Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Basset

This past month I have discovered a new favorite thing. It is a PG Wodehouse novel. In the past few weeks I have read Damsel in Distress ,Carry On Jeeves , Right Ho Jeeves , Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit , and The Mating Season. All but one of the books feature the characters Wooster and Jeeves, and two of said titles include a character by the name of Madeline Basset.

A wise man once compared me to Madeline Basset. In my defense I am no longer like Madeline Basset, and even at the time the comparison wasn't entirely fair. However, not long prior to this point the resemblance was ridiculously accurate. Madeline Basset is the sort whom think of the stars as God's daisy chains, and that every time a fairy sneezes a baby is born. So while to compare someone to The Basset (as Wooster calls her) isn't exactly derogatory, it certainly isn't a compliment. Those of you who know Nolan will be amused by the fact that Madeline's fiance loves newts. Anyway....

Like I said, I am no longer much of the Madeline Basset persuasion. Hearing her description at first sounds a bit over the top, but sweet perhaps. And yes she is sweet, but sweet like saccharine, not like honey. It isn't the sort of sweetness that makes life good, but the sort that leaves a foul taste in ones mouth. Being like that, which by the by was actually brought on by Anne of Green Gables, was my way of ordering the world how I most desired it. I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that reality isn't always pleasant- so why not simply alter reality to make it more to your liking? Why not believe ideal things about days past, dress weird, pretend you can talk to dryads in the forest and that the trees are your friends? After all, believing that the stars are God's daisy chains is far more pleasant than believing you're alone in the world and that it is a scary and dark place.

Ultimately, we all want peace and order. For me for many years I tried to create it for myself on a storybook level. Some people try to do it with money or relationships or careers. All of these attempts fall flat however, for the only way to truly order your world is with God and to do so within the constraints of His reality. Yes, the world is a fallen and dark place, but it does not become less so by simply ignoring reality. It is dark, but we're not alone and it is in Christ that we truly find peace, and order, and meaning. Evan said all of this far better here and here and here.

All of that to say that I love PG Wodehouse, enjoy the character of Madeline Basset, and praise God that I'm no longer like her. Go read Wodehouse, you'll love it.


At June 09, 2006 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Madeline Basset??!!! THEMS FIGHTING WORDS!! :) I fear in my "old" days I'd have qualified a great deal for Florence or Steffi. (But, by God's grace never quite attaining to Aunt Agatha!) :)
Dawn C


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