tell me that?”

“A pit full of fire.”

“And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there for ever?”

“No, sir.”

“What must you do to avoid it?”

I deliberated a moment: my answer, when it did come was objectionable: “I must keep in good health and not die.”

_____________________________________

“I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.”

——————————————————————-

“It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”

———————————————————————

“Never,” said he, as he ground his teeth, “never was anything at once
so frail and so indomitable. A mere reed she feels in my hand!” (And he
shook me with the force of his hold.) “I could bend her with my finger
and thumb: and what good would it do if I bent, if I uptore, if I crushed
her? Consider that eye: consider the resolute, wild, free thing looking
out of it, defying me, with more than courage—with a stern triumph.
Whatever I do with its cage, I cannot get at it—the savage, beautiful
creature! If I tear, if I rend the slight prison, my outrage will only let the
captive loose. Conqueror I might be of the house; but the inmate would
escape to heaven before I could call myself possessor of its clay dwellingplace.
And it is you, spirit—with will and energy, and virtue and purity—
that I want: not alone your brittle frame. Of yourself you could
come with soft flight and nestle against my heart, if you would: seized
against your will, you will elude the grasp like an essence—you will vanish
ere I inhale your fragrance.”
————————————————————-

“You transfix me quite.”

_______________________________________

 And so…

I remember a time when women could not vote. They were not allowed to own property. Colleges would not accept women. Women could not have an occupation of their choosing. They often could not even marry the man of their own choice.  Jane Eyre made her own choices, even when it was just in her mind. She was her own woman.

And that is MY take on it. She would have been a Hell of a Vampire.

About Movies…

I usually have little good to say of movie adaptations of books but there are a few wonderful adaptations of Jane Eyre, a few ok ones and one really horrible one you need to avoid at ALL COST. My credit information and links are from Wikipedia.

Best:

Good:

Horrible and you need to avoid it at all costs or werewolves will eat your soul:

 

So once again thank you Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre for transfixing me and transporting me and letting me know that any woman, no matter what her background, could be strong, good and passionate!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Note: This was first posted in 2013. I’m on vactaion somewhere out in the wilderness right now. I’ll have new posts when I return. In the meantime enjoy some classics.

Burning Question #19: Drinking Holes

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This week’s burning question is from the smart and beautiful Jessica, a young Vampire who jets sets between Las Vegas and New York. Thanks Jessica!

Straws have been in the news lately. I’m talking drinking straws here. Some countries are banning plastic straws. I remember when straws were all paper. At home we have reusable stainless steel straws. I have to say I love the stainless ones. Just like we got used to resuable grocery bags, we’ll get used to new and creative straw options.

But what about the physical and philosophical questions and mysteries that surround straws? OK I don’t care either but still, think about it. This is a fun one.

Burning Question #19: Does a straw have one hole or two?

 

So what do you think?

See you next week for Burning Question #20.

Keep cool, and don’t make annoying sounds when you drink stuff.

xoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Musings on Dusk and Art

William Keith - Dusk near Monterey

William Keith – Dusk Near Monterey

I was in my dining room, one cat sitting on the table and one in a chair ready to take a swipe at the other’s tail. My eyes went to the painting on the wall and I allowed myself to be transported to the coast. It was dusk. The wind was in my hair, the cats were playing around my feet. The waves made what would turn into the music of the night.

My brother Max and Grandmama Lola still keep a cottage there, from their days hanging out with artists and other Bohemian types. I still love to spend time there in the cottage that now acts as a safe house of sorts.

Then I’m back in my house, transported back to another place in another century.

As I’ve often said – I can’t explain the wonder and awe and feeling of being so complete and one with the universe when I’m in the presence of art. It is time travel for the soul. It is the essence of being. It was something that transports. It is like a high that no drug can match. It is magic.

It has been too long since I’ve picked up a brush, pastels or put pen and ink on paper. I need to close my eyes and feel the passion again, then in a quiet space create without doubt or care of what anyone else will say or think. It is like the verse from Matthew 6.6:

When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 

When you create art it is like prayer. It is an extension of your soul. It is the ability to create a vision with your eyes and hands and heart. I don’t have the ego to show off, rather it is a gift for me to share.

So I go to my inner room, close the door, and create my fine art in secret.

