-I wondered at this strong dynamic of three score men living in the forest, dependent on one for their plans of survival. Robin Hood kept them safe from the law, and in return they did his bidding and seemed quite happy to do so. I wondered how it would be to be outlawed, to never perhaps visit home again, to never go forth without disguise. It seemed to me that the revels in this camp were made all the brighter by the bleakness of an outlaw’s situation. To be wanted by the king could mean an end to life, but these few had found a respite, a reprieve, and they enjoyed these hours of freedom with every smile and laugh they could muster.-
First off, I had no idea that my WordPress account was linked to my Tumblr account and that all my posts were also being posted on Tumblr. This is actually nice, because I don’t have to actually go on Tumblr to post things (Tumblr always makes my Internet run slow), though of course there are no categories on there so you don’t get the whole effect that you get as you do reading this on WordPress. Hello, Tumblr! Welcome to the party, hosted by me!
-As we walked, the pendular swing of my own boots brought some fresh truths to my mind. I thought on Robin’s tale of the previous night and, my face damp with early dew, perceived more common threads between our two cloths than I had before. We both had left stable lives behind for the great unknown, had cast our lots recklessly into the black of night, trusting that some good might come of it.-
And now, into the book. Maid Marian, I will say immediately, is one of the prettiest books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. When I say a book is “pretty,” I mean how it’s written: which words were chosen and how they are strung together. Look at the paragraph from the book above. Look at those phrases: “perceived more common threads between our two cloths than I had before” and “cast our lots recklessly into the black of night” especially. Words like that are simply beautiful to me. They paint pictures in my head and give me a warm feeling in my heart when I read them, and my brain trills with pleasure.
I don’t have the book with me at this moment, but I remember what Marian looked like on the cover. She was just like I always pictured her (no thanks to BBC’s Robin Hood, which by the way is either the best or second-best TV show out there): long dark hair, a beautiful gown, though this Marian looked a good deal different in the face than the Marian from the show. This didn’t bother me, though.
Actually, I didn’t really have any problems with this book by way of my view of my only historical hero and his story. I think this book came pretty close (or at least close enough) to the actual historical records of Robin, and I even recognized a few, even though I haven’t read through all of the records yet. I was pleased that the characters Alan-a-Dale, Friar Tuck, and Will Scarlett were included, and even more so that their names were used correctly ~ I HATE when Alan is called “Alan Dale” as if it’s his last name. I am also happy that Marian was called Marian, instead of Mary, Mary-Anne, Miriam, or some other close-but-not-quite name that would have simply driven me crazy the entire book. And also that Robin was Robin instead of Robert; though I am fully aware and accepting of the fact that his name was probably Robert in real life, it still bothers me when they call him that ~ after all, (no offense to the Roberts out there) Robin is definitely a cooler name than Robert is.
-No one, I’ve noticed, can long depend on formality when Robin is near, for something in his smile and laugh makes everyone long to be his close friend.-
I am especially pleased with how Robin was depicted in this book. He was just as I always imagined and expected him to be, and just like he is in the show, making it terribly easy to picture him simply by placing the Jonas Armstrong version in my head doing the things the Robin in the book was doing. Though Robin is fun-filled and jesting by nature, he is also intelligent, noble, and serious when the situation calls for it. The fact that he had an obviously larger band of “merry men” in the book than he did in the show didn’t bother me at all either. It wasn’t difficult to add a few more in my head, and it made the experience no less enjoyable.
-When he had finished, Robin Hood strode back to where I sat and threw himself down on the grass. He grinned like a hound who has just received its first bird, touching upon the ecstatic joy it finds in being such a hound. Robin Hood shone with pleasure, with pride, with shooting as well as he knew he could ~ with, in that sense, the pure wonder at being a man.-
And there’s that familiar cocky pride!
But there were also some more serious aspects of the book that I would like to speak briefly about. (As you can see, I’ve been placing a whole lot of paragraphs from the book itself into this blog post. This is mostly because I found so many pretty ones in there that I simply cannot help but share.)
