Does it ever happens to you that a quote gets stuck in your head? Today I want to talk about one quote that I often remember. " It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs." This sentence was uttered by a heroine of Far From The Madding Crowd , a novel by Thomas Hardy ( download it for free here). In the time Bathsheba (the novel's protagonist) lived, this was certainly the truth. A man was the one who was supposed to express his romantic feelings to a woman, who was (in most cases- we're not speaking about prehistorical times) free to decline or accept these feelings.
In a romantic dialogue, the power lies with the woman who is being courted, or so it might seem. But what happens if a woman is uncertain about her feelings? Or if she wants to take the initiative and be the first one to express her feelings in words? A woman was simply not expected to elaborate on her feelings, especially when what was really expected was a clear answer. Moreover, it was quite uncommon for a woman to speak about her own romantic feelings towards a man. Because the man was (and perhaps still is) supposed to be an initiator, a woman trying to conduct a love discourse found (or perhaps still finds) herself at loss. I wonder how much is this still the case.
Anyhow, I brought this up because I also wanted to recommend this novel to you. It is a classic, but if you're just not into reading, I think there is also a film version ( I didn't see it, though). Bathsheba was certainly an interesting protagonist, so no wonder her words got stuck in my head. I suppose this happens more often than we're aware of. Something we heard may become a part of us. Someone's words (and in some ways his very soul) can became intricately linked with ours. There is immortality in words....and not just in words.
Think about this. Someone's gesture (how ever small) might change the course of your life. In this way, a part of this person is always with you. The more powerful the link or connection established, the more powerful the influence. Sometimes, we might not only grow up with someone but continue to grow with them. Similarly, you may admire a quality in somebody and introduce/establish it into your own life. This can even happen without you ever directly meeting this person. Immortality exists. It is not opium for the masses. Genuine communication and relationships still exist. Every meaningful gesture, glance or word carries within itself potential to change someone profoundly.
Back to the subject of the novel. There is no direct connection between my painting and the heroine of the novel I've just recommended to you. However, through the power of suggestion, I now see something of Bathsheba in this lady I painted. Similarly, there is no connection (that I know of) between this painting and the Bathsheba character from the Bible- but I do remember that episode quite well. When I was little, I remember reading an illustrated version of Bible. The painting of Bathsheba bathing (causing lust in king David) is probably still somewhere in the back of my head but it is not directly connected with this painting that wasn't planned at all. The medium of this painting is mixed media (mostly watercolour with an addition of a lipstick and nail-polish).