Journal of a Solitude
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In this, her bestselling journal, May Sarton writes with keen observation and emotional courage of both inner and outer worlds: a garden, the seasons, daily life in New Hampshire, books, people, ideas―and throughout everything, her spiritual and artistic journey.
"I am here alone for the first time in weeks," May Sarton begins this book, "to take up my 'real' life again at last. That is what is strange―that friends, even passionate love,are not my real life, unless there is time alone in which to explore what is happening or what has happened." In this journal, she says, "I hope to break through into the rough, rocky depths,to the matrix itself. There is violence there and anger never resolved. My need to be alone is balanced against my fear of what will happen when suddenly I enter the huge empty silence if I cannot find support there."
In this book, we are closer to the marrow than ever before in May Sarton's writing.
nearly impossible to visualize the summer when we are in this strongly defined black and white and blue world of the winter, to visualize how the distant hills disappear behind the trees, how it all finally becomes an enclosing jungle of leaves. All this white against all that green! In some ways I love the winter best—the relief of not having to garden! The austerity and brilliance of it, such as one experiences also on a bright day at the seashore. And for the same reasons it is, at times,
the brink of their retirement this house has become for them the source of joy and adventure. The village is called Fishhook. What a feeling of frontier it all still has! I was happy to end my week there and not in a city, and to end it with students. Illinois College is not rich, but I felt the freshness and fervor of the kids very deeply. A good time. Beside my desk I have a vermilion amaryllis in flower. When I look up at the transparent petals, veined, glowing against a dazzling blue sky, it
every night if I don’t remember to take it in, and I then have to search about in the snow and mud for the empty basket. At the regular feeder there are now only starlings, redwing blackbirds, and cow birds. Too stupid! And the apparition of that enormous, probably pregnant woodchuck is no help at all! But today there is a feel of spring in the air at last, and it will be seventy by noon. In front of the house, where it is warmest, a row of crocuses have survived the big snow and are now wide
house ready for new guests, taking a child by the hand to show him the fish hawk’s nest, or asking Judy and me, “What about a cup of tea?” When she goes off island, as she may once or twice a summer, there is a perceptible vacuum … something is missing. Someone is not there who holds all the threads together in her hands. We are faintly alarmed, a little lonely. Now in her seventies, Anne is stooped, but her profile is still that of Nefertiti and her long stride that of a goddess. Goddess? The
light failed and I drank in the damp smell of earth, it looks orderly again. October 8th I DON’T know whether the inward work is achieving something or whether it is simply the autumn light, but I begin to see my way again, which means to resume myself. This morning two small miracles took place. When, still in bed, I looked out of my window (it is a soft misty morning), it happened that “light was on half the rock” out in the meadow. I understand now why that line of Gogarty’s has haunted me