Date: 17 Nov 2016 1:16 am Title: Chapter 1 - We're in Charge!
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Date: 25 Nov 2014 10:13 am Title: Chapter 4 - Shocks Don't Come Singly!
It always makes my day reading about Miss Fenelaa Flagherty, you have no idea, Mary. I think Vivien is almost my favourite original character of yours. She is so extraordinarily generous and wonderful.
Date: 22 Sep 2011 6:19 pm Title: Chapter 14 - The Triptych (An interlude)
Mary, I have been reading avidly about Hilda's visit to the Convent and feel very privileged to have been able to do so through the power of your words. I am in awe of your ability to paint such a vivid picture that at times I completely forgot that I was not there with them all.
Ellie has truly been blessed by Hilda's presence during the past three weeks, just as Hilda herself has been blessed by hers. The girl who is accompanying Hilda on the flight to Switzerland is almost completely unrecognisable from the one to whom Hilda, acting on instinct, gave the Bambino.
Hilda has certainly had her world turned on its head during this visit to the Convent, but the plan designed by MA and Mother Provincial will certainly ease the path of her postulancy and Noviciate. The path will not be easy but she knows that as her Novice Mistress, MA will be there for her any time of the day or night.
During the past three weeks the Sisters have seen firsthand just how special a person Hilda is, from the way she broke the wall which Ellie had built around herself and all she has done for the girl since, to her actions when the news came through about Tessa's accident, to say nothing of all her generosity to the Convent.
Thank you Mary, I look forward to seeing how Ellie settles at The Chalet School in due course and to watching as the bond between her and Hilda grows ever deeper and stronger.
Date: 21 Sep 2011 10:08 am Title: Chapter 14 - The Triptych (An interlude)
You show so clearly how a single person can open up the world for someone enclosed in suffering. Sister Patricia and MA were already there for Ellie before Hilda came to the convent, but it took her arrival to make Ellie let them in - as it is MA who is opening Hilda up (splitting her apart, Hilda might say!). And now they both have family....
Thank you, Mary. Looking forward to vol 5!
Date: 21 Sep 2011 12:39 am Title: Chapter 14 - The Triptych (An interlude)
Thank you for posting this, Mary. It's such a beautiful interlude, and it shows Ellie, Hilda and Sister Patricia at their very best. I can see the painting as Ellie describes it, and feel the way that her heart is opening. Ellie is blessed to have found that love, and Hilda blessed to be able to give it.
Date: 20 Sep 2011 10:30 pm Title: Chapter 14 - The Triptych (An interlude)
So much grief and loss in one short life.The wonder is that Ellie was able to respond even to Hilda. It says much for the love and security of her babyhood that she is as receptive as she is.She is so very mature in some ways, as in her perception of how much the triptych meant to Hilda, and in understanding her aunt's talent as an artist. The school, as we know, will be a test for that maturity, and of her ability to share her guardian with others whom she neither knows nor cares about. Thank you Mary,I look forward to Vol.5
Date: 20 Sep 2011 9:40 pm Title: Chapter 14 - The Triptych (An interlude)
Wow! This is a bit of writing with such depths to it. You really look into the heart of what is going on with the characters. Poor Ellie, to have had all that going on in her life, to have felt abandoned, despite the love of her grandparents, because her father wasn't able to be close to her.
I love the story of how the triptych picture has been mirrored in her own life, and the various gifts that she has received through it.
Thank you Mary, that was wonderful.
Date: 20 Sep 2011 9:31 pm Title: Chapter 14 - The Triptych (An interlude)
When we read that review of all that happened to Ellie in her sixteen short years, it's small wonder that she arrived at the convent unwilling to trust, or even reach out to, anyone there, and defying any of them to try to get close to her. Thank goodness for Hilda's coming and how quickly and how well Ellie responded. Yet it's hardly surprising she still, in stressful moments such as this journey, fears that despite all that has happened in three short weeks, even Hilda might desert here. Hilda's gentle reassurances were exactly what she needed just then as well as her assurance that Ellie had brought something special into her life as well as vice versa.
