I visited with an old friend last night. “Anne with an E” Shirley transported herself to my home when I discovered she could catch a free flight to my Kindle via Amazon and a wireless connection. It’s been years since I first read Anne of Green Gables, and I didn’t realize how much watching the movie and directing a stage play version of the book had altered my memories of the story in the intervening decades.
After re-reading the first few chapters last night, I realized much of the movie and play dialogue had come straight from the book, but then again, much had been left out. While Richard Farnsworth’s portrayal of the beloved character, Matthew, had captured his shy but loving personality, I’d forgotten that L.M. Montgomery described Matthew as having long hair. I know the movie and play versions well enough that the disremembered details stood out, making this return to Avonlea a bit of a hunt for long-buried treasures.
I’m left wondering at the timing of this unexpected visit with Anne. I often struggle to justify time spent on writing. It’s a process that requires a great deal of alone time, and I often feel I’m using my time selfishly when I could be doing something more worthwhile like solving world hunger, contributing to our family’s income, or interacting with people. My timid forays into publication are followed by long retreats into the comfort of the world of unrecorded thoughts. And yet, this literary visit has made me realize just how much we forget if we don’t write it down. Perhaps, all details are not worth remembering, but some are like this insight from Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 5, which I’ll leave you with today.
“Do you know,” said Anne confidentially, “I’ve made up my mind to enjoy this drive. It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will. Of course, you must make it up FIRMLY. I am not going to think back to the asylum while we’re having our drive. I’m just going to think about the drive. Oh, look, there’s one little early wild rose out! Isn’t it lovely? Don’t you think it must be glad to be a rose?”