Yesterday my SIL called while I was putting the twins down for a nap and invited Grace, Emma and Garrett to go with them to a local mini amusement park. Actually, the twins and I were I were invited too, but the twin dogs need their nap. I’ve become almost obsessive about this. They take a really good nap after lunch and if they don’t get it, they are NOT fun to be around. So, I declined and they picked up the 3 Musketeers and took them for the WHOLE day. I literally didn’t know what to do with myself. I had all kinds of things that needed to be done, but instead I decided to do one of my favorite things……READ. The house was so quiet and the twins slept and slept and I got through most of “The Painted Veil” by W. Somerset Maugham. I love a romantic story and I guess I expected the book to be very similar to the movie. The first part about the affair is, but the parts in the movie that endeared it to me did not happen in the book at all! I think Maugham is a great writer and does a great job of character development, I think I just started the book expecting the movie and that’s not what I got.
Here’s a exerpt that moved me. (This is the character Waddington speaking to Kitty after Walters death).
“I wonder. I wonder if it matters that what they have aimed at is illusion [referring to eternal life]. Their lives are in themselves beautiful. I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.”
Although I believe that there are many ways that we can view this world without disgust and that there is eternal life, I love that without those beliefs it can come down to the simple idea that a beautiful life, IS the richest beauty. We don’t have to be musically inclined, know how to write eloquently or paint like a master, we can lead a life of virtue and integrity and charity and be as fulfilled as that person who painted a masterpiece because a good life IS beautiful.