not ideally beautiful

In my novel class, we just finished reading Middlemarch by George Eliot, and at the end of the book is one of my favorite quotes ever. I have countless favorite passages from countless books, and this one I daresay is my favorite of them all:

Certainly those determining acts of her life were not ideally beautiful. They were the mixed result of a young and noble impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion. . . . But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

Certainly those determining acts of my life are not ideally beautiful. Some of them are, and for those, I am truly grateful. Determining acts that are ideally beautiful are true blessings, but I think we can all agree that many--if not most--determining moments in our lives are not ideally beautiful. And that's okay, and we can push through our not-so-ideal moments.

This reminded me of my word for the year: become. My own becoming moments won't always be ideally beautiful, but they will be becoming moments. And in the process of becoming, I can take comfort in the idea that perhaps the growing good of the world is partly dependent on my own "unhistoric acts," my goal to "[live] faithfully a hidden life."


brooketolman said...

Yay!! i love word of the year!!!! that's such a great one to choose.

michelle said...

That is a beautiful quote, Charlotte. Thanks for sharing.

Denise said...

That is quite an insightful quote. I love that you derive such pleasure from literature. Your father's daughter, for sure!

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