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The Book Club Reflection: 'The High Road' by Edna O'Brien

Updated on June 11, 2010
Beata Stasak profile image

Beata works as a qualified primary school teacher, a councillor for drug and alcohol addiction and a farm caretaker for organic olive grow.

AUTUMN - THE TIME OF TRANSFORMATION

Yesterday I was sitting writing at my window overlooking my 'High Road'. Everything was burnt-white, hot, soft and silent. Except for a puppy lost there on his way up...
Yesterday I was sitting writing at my window overlooking my 'High Road'. Everything was burnt-white, hot, soft and silent. Except for a puppy lost there on his way up...
Today I'm sitting looking out of my window overlooking 'the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, the time of transformation when life sheds its outer sunkissed skin..'
Today I'm sitting looking out of my window overlooking 'the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, the time of transformation when life sheds its outer sunkissed skin..'
and begins the long journey inwards to renew and regenerate, ultimately, to fill all fruit with ripeness to the core.' /Ode to Autumn by John Keats/
and begins the long journey inwards to renew and regenerate, ultimately, to fill all fruit with ripeness to the core.' /Ode to Autumn by John Keats/
I feel some of that revitalisaing energy whenever I walk on my farm after our summer of dry heat feeling promising rain on my skin.
I feel some of that revitalisaing energy whenever I walk on my farm after our summer of dry heat feeling promising rain on my skin.
There is nothing so still as a surface of water before the moisture comes down...
There is nothing so still as a surface of water before the moisture comes down...
Promise of better times coming our way. Transformation in nature.
Promise of better times coming our way. Transformation in nature.
For a dreamer like me, it is the magic in making.
For a dreamer like me, it is the magic in making.
All of life can be about transformation..
All of life can be about transformation..
if we choose to live in a spirit of exploration and adventure.
if we choose to live in a spirit of exploration and adventure.
Take a 'high road' through an unknown land - your life.
Take a 'high road' through an unknown land - your life.
Transformation is about change and altering.
Transformation is about change and altering.
There are many ways in which a human life can transform in the course of the journey between birth and death. People we meet throughout life influence us...
There are many ways in which a human life can transform in the course of the journey between birth and death. People we meet throughout life influence us...
Some of them leave us weary and cautious...
Some of them leave us weary and cautious...
Some of them leave us happy and warm our hearts..
Some of them leave us happy and warm our hearts..
Some of them never leave our side and we find 'true friends for life'
Some of them never leave our side and we find 'true friends for life'
Observe the responses and reactions you get from others, friends and strangers alike...
Observe the responses and reactions you get from others, friends and strangers alike...
These are the mirror images that reflect us.
These are the mirror images that reflect us.
Take the 'High Road' to discover yourself.
Take the 'High Road' to discover yourself.
Just focus on what you are giving out and the reflections will comein their own time.
Just focus on what you are giving out and the reflections will comein their own time.
If you get negative ones instead, use that, learn from it and change-TRANSFORM.
If you get negative ones instead, use that, learn from it and change-TRANSFORM.
There can be no transformation until you develop a relationship with your inner self.
There can be no transformation until you develop a relationship with your inner self.

Take a road, take the High Road...




Take a road,
take The High road
to read about
the Possessiveness of LOVE
loss of Love
loneliness
being a victim
of Anna’s romantic memories
in a luxurious Mediterranean hideaway



Do not worry,
you don’t need to pay…




Anna has money…
but no place to stay,
She is on the run
from unhappy love affair



She reached her maturity
spoiled by luxury
and boredom of an easy life
just badly burned..
She has loved
and lost.



She wants to get, get, get
and there is nothing
she is willing to give away…
She wants to possess love
man’s, woman’s, girl’s…
any love which comes to her way…



She must learn
from her young friend
Catalina
an eager and headstrong girl
who dashes towards
the flame
of excitement
and romantic love affairs
only to be killed
by a possessive man.
.



Anna
in a voluntary
comfortable
excile,
in a limbo
between her past and future.



She does not bother
to be carried away
with plans for the future.