I really liked Ellie's 'analysis' of what the Tryptych picture said to her about her Aunt, about Nell and above all about the depth of Hilda's grief - yet again she showed herself to be sixteen going on 60 in her level of maturity - such a contrast to all her earlier uncertainties. Even Hilda herself is often startled by this perspicacity, which we've seen several times during this Christmas period.
Thank you, Mary. I will be looking forward to Vol. V
Date: 18 Sep 2011 10:09 pm Title: Chapter 13 - Music in the Heart
Mary we sang a John Bell Hymn this morning
"Christ is the world in which we move"
The chorus is
"To the lost Christ shows his face,
to the unloved He gives his embrace,
to those who cry in pain or disgrace,
Christ makes, with his friend a touching place."
The verses speak of those we are called to help, and work with as Christ's representatives on earth. The Howard Thurman quotation reminded me of it.
Thanks you Mary. If ny one wants all the words the PM via CBB.
Date: 18 Sep 2011 9:31 pm Title: Chapter 13 - Music in the Heart
Such a beautiful quote from Howard Thurman to end this part.How lovely for Hilda to feel that rush of warmth and joy as she looked out on the snowy scene.A gift from God to take back to Switzerland along with the love and prayers of the community,her leather bound books from MA and so much more to remind her of this very special Christmas. Thank you Mary.
Date: 18 Sep 2011 8:50 pm Title: Chapter 13 - Music in the Heart
What a wonderfully peaceful end to Hilda's visit to the convent. It has been such an emotional time all round, and yet, it has filled in so many holes, while exposing others.
Thank you Mary - that was perfect.
Date: 18 Sep 2011 8:48 pm Title: Chapter 13 - Music in the Heart
Hilda clasped the nun’s hand. “You happened! God happened! Nell and Ellie happened! So many people have happened this Christmas that it’s impossible to count them, not to mention all the fun and companionship - and the peace. All of you, in some way, dragged me up out of that pit and gave me back some hope. Now, that joy you mentioned has crept in to join the little bird of hope."
Such a lovely feeling of peace and fulfillment there - I am sure that Hilda's words will bring joy and peace to Mother Abbess too, showing her clearly just how much Hilda's stay at the Convent has benefitted her and restored at least some of her physical and psychological well-being. And if Hilda herself harboured any thoughts about how MA regarded her, the gift of her own Book of Responses and the message she inscribed in it, as well as this final talk will confirm that their feelings for each other are equally strong. Hilda's words at the end of the service, are grateful and yet filled with humility as she urges everyone who hears her to go about their work in the spirit of this holiday period. I didn't know the Howard Thurman verse, but I really like it.
Thank you, Mary, for this peaceful conclusion to the holiday.
Date: 14 Sep 2011 7:47 pm Title: Chapter 12 - Only Nell Could be Nell !
God does indeed work in mysterious ways,and I can quite see why Hilda doesn't know if she is on her head or her heels. So much to assimilate from Sister Catherine and MA, and then Vivien apparently answering Hilda's needs for Ellie. Your words portray Hilda's mental turmoil so vividly Mary. Thank you.
Date: 14 Sep 2011 6:54 pm Title: Chapter 12 - Only Nell Could be Nell !
To adapt the first line of a well-known hymn, God is surely working His purpose out for Hilda, isn't He? As each new obstacle comes to her mind someone proposes a solution. In this case, Vivien's offer to share in at least some of Ellie's care during the holidays comes completely spontaneously, but as if in answer to a prayer - and Hilda joyfully accepts the idea.
I love the relationship which establishing itself between Vivien and Hilda - it is clearly becoming something very special to both of them, not just for the sake of school matters, or even of Ellie.
MA is clearly delighted that Hilda will accept the plan which she and Mother Provincial have designed for her in relation to her novitiate with a clear conscience. There is no doubt she will be a stern task-mistress, both in person when Hilda is in the convent and via Gwyneth, Nancy and Vivien during termtime, but she will certainly spare no effort to see Hilda takes better physical care of herself - a task which previously fell to Nell. Her reassurance to Hilda that she can call her to talk at any hour of the day or night is a great help...
....And yet, Nell's absence, inevitably, still overwhelms it all, and Hilda's guilt over this continues to be palable, though there is no doubt MA's 'fellow feeling' born of her own loss helps her.
