“Generally Not Deplorable”

“Her vitality, if you could have harnessed it, would have supplied a whole town with electric light.”

I love this line from Young Archidemes, a short story by Great Britain writer Aldous Huxley.  His  description reminds me of so many of the radiant, electric women of all ages that I adore.  Then, as good writers tend to do, Huxley hits you with a zinger curve-ball that leaves you wondering what just happened.

“Enormous stores of vital energy accumulate in unemployed women of sanguine temperament, which vent themselves in ways that are generally deplorable: in interfering with other people’s affairs, in working up emotional scenes, in thinking about love and making it, and in bothering men till they cannot get on with their work.”

Yikes.  This is like finding a bone in your fish dinner.  It will certainly prompt you to eat the remaining meal with more care.  One must now read the rest of Huxley’s short tale gingerly, chewing the words slowly for sharp points, thinking and enjoying the whole meal, bones and all.

Good writers don’t make things easy or safe, but it’s always a feast.  That said, this is what a seven-page short story from a 1920’s author made me consider today, and I pass it on to you.

Beautiful women, how do we harness the vitality that has been placed purposefully inside each of us?

How do we best provide light for loved ones, neighbors, even a whole city, without working up emotional scenes?

Where can we vent our God-given energies in ways that are “generally not deplorable?”

Does my light wrap others in gentle warmth?  Is it cold as it inspects for flaws?  Does it sear as it insists on possessing the branded?

Finally, sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Warm light to you and yours today, because the LIGHT has come, and it is full of mercy and grace!


(Repost with edits)

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