Friday and Saturday, February 19-20, Days 51 & 52 Temptation Radar: 0 for clothes, but I did make a few purchases at an antique show. Clothing Items Purchased: 0
Her name is Edith W. Horton. On February 9, 1884 she penciled her name into copy of Cathcart’s Youth Speaker, that quite curiously ended up in my hands on February 19, 2011. The name sounded so familiar….similar to Edith Wharton, a brilliantly famous late 18th century author. Letting my imagination sprint, I considered the far-fetched idea that it was actually Ms. Wharton’s book, signed by a disguise pen name of sorts, mumbling to myself, “Could it be?”
So, there I was, standing amongst acres and acres of antique dealer booths, where I stumbled upon one vendor whose display was seemingly miniscule and lacked inventiveness. Yet, tucked on the bottom shelf of a wayside bookcase, a small army of very aged books were glistening in the afternoon sunlight, the gold engraving flickering in a way that beckoned me. I like books. Always have. Love reading. For me, cozying up with a book is the ultimate indulgence, yet I rarely allow myself this decadent treat. I notice the first title Au Soleil by Guy De Maupassant. Remembering that he was a distinguished French writer in the early 19th century, I knew that this would be a certain addition to my collection. Next, a story titled Almost A Heroine captivated me simply because of the title. Almost a Heroine…..not quite…..but almost; something I can certainly relate to in small measure as I try to conquer the everyday . Third, a teaching manuscript I eagerly purchased for a dear friend, followed by Miss Edith’s book.
I began thumbing through the tattered pages of poetry and prose, letting my mind wander about destiny and fate, and all of the reasons why Edith’s book was in my hands…..and that it indeed must be THE Edith’s book. Who is this Edith anyway? Who’s handwriting? What was her story? I, never satisfied to leave anything solely to coincidence and believing deeply that all incidences have purpose and yield a valuable piece to the puzzle of our lives, had to know more about this happenstance connection with……well, Mrs. Wharton, I believe. 😉
After researching some of her biography, I was drawn to a description of her work “She was a born storyteller, whose novels are justly celebrated for their vivid settings, satiric wit, ironic style, and moral seriousness.” It was clear to me that we may have been fast friends, had we met. For this idea of wit married to moral seriousness, is something that I’ve flirted with for years. How is it that we can say what should be said, but with grace, charm and little laugh? I smiled.
I read on to discover her earnest love of New York and Paris…..her longing to be taken seriously. She struggled with materialism, and her perceivably forced status as a social matron; her affluence in many ways conflicted her. In modern-day illustration, we might describe her existential crisis as, a sort of “Maya Angelou escapes Desperate Housewives Of NYC”.
She was a dreamer, but tamed somewhat by practicality; governed by sincerity.
Back in the field at Renniger’s Antique Extravaganza, I had a moment. I had a message. For a second, kneeling in the tall blade grass, I clutched the book firmly to my chest, closed my eyes and let her whisper….
“If you want to read, Aimee, then read. Want to write? Don’t wait until you’re good enough. just write from your heart. Need to send a message that no one wants to hear? Be courageous…..send it anyway. You’ll never waste your life being true to your heart, doing what you love, living out your convictions, basking in the strength of your belief. It doesn’t matter what you wear, really. It makes no difference what car you drive, what circle you run in. To whom do you answer? A car? A friend? Do you like old books? Collect them. Do you love the color pink? Don’t wait for a fashion icon’s invitation to wear it. Do you have a dream? Don’t promise yourself that you’ll get to it later. Take a step toward it today. It’s okay to be unique. Let your heart speak.” Love, Edith
With that, I opened my eyes and seeing the sign that read “SALE: 3 for $10”, I suggested to the dealer 4 for $10, to which he gladly accepted.
Oh, and in case you want to see my other treasures….
Staffordshire Pups—1920’s. My fave find of the day.
Paris Sketches. I Heart.
Majolica plate. I collect this type of ceramic pottery, presented for the first time in 1851 by Herbert Minton at the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace, London. It was a hit and still captures the hearts of collectors today!
It was a fabulous day!