-“Speak as ye will, Lady Marian, and I will listen.”-
What is this to you? To me, it is one person asking for another’s opinion, honestly wanting to hear what they have to say, and it’s a phrase that I have often subconsciously longed to hear myself, though it wasn’t until I read this book that I realized it. The truth is, everyone has something to say ~ EVERYONE ~ and to have someone ask you directly for your opinion is something that probably everybody in the world secretly desires. It’s easy for people to be good talkers (though their words aren’t always relevant ~ you probably have seen and will see more about this annoying topic in my other posts), but to be a good listener is a completely different matter, and apparently, not one that many people are good at or even seem to want to try. Probably because humans are self-centered and self-preserving creatures naturally (just one more reason why I don’t like them), and they would rather use their words to raise their own reputation rather than someone else’s.
But no more on that.
–These thoughts of Robin Hood piled a second sphere of confusion into my already taxed mind, so I pushed him as far from my waking thoughts as I could manage. My dreams he might, and did, invade, but I kept him barred from my calculations. This was a feat of which I was quite proud. But in hindsight it may have been this very act of turning away that kept me from determining for myself what my fate ought to be.-
I’m sure most everybody knows what it feels like to be at least slightly “obsessed” with another person. When you find someone that is attractive to you for whatever reason, they tend to plague your thoughts, getting in the way of you thinking properly. And honestly, there’s not a thing you can do to keep them out of your dreams, no matter how much you’re trying to forget them. But learning how to bar them from your calculations ~ keep yourself thinking logically ~ is a very useful skill indeed. Perhaps it is one we should all practice.
But on the other hand, having another person in your thoughts can be good for you. For example, it helps you remember to look out for other people and not only yourself. It can give you a certain degree of compassion and sometimes an entirely new perspective, which may be exactly the kind of growth you need to get through whatever you’re going through that this person in your head keeps interrupting so rudely (seriously, they never ASK if they may play around in your mind).
–And my heart, I admit, was most puerile of all, half longing for love from any corner, all the while dreading attachment.-
Is this not the typical teenage mindset? Or perhaps I should say heart-set. Either way, I will admit right off the bat that I have no idea what “puerile” means. I’d look it up if I wasn’t too lazy. But the truth is, teenagers especially have this seemingly embedded desire for love, but also this deep fear for attachment. A teenager wants to be free and independent ~ while at the same time longing to be cuddled and touched by a loving companion. It’s the strangest thing in the world, and I have tried my very best to avoid it by locking myself away and having little to no social contact with any human being outside my family for a good solid half (or more) of my teenage years. (Actually, that wasn’t the reason, but if the shoe fits…) But before any of you younger teenagers get any ideas, I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND IT. IT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. And if you ignore me and try it anyway, you’ll find out soon enough why.
–Robin and I traveled in the haze of a gentle camaraderie, both friendly and considerate. On the road we laughed and jested together or heard tales from the other’s world, and still we were mindful of each other’s burdens.-
This sounds like a pretty good friendship to me. Both respectful of the other while openly willing to share and explore the other’s world. This is at least the first stage of friendship one should desire with another person, if not the last, and it sounds like an acceptable male-female relationship to me. To have that respect in there is of the utmost importance.
–And yet, for all my scoffs and doubts, here I stood beside a man who meant far more than love to me. He was my friend, my counselor, my encouragement. In a crowd his eyes sought me out ~ me alone! ~ and he seemed to gravitate to my side. We spoke as equals, laughed as one, and yet were different as night and day. These things, as I pondered them, made me amazed and filled my eyes with silent tears, overcome as I was by my own good fortune.-
This, also, is a good example of a male-female relationship, though this leans more towards the married stage. But to have this kind of feeling for another person ~ it must be wonderful, and Marian realized this, just going to show you how intuitive she is. To have a friend or spouse like this is truly a tremendous gift, and to recognize it and be grateful for it is to know what is really important in this life.
But now I realize that I have spoken for a very long time about this amazing book, and I think I should end what I have to say here, though there are many more pretty things in this book that I wish I could share. I will leave you with just this one more, and to Elsa Watson and Robin Hood himself, I give the deepest bow of respect and gratitude, to Robin for being the hero I love and admire, and to Elsa Watson for writing such a fantastic story about him.
-“I have wanted to thank you for bringing me with you on this journey. ‘Twas not necessary, but you know how I have longed to see more of the world, and I do wish to thank you. I would have said as much before, but I could not find the words for it.”
He gave me his Robin Hood smile, full of jests he did not give words to.-