A gentle soul

Portrait of Madame Recamier (Lyon, 1777-Paris, 1849) François Gérard

I would dearly love to claim nimbleness of tongue and eloquent thoughts, the ability to swiftly access the presence of self to respond to each being with grace, articulate persuasion and humbleness of speech. There are those that tell me that I do possess these gifts yet still I am startled by those whom are intimidated by my presence, my gentleness and focused attention. How is it that these qualities are seen as awe inspiring, in the old sense of the word, rather than endearing?

(Perhaps this is the kind of creature that was discussed in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, when Miss Elizabeth Bennet was astounded that Mr. Darcy might know any truly ‘accomplished women’. Although I certainly do not consider myself accomplished in Mr. Darcy’s terms.)

 Portrait from 1802 of Madame Recamier (Lyon, 1777-Paris, 1849): artist Baron Francois Gerard (1770-1837).

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