She cherishes her sweet,
romantic memories of past
and looses sight
of her present reality,
until she notices,
there are plenty of things
happening right here,
right now…



Anna thrives on excitement
and change
and hate it
when things become too routine
like all
‘well off’ people
whose
only worry is
which spoon use
for a dessert
brought in
by a buttler
too insignificant
to be seen.


But the full moon
will fullfil all her dreams
and throws
all sorts of dramas in her direction.


She learns to hold herself back,
for fear of what others will think,
her fair-weather friends
fade away..
There are times
when it seems
to her
as if life
is full of nothing
but frustration and sadness.



Three kinds of knowledge
come to her mind.
The first is sensual,
she experienced as a child.
Anna feels again
a nameless thrill
a giddiness
at the onset of things.



The second is knowledge
Intellectual.
The beauty of the human skull,
with all its cracks and crevices,
just like walls in her ancient Mediterranean hideaway,
The container of our brain,
where all our thoughts,
emotions
and memories are hidden away…



The third knowledge represents the soul.
This state has nothing in common with anything else,
failed attempts to control behaviour
to listen to our brain,
heightened sense of euphoria.
We think this state will last forever,
this moment of pure life,
this stream of abstract love,
romantic love,
physical love,
possessiveness of love….
I want, I want, I can not get enough of you
I want to possess you
I own you…




Then we realize
we can not possess love,
we can not buy it, keep it,
hold it in our hands,
sorrow, rejection,
loneliness comes.
Anna hides here,
in this deserted and luxurious place.
There are whiffs of despair
which point at her own pointless life.




There is also Love
without possessiveness.
Love Anna knows nothing about
I give, I give, I can not give enough away…
I forgot about me
I just see you
true devotion……
can begin only
when loss and sacrifice
are taken for granted.


You see it in the eyes
of a son
who goes down on his knees
to beg his Mother for love…
You see it
in the face of a German tourist
when her Otto drowned
accidently in a hotel pool.
She wants to keep him alive
with the warmth of her own life…
You hear it
in the words
of Catalina’s Grandmother
when she parted with her hair,
matted with blood
and said:
“For to love one must learn
to part with everything”.




That is unconditional love
Anna knows nothing about.

Take a road,
take The High road
to read about
The Possessiveness of LOVE
Loss of Love
Loneliness




Being a victim
of Anna’s romantic memories
in a luxurious Mediterranean hideaway.
You start to wornder
if we will ever fulfil
our true purpose
or even discover
what it actually is.
There are times
though
when everything falls into place.
So what are we here for?
Perhaps simply
for the opportunity
to become so happy
to give Love
to feel Love coming
our way.
To become so happy
that we no longer care
what we are here for.



There are times
you’re feeling restless
but if you can’t travel
then try escaping
in your mind
via inspiring
slow paced book...




With the power of imagination,
you can go anywhere you want.
Just do not forget ,
nothing is there to compare
to the real love in the real life,
not even the most excited getaway…
For one has to always comes back…













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    • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

      Beata Stasak 

      3 years ago from Western Australia

      Thank you Kiana nice to hear that:)

    • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

      Beata Stasak 

      3 years ago from Western Australia

      Thank you Kiana nice to hear that:)

    • profile image

      Kiana 

      3 years ago

      I'm grteaful you made the post. It's cleared the air for me.

    • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

      Beata Stasak 

      8 years ago from Western Australia

      Happy you liked Shalini, plan to visit you as well soon...love from Beata

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      8 years ago from India

      Hi Beata - I loved this, especially as the pictures and words go together so well! Thank you for your good wishes too - much appreciated :)

    • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

      Beata Stasak 

      8 years ago from Western Australia

      Thank you, my dear friend, I don't know if you will like the book though, it is little bit too slow paced, like a rough diamond you need a lot of patience to polish to find the hidden beauty...all the best from Beata

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 

      8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      As always, a poetic combination of photographs and words to stir the soul. Thank you my talented and creative friend, for sharing these thoughts. And for once, you found a book I've not yet read. Now, I will have to. Lynda

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