I do a lot of things in secret, but then again, I’m a Vampire. That is what we do when we’re not waxing poetically about life, love, art and parenting.

Grandmama Lola dropped by and we shared a pot of tea and talked about art and life and what makes us really alive. It isn’t the blood in our veins but the wonder and visions in our souls that makes us real.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Summer Blooms

I garden. Daylilies. No it isn’t ironic. It just is what it is. I also grow roses and a lot of other blooming delights too. Cold heart, green thumb (bet you didn’t know that about Vampires.)

From my yard. Enjoy.

 

https://ceenphotography.com/2018/07/09/flower-of-the-day-july-10-2018-bearded-iris/

Thank you Cee for the wonderful photo prompt. I can’t wait to see what others are growing!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Memories, Parenting, Shared Stories, and Growing Up

My daughter turned nineteen yesterday. That now means I’m officially a parent of those who are exclusively adults.

With the kids in my life getting older it beings back a flood of memories from the time I was a little bit older than two years, to my childhood, and somewhat embarrassing and adventure filled young adulthood.

I hope that all adults, especially those with children, and I mean children of any age, can remember way back when. I don’t mean like those memes you see on Facebook that say “When I was a kid we jumped off of cliffs, played with guns and live hand grenades, went swimming in snake infested rivers, stayed out until dark, exclusively dined on fried food and sugar, and put our hands into garbage disposals, used chain saws unattended, and we’re still alive. Kids these days are spoiled assholes.”

Having children brings up random memories. Sometimes these are fearful. Sometimes they bring a sigh of relief because your child is not doing the same thing as you did. Sometimes they are happy, or bittersweet because of a time you loved that will never be again.

Yesterday I thought about how I waited on the front porch of our house with my mother and my brother Valentine as we watched my three older brothers walking off to school. They were fourteen, thirteen, and nine. Val was almost five. I was almost four. I remember telling my mother that I wanted to go to school. Val was silent on the issue. He’d already started to read on his own and had no plans on going to school. Not ever. He never told my parents so he missed his opportunity to be an exclusive self learner. I didn’t learn to read until I was six and didn’t master it until I was about eight.

I thought about how much I like my daughter’s boyfriend, and my son’s girlfriend.

And the most random memory came into my head. I dated a guy named Orin once who was nice. He had a dog who was nice and a nice sense of humor. His home was nice. What wasn’t so nice was the fact that his sister lived with him. Gertrude seemed nice at first despite the fact that she was loud and exceptionally out spoken. But then it got weird.

Wherever I went with Orin Gertrude would be there. When Gertrude would talk Orin would stop whatever he was doing and give her a dreamy look. Gertrude was the expert in everything and he would defer to her on everything. She monopolized every conversation. Eventually everything we did was what Orin and Gertrude wanted to do. In fact that only reason I think I was around was because Orin didn’t want to have sex with his sister. She already had dibs on all of the other girlfriend functions. It was like dating married man who brought his wife along, only weirder. So the last time I saw him I invited him for cocktails. I said we could do something afterwords. A few nights before I told him that I was bothered that Gertrude, or Gertrude and her boyfriend were always along. I wanted some time with just him. He brought Gertrude along. As we sipped our drinks Gertrude talked and Owen gave her dreamy looks and said nothing out of his goofy love stuck smile. I left after I was finished with my drink and never saw him again.

I’ve told that story to my kids. They think it is exceptionally creepy. Siblings are great. Just not like Owen and Gertrude.

This morning my daughter Clara and her boyfriend left for a camping trip on the north coast. I thought of a camping trip long ago with my friend Amelia.

I was living in Sacramento. Amelia was living in Las Vegas. So we met half way in the southern part of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, where the highest mountains in the lower 48 are. We were at Devil’s Post Pile, an amazing geological formation. As we set up our tents I heard seals. This was great. Last time I went camping on the beach we heard seals too.

I said to Amelia, “Do you hear the seals?”

She said, “Those are mules.”

Then I remembered we were three hundred miles from the ocean, and in the mountains.

I’ll attribute my memory fade to a four-hour drive in my sports car with the top down. Brain bake. Or maybe it was just me, because sometimes I’m like that.

Amelia is still in Las Vegas being fabulous. I’m still living near Sacramento.

