Saturday, 30 July 2016

About Emily.

The only time I ever went to Haworth Parsonage was the only time I ever felt a sense of being on a pilgrimage. I looked through the door to the sitting room and gazed upon the chaise longue on which Emily Brontë took her last breath. I desperately wanted to touch it.

But was it her death bed? I’ve wondered since whether I read somewhere that it was, or whether I only imagined it. I’ve even wondered whether I knew the fact from some other, more arcane, source. The odd thing is that I’d never given much thought to her before that day; I didn’t know she wrote poetry and hadn’t even read Wuthering Heights, although I’d tried three times when I was the same age as she was when she died. For some reason I never finished it, and then my copy went missing. But the visit and the view of the chaise longue awakened something, though exactly what I don’t know. Something to do with longing and frustration, it seems. The fact is, it isn’t Emily’s literary work that fascinates me; it’s her abiding presence.

I see her sometimes, you know. She’s standing on a dirt track watching me as I approach, her hands clasped in front of her stomach and her eyes showing neither malice nor welcome; and yet they look expectant in some way. It soon vanishes.

Tonight I’ve been looking for a picture of mine which might suffice to commemorate her birthday, but I can’t find one. That’s frustrating.

Emily Bronte
Born 30th July 1818

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