Happy March! I hope you’re all staying healthy and enjoying the weather as we move toward spring. This month I’ve chosen a rather illuminating quote about Agatha’s career ambitions in the world of writing.
“I personally had no ambition. I knew that I was not very good at anything. Tennis and croquet I used to enjoy playing, but I never played them well. How much more interesting it would be if I could say that I always longed to be a writer, and was determined that someday I would succeed, but, honestly, such an idea never came into my head.”
Context: This quote falls after a paragraph where Agatha is musing about her older sister’s literary pursuits. Madge began writing stories before Agatha and was in fact published in Vanity Fair multiple times, something she gave up once she got married. She later went on to write several plays, one of which was produced by the Royal Theatre.
Agatha also mentions that Madge was a talented actress. And, amusingly enough, in the line before this quote, reflects, “There is no doubt that Madge was the talented member of our family.”
Why I Chose It: Before I read her autobiography, I thought Agatha Christie must’ve been someone with great ambition, given everything she accomplished. So it was surprising to me to discover that writing was something she came to gradually, falling into it rather than doggedly pursuing it.
This quote also shows her humility, how she never imagined she would become a prolific author and a legend of the mystery fiction world. Whatever her assessment of her own capabilities, I think we can all agree that Agatha was truly talented in her own right. And even though she originally had no plans to establish herself as a writer, I’m so very grateful she did.
Happy New Year! As it is a Wednesday, it is also time for another Agatha Christie quote, which is, in my view, a wonderful way to start 2020.
“Always when I woke up, I had the feeling which I am sure must be natural to all of us, a joy in being alive. I don’t say you feel it consciously — you don’t — but there you are, you are alive, and you open your eyes, and here is another day; another step, as it were, on your journey to an unknown place. That very exciting journey which is your life. Not that it is necessarily going to be exciting as a life, but it will be exciting to you because it is your life. That is one of the great secrets of existence, enjoying the gift of life that has been given to you.”
Context: Just before this passage, Agatha is musing about how fortunate she was to be blessed with such time when she was a child. She always had tasks to do, of course, but she was able to arrange them as she wanted, providing her with a wonderful sense of independence and freedom.
Why I Chose It: First off, I love seeing Agatha’s mindset represented here. She seems to view life as an exciting journey, one meant to be enjoyed instead of just survived. And in spite of the difficulties she had as a child (losing her father, financial worries), she still looks back and appreciates all the positive aspects of her childhood.
It’s also an incredibly appropriate quote for the new year, isn’t it? Simply remembering to enjoy the life we have and appreciate the time we have been given can be powerful. So much has been given to us, so many wonderful gifts inhabit our lives, but too often we overlook those gifts in search of others. We are here, now, alive and entering a brand new year. That, my friends, is something to be celebrated.