Amelia and I are still having adventures. I heard the seals, aka mules, years before I ever had children. Now Amelia and I have grown daughters. I think our hearing is a lot better now. Parenthood will do that to you.

By the way, I haven’t heard seals in the mountains since then.

I was also with Amelia on my 19th birthday one hundred and forty years ago, but I won’t tell that story today.

In both storytelling and parenting use what you know. Use the truths from you experiences to teach your children. Entertain them with your stupid stories so maybe their stupid stories won’t be so stupid.

We all connect through our stories. Our stories make us who we are. They are something we can share at no cost, except maybe a little embarrassment.

I love to listen to stories and memories others have to share. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting around a campfire, strolling through a museum, or hanging out at home. What matters is that we listen with open minds, open hearts, and a sense of humor. And add in some love.

Yes, even Vampires, despite the misinformation out there about us, know about love. We know a lot about love – and stories. So be like a Vampire and tell your story and collect stories from others. You’ll thank me for it later.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

vm darling girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burning Question #16: In Honor of the 2018 World Cup

150705 WNT v JPN Champions

Women’s Team USA wins GOLD 2015

American’s are protective of their sports. They’re sort of protective over Canadian sports too. But hey, what do I know.

This is the list of sports I watch live and in person:

  • Artistic Roller Skating
  • Baseball – Go Giants. OMG they have the most beautiful ball park in the world.
  • Basketball – I’ve kind of given up on the Kings, but the draft pick just happened and you never know.

And what I’ll watch on TV:

  • Ice Skating
  • Ice Hockey – GO LAS VEGAS
  • Baseball
  • Olympics stuff, odds and ends like three minutes of the Scottish Games, Lumberjack Games, Naked and Afraid, Dog shows, Triple Crown Horse racing, etc.

I also like to listen to baseball on the radio. There is something so soothing about it.

BUT…

We’re (USA) just isn’t a soccer kind of place. Our Football is well…FOOTBALL. I don’t watch THAT either.

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My brother Aaron’s kids played soccer when they were small. We went to all of the games. It was great fun. They graduated up to other sports when they got older.

I’ve played soccer. It is hecka fun to play. I’m good at it. I never had the opportunity to be on the team.

majestic-as-fuck

Is it ballet or is it soccer? This guy knows the real answer.

It isn’t as if I don’t like soccer. I just don’t have any feelings for it. I’ll glance at a baseball game, or even football in a bar but I won’t glance at soccer. OK if cats are playing I’ll glance at it.

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I’ll watch anything with a cat.

And that brings us to the World Cup Game which is famous for wild fans, South African’s with weird horns, and all kinds of crazy shit. It is pandemonium unlike anything even Pablo Sandoval could ever imagine.

Which brings us to a question that many a suburban dad asks…

Burning Question #16: Is Soccer a Real Sport? 

 

AP QUICK HITS THE 99ERS S SOC FILE USA CA

Yes, it is a sport! Ice cream and Jello shots for everyone.

Why soccer this week? The original Burning Question #16 was a scrape the bottom of the barrel silly post about Werewolves. That one might resurface as Burning Question #37. My darling husband said, “You can’t ask that.” Oh ye of little faith in my readers. So HE came up with this question about soccer. Blame it on Teddy. He’s a Vampire so you can blame a multitude of things on him. Please, feel free.

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Excuse me but all of this silly talk about soccer is going to make my head explode. Cheap laughs woman. Just cheap laughs is all you care about. For God’s sake ask them about Werewolves.

I have to admit that the parks, once completely filled with children playing soccer, are now filling up with Lacrosse players. My kids roller skate and surf. I just walk around the park with the dog. But that said, soccer is pretty popular and there is always talk of a pro team coming to town. But would anyone go watch? Maybe. Maybe sort of not. Is it a sport? A real sport?

If you haven’t already, please click on your answer on the poll. Spout out your opinions in the comments below but don’t be too mean or snotty. If you have a suggestion for a burning question let me know. You know how to reach me (look on my about page if you don’t.)

Have fun. Play hard. Stay cool.

For more Burning Questions CLICK HERE.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

funny-animals-playing-soccer-football-001

After Circe turned the men into swine they found themselves quite bored. To pass the time they invented soccer. But is it really a sport?