Sunday, March 3, 2013

I thought only table legs were well-turned

Not so dear reader.  Ladies are well-turned, too.  Though, they are in such short supply these days.  I dare say if you were to look around there would be far too many spindly ladies than the well-turned sort.

What is a Well-Turned Lady (WTL) you ask?

Go back, back, back to a time when "Pilates Arms" were never heard of.  It was a time before the Fiscal Kerfuffle inflicted itself upon us.  A time when we would have known the Mayan Apocalypse as a dinner entree at Cuco's.  A gentler time, if you will.

All a lady had to do was occasionally show a lovely ankle and it "brought all the boys to the yard."  And let me add a Yo to that.

But, it was not easy, no.  Before we commence down the primrose path to the mistaken belief in a simpler time, I will disabuse you of the notion right now. The WTL led a life of mastering the domestic arts and the actual ARTS amongst other things. 

It is the actual Arts part that I endeavor to achieve, dear readers.  Thus the need for this “Blog of Days.”   The WTL invites you to join her on a journey to bring Artistic pursuits and a well-lived life together. 

Why might a WTL seek such a path?  Desperation.

One sunny afternoon the WTL found herself in a used bookstore in Tallahassee, FL, and found a slim volume entitled Anonymous Was a Woman.  Using the quote from Virginia Woolf, it depicted the hand work and folk art of the 18th and 19th century, but it also described the day-to-day domestic life of these women.  Suffice it to say, those ladies were not sissies.  The work of Homecare and Creating all mingled together in their work-laden lives. 

As the WTL jumped around the book to see quotes here and there, she saw this on pg. 37:
Saturday morning wrote journal in the afternoon quilted for Miss Anne Baldwin…After tea took a short walk.  In the evening sung songs and heard prayers... Monday morning went to school…read history, painted in the afternoon.…

The WTL thought that she’d kill to journal and quilt on a Saturday… She would love to paint on a Monday afternoon.  As for reading history, who has time for these things now-a-days?

However, it also reminded the WTL of another piece of writing:

[Miss Bingley] A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half-deserved."

"All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading."

[Elizabeth Bennet:] "I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women.  I rather wonder now at your knowing any." (8.51-53)

Right then and there the WTL vowed to turn her attention to the examples of these periods of time in order to cultivate herself.  In doing so, she hoped to become accomplished and more importantly she would nurture her creativity.