“… letting life just happen without control … It’s much less painful than fighting every step of the way … and so much more delightful than trying to arrange life like a table setting, which one can never do anyway. Really, it’s quite exciting to see what will happen along next …” – Dorothy Gilman
The Wise Words of Dorothy Gilman
I’m rereading my journal of 1980, a year I spent trying to find out who this woman was that inhabited my body. It wasn’t a bad year. In fact, it was a really good year after a few bad ones.
However, many of my journal posts saw me whining about not knowing what I wanted – or knowing what I wanted but couldn’t have. I was yearning at the time for both a soul mate and to discover the place where I fit into life.
I980 was also the year in which I discovered Dorothy Gilman and her Mrs. Polifax mystery series. After discovering The Unexpected Mrs Polifax, published in 1966, I quickly searched out and read The Amazing Mrs.Polifax (1970), The Elusive Mrs. Polifax (1971). A Palm for Mrs. Polifax (1973), and Mrs. Polifax on Safari (1976).
The fictional Mrs. Polifax, a widow in her 60s, was, like me, discovering herself and, also like me, having adventures while doing so. I bonded with Mrs. Polifax as if she were my lifelong friend.
On June 4, 1980, I wrote: Spent the night with Mrs. Polifax, Just the thoughts I needed. Marvelous you are Dorothy Gilman.
I discovered many Polifax/Gilman quotes scattered throughout my 1980 journal. But none has stuck with me more thoroughly than the quote about our not being able to arrange life like a table setting. I could even quote it verbatim because of how many times I thought about it when things didn’t go as planned in my own life.
This wonderful author, Dorothy Gilman, died at the age of 88 in 2012, after writing another nine Mrs. Polifax books between 1983 and 2000. I read every one almost as soon as they came out.
Mrs. Polifax changed over the years, and so did I. I now know my place and “Marvelous” it is.
Bean Pat: Rolbos http://tinyurl.com/my4swzd The Extinct Instinct of Trust, a blog that leaves you with much to think about. At least it did me.