Demelza is one of my favorite characters from a book. You can find her in Poldark by Winston Graham. She lived near the Cornwall coast in the late 18th century. She lived so close she could hear the waves breaking against the rocks and shore. What else would she have heard? Birds, the wind, Garrick barking, horse hooves, distant voices, Ross in the library, servants in the kitchen, her children? Certainly she didn’t live in a silent world but she also didn’t live in a world where she was constantly bombarded with artificially created sounds which we live with now.
I live alone. Until my divorce in January 2013, I had never lived alone. I had been alone for several days at a time but always knew someone would be returning. During that time I enjoyed the quiet. It was refreshing. Now, the silence is oppressive. I feel as thought I am in a room and the walls are closing in. My apartment is wound proofed well so except for the occasional thump from my upstairs neighbors, I don’t hear anything. I listen. I sit in the quiet and nothing. It’s too hot to open the windows and even if I did I would hear man-made sounds. So I keep the TV on if I am home. The sound fills up the space. I don’t feel so alone.
I don’t think we realize how much constant noise is in our lives until it is gone. And I don’t think we realize the importance of sounds whether they are nature’s music or man-made sound. a lot has been written about the effect sound can have on our spirit. I read that repeatedly listening to sad music can dampen your mood. And when non-communicating Alzheimer’s patients were given headphones and the tunes of their youth played, the awareness of their surroundings increased and their mood were improved.
I believe one reason Demelza was infused with a happy spirit was because she absorbed everything around her, the sounds and the sites. So in the spirit of living like Demelza, I am going to try to fill my empty air with sounds that make me happy whether that is music, an audio book, a nature CD or even my favorite TV show. And I am also going to take time to enjoy the peace and quiet I have been given at this time in my life.
I love the Poldark Series by Winston Graham. My favorite character is Demelza and this is why I am so captivated by her.
A quote from Demelza by Winston Graham. “He sighed and put her hand against his cheek. It was not a disconsolate sigh, for her returning life was a tonic to his soul. Whatever she suffered, whatever loss came to her, she would throw it off, for it was not in her nature to go under…..But chiefly it was because some element had put in her nature to be happy. She was born so and could not change.”Are we born with a certain personality? We all know people who always seem to be happy regardless of their circumstances and there are people who are always depressed and sad. Do we come into this world one way or the other with no hopes of changing? Clearly Ross believes Demelza was born with a happy disposition and could not change. He believes he has her opposite disposition with a perpetually pessimistic outlook.
I’ve read so many books about this very topic. You can find a book to support both positions but now many experts agree that our outlook on life is a combination of our inborn personality and life experiences. I can attest to this. My sister and I are two years apart but on the opposite ends of optimism and pessimism. Wish I could say I was the lucky one with the natural sunny outlook but I’m not. I have to work everyday to have a positive outlook and believe the best is ahead of me.
Reading Ross and Demelza’s story resonates with me. It reminds me they we do have a choice on how we perceive our life and a choice to how we react and proceed forward when things don’t go our way. This is why I titled my blog Living Like Demelza. I want to work towards living with Demelza’s spirit and attitude in my own life.
Did you know there is scientific evidence that music directly affects your mood? If you listen to sad songs you will most likely experience a downward mood swing. Music and Mood. There is evidence which shows Alzheimer’s patients who listen to music from their youth have marked improvement in mood and alertness. Music therapy for Alzheimer’s […]