Teaser Tuesday (With A Twist)

So often in my reading I come upon passages which speak to my heart.  Even in books where you least expect it (like a cozy mystery, for instance) a line or paragraph jumps out, prompting a giant “aha!” or “oh,yes!”  So in a slight twist to the Teaser Tuesday meme, where readers are invited to pick up their current read, turn to a certain page, and share a random paragraph, I would like to take a moment on Tuesdays and share a meaningful passage from the book that’s currently propped open on my bedside table.

Here we go~

She went to her room.  Luisa’s door was closed. No one stopped her.  She sat at her desk but did not reach for her books.  She felt suddenly happy.  A strange, unfamiliar feeling.



Wonderful, and not to be defined.

What is happy?

-I am moderately content, Camilla thought, – but I’m no longer sure what being happy means.  Did I really know, all those decades ago when I first met Mac? Is happiness only for the very young? Maybe being content is enough.

from A Live Coal in the Sea, by Madeleine L’Engle

The two passages are separated by years in the narrator’s life – the first when she is a college student, the second, when she is nearing 60.   She strikes at the heart of this thing we call mid-life, I think, the feeling of lost happiness, the poignancy of recalled youth, the dulling of the senses that turns buoyant delight into dullish contentment.

So, tell me…what stage are you in?  Are you “happy?” or “merely content”?  And is being content enough?




6 thoughts on “Teaser Tuesday (With A Twist)

  1. I enjoyed Madeleine L’Engle so much as a kid and young adult. It’s good to hear that her books still work in midlife.

    The advantage of having a difficult beginning is that I never look back with poignancy to my youth. Every decade has been happier than the one that preceded it. I wouldn’t mind the bones and muscles and eyes of ten years ago. Progressive glasses don’t compensate completely.But I still get those happy blasts, and the low miseries. I strive for contentment. And when it’s there, it’s a blessing, like an ordinary day.

  2. I too enjoyed Madeleine L’Engle’s books when I was young. Your question is one I think about every day, believe it or not. In many ways, I am so much “happier” than I was when I was young. I put that word in quotes, because I often think that “happier” really means “more content.” While I constantly strive to learn and change, I think I feel less frantic about things. It seems to me the happiness of youth is attended by a bit of panic. Being a bit older, I have learned to relax, and also learned to realize that I don’t need to be happy all the time, or to be seeking it constantly.

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