Agatha Said, pt. 2

Happy December and welcome to our second Agatha Day! This month’s quote is both lovely and deep.

Agatha Said:

“I was, I suppose, always over-burdened with imagination. That has served me well in my profession – it must, indeed, be the basis of the novelist’s craft – but it can give you some bad sessions in other respects.”

Context: Agatha’s father died when she was eleven, after slowly declining for some years. Following that loss, her mother began to suffer poor health and, as you can expect, young Agatha started to fear losing her mother.

This quote follows an honest account of her anxiety over her mother’s health, a fear that was particularly strong for a couple years. The anxiety faded once Agatha was able to sleep nearby (in her father’s dressing room) so she could hear her mother if she needed help during the night.

Why I Chose It: I love Agatha’s honesty in sharing her childhood struggles with anxiety. That she recognizes a link with her imagination is particularly insightful. Imagination has two sides. It doesn’t just allow a person to imagine positive things; it can lead someone to see all the negative possibilities as well. So often a trait that seems like a gift, from an external perspective, can be quite a burden as well. In this quote, Agatha acknowledges that reality, recognizing the double-edged sword of her own imagination.

Agatha Said, pt. 1

Agatha Christie: An Autobiography

Happy November! As I mentioned last month, I’ve been enjoying Agatha Christie’s autobiography. It’s everything I wanted it to be, and more. It feels like you’re sitting across from the lady herself, having a cup of tea as she tells you about her life. The prose is lyrical; the recollections are honest. It’s half autobiography, half memoir, and complete pleasure to read.

I’m so excited to amplify the voice of this incredible author by sharing select quotes from her life story. So let’s get right to our first quote, shall we?

Agatha Said:

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly despairing, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”

Context: This quote arrives early in the book, in a passage where Agatha is musing about what it is to know oneself, how we only know parts of ourselves and the significance of our own lives. She follows this quote with an assessment of how she plans to write the book: a little at a time, savoring the memories as they come.

Why I Chose It: It says a lot about Agatha Christie’s attitude toward life, and it’s a thought that resonates powerfully with me. Through all the ups and downs, joys and tragedies, I know that just being alive is an incredible gift.