Despite all these emotions, there is a feeling of great peace throughout this episode - I can't quite put my finger on the reason, but I certainly felt it.
Thank you, Mary.
Date: 14 Sep 2011 6:11 pm Title: Chapter 12 - Only Nell Could be Nell !
I think that section was perfect Mary. So many things just coming together. How right that Hilda should eventually decide that her place of sanctuary for that first wonder and caution should be at prayer. That her ideal circumstance is to go and join those who are interceding for Tessa, and join her own pleas to theirs...
That section with Vivien... there's just so much I love about it - it's probably my favourite scene in this part of the story. So much being given and received. I'm not surprised that Hilda is bowled away by Vivien's offer. And yet, the same must be true for Vivien, as Hilda admits that she must now accept Vivien as a friend, not just a colleague. And Vivien forming her own 'pet name' if you like for Hilda here. It's all just so perfect. Such a wonderful scene. And I'm just waiting to hear what she has up her sleeve with Ellie.
Then the time with MA... These scenes are so challenging for both those involved. I think the biggest thing which sticks in my mind is the feeling of commitment. No matter what time of the day Hilda needs help, MA will be there for her, putting her first, and ready to help her. And that aside, that Hilda's Health is the first concern, boy, Hilda will find that difficult to deal with! The sorrow that Nell isn't with her, to take joy in this new stage in Hilda's life is bittersweet - and the knowledge that if Nell was there, Hilda would never have met so many of these people, would never have touched so many lives, remains muted for now... How hard Hilda has to work with each new event...
Thank you Mary.
Date: 14 Sep 2011 2:55 pm Title: Chapter 11 - Sister Catherine Reveals her True Colours
Poor Hilda! You don't give her much of a break, do you Mary (*wink*)? I love the bit where she is so surprised at MA's already having consulted all the others about fast-tracking her.
Date: 13 Sep 2011 10:44 am Title: Chapter 11 - Sister Catherine Reveals her True Colours
I've been waiting on this scene almost since you mentioned Mother Provincial being at the convent, and it surpasses my memory of its splendour.
Poor Hilda, she must feel as if she's taken a body blow, all her ideas turned upside down - even as she does acknowledge that it has taken some of her worries away. Now she needs to get rid of her confusion and amazement and simply move on, accepting what they are offering to do for her.
I'm so glad that Ellie is still to be considered, spending time with Hilda both at Easter, and a few weeks in the summer... And it's good to see Vivien being cseen as a possible home for Ellie while Hilda is busy.
So many surprises, on top of that good news about Tessa... And with everything else which has happened recently. It's not surprising that Hilda has struggled to take it in, or that she didn't understand what they were getting at for a while.
Thank you Mary.
Date: 12 Sep 2011 11:18 pm Title: Chapter 11 - Sister Catherine Reveals her True Colours
This passage actually brought me to tears. I wish I had a Kate or a Hilda. Thank you Mary xx
Date: 12 Sep 2011 10:27 pm Title: Chapter 11 - Sister Catherine Reveals her True Colours
Wow! I'm not surprised that Hilda is overwhelmed by all of this, especially the faith and trust which both these women are placing in her. Yes, we knew what MA wished for her in terms of shortening her novitiate, but she isn't the one who makes the rules for the Order. The fact that Sister Catherine is both ready and empowered to allow the varying of those rules in this very special case says much for the respect and affection she, too, has already come to feel for Hilda. And I do love the way she surreptitiously tests MA as well before making her final decision to allow this 'express' route to profession for Hilda - the net result simply shows her confidence that both of them are equally able to fulfil all the requirements.
This is a truly awe-inspiring episode for Hilda, but I'm sure that when she has time to reflect on it all, she will accept that this is indeed, a wonderful entry to her New Dream, as well as finding a way of allowing her to continue to do all the thing she does best once she enters. The fact that Ellie's needs, too, are considered and plans made for her make it easier for her to accept. It's not so surprising that she will always continue to find it hard to accept MA and Sister Catherine's praise for so many of her strengths - her innately humble nature will never allow her to do.
Thank you, Mary - this is an awe-inspiring episode for us to read, too.