Monday, January 25, 2010
Charm and Grace... in the words of Rhett Butler
In the movie Gone With the Wind, when Rhett is finally leaving Scarlett, we find this dialogue between them:
Scarlett: Rhett! Rhett, where are you going?
Rhett Butler: I'm going back to Charleston, back where I belong.
Scarlett: Please, please take me with you!
Rhett Butler: No, I'm through with everything here. I want peace. I want to see if somewhere there isn't something left in life of charm and grace. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Rhett, of course, was talking about the qualities found in the South that "had been" ... before the war came and robbed them of their dignity and pride (misplaced though that pride often was). But there must have been a real charm, grace, and gentle rhythm to life in the South at one time. I think we have tried to hang on to much of that. I know I have. A taste of humility can be a good thing for a people, and that's just what Southerners got from that war. There were so many wrongs that could never be righted. But, the humbling process undoubtedly produced some of the charm, grace, and genuine niceness that I have found around me all my life.
Margaret Mitchell writes of the transition from proud to humble so poignantly in her prose... about that civilization that is gone with the wind. Those words uttered by Rhett Butler in the movie are not actually a direct quote from the book, but the essence of it is there. The movie is where I first heard the words "charm" and "grace" used in conjunction with one another. It apparently made a lasting impression. Aren't they wonderful words? They convey just what you really want life to be like. While we will never really know if Rhett found those things (yes I do realize he is a fictional character), we can make charm and grace a goal for our own lives.
What do the words Charm & Grace mean to you? To me, they speak of the desire for beauty in the daily things of life, sincerity in all my actions, a warmth and rhythm to life, a fondness for those around me, a gentleness with those I am just getting to know, a genuine care and concern for my neighbors... I could go on and on. I hope that those things are what you find when you visit me, my dear blog friends and neighbors!