(Journal of a Solitude) PDF NEW · May Sarton

Barn though they are adorable like #small toy bears Of course they have aten down the holly hocks But I take these #toy bears Of course they have Xenophon And His World (Historia Einzelschriften) eaten down the holly hocks But I take these philosophically than I used to I am learning not to take it too personally I guess and not to mind failure The garden is growth and change and that means loss as well as constant new treasures to make up for a few disasters The blue pansies are wonderful this year Blue is the mostxciting color in the garden I think And these blues are verywhere in the garden I think And these blues are verywhere Virginia bluebells grape hyacinths blue primroses and wood anemones Soon there will be bluebells in the little wood and wild phlox here and there loc 1621This one brief paragraph takes her from potential despair to a lesson learned from nature to an observation of beauty to anticipation of beauty to come Is it any wonder that I have savored this readingThere is really so much here Obviously there is insight into the life of a poet dealing with her own loves losses and life There is also discussion of some of the important influences on her life and work both the people and her Groove: An Aesthetic of Measured Time emotional and philosophical underpinningsVery highly recommendedA copy of this book was received from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review I savored this one over the span of five months it s so rich in insight that it s best read just a few pages at a time A poet and novelist Belgian by origin but a New Englander by choice Sarton 1912 1995 is now remembered primarily for her overtly lesbian worksg Mrs Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing Journal of a Solitude is a one year account of her writing life in New Hampshire mostly covering the frigid winter of 1970 1 when Sarton was also struggling with depression The book dwells on the seasonal patterns of the natural world shovelling snow gardening caring for animals but also the rhythms of the soul rising in hope but also falling into occasional inevitable despair Am I too old to acuire the knack for happiness she wondersI ve been a full time freelance writer for nearly a year now and prone to melancholy for much longer so I can certainly relate to Sarton s descriptions of both the loneliness and the One Wild Weekend exhilarating freedom of the writer s life People who have regular jobs can have no idea of just this problem of ordering a day that has no pattern imposed on it from without She wisely notes the necessity of both isolation and community for any creative spirit a balance between the need to become oneself and to give of oneself I took inspiration from her assertion that being a writer is a noblendeavor a means of creating the soul afresh Each day and the living of it has to be a conscious creation My library copy is bristling with red Post it flags I found lines that grabbed me on nearly very third page There are almost too many brilliant uotes for me to copy out I ve bought my own secondhand paperback instead As Italo Calvino opined during unenforced readingyou will come across the book which will become

your book your 
book Your is a book to which you cannot remain indifferent and which helps you define yourself in relation or ven in opposition to it If that s the case Journal of a Solitude is on the top shelf in my personal library of classics Next up will be her Collected Poems then perhaps Mrs Stevens. To be alone is balanced against my fear of what will happen when suddenly I Naturally Naughty Wicked Willing enter the hugempty silence if I cannot find support thereIn this book we are closer to the marrow than ver before in May Sarton's writin. ,

The author s fixation on flowers and fluffy critters coupled with her intense depressive streak results in a journal that often reads like Mary Engelbreit having a bad day A really bad day Never having been much for nature poetry nature s pretty nature 45 starsThoreau found it in Massachusetts Dillard found it in Virginia May Sarton found it in New Hampshire Solitude Whatever peace I know rests in the natural world in Feeling Myself A Part Of It Her Prose Is The myself a part of it Her prose is the of solitude slow paced thought provokingHow can what seems like nonsensical talk be so transformative Clever contemplation helps This is prose you savor otherwise you miss something within the sentences At times it is like reading poetry see the words digest them allow them to infect you with their poison Read this book while you re alone and you feel the aloneness you smell the flowers sense the pain Read it around noise and the book not the noise is irritating For the book is silent slow moving so perceptive that it taunts your noisy nvironment In this house the light has always been a presence right now in a brilliant blue green band on the sofa in the cozy room A half hour ago it spotlit a pot of yellow chrysanthemums in there I look out at trees leafless now Walled (The Line, except for one maple where high up against the blue there is still branch after branch of translucent warm gold The leaves sift down one by one like notes in music This is the light we have been deprived of this ueer autumn of tropical rains and gray skies and it is good to have a taste of it Light sun flowers a leafless tree Leaves resembling musical notes as they fall How does she do this savoring the moment with the solitude sye so that I the reader am #FORCED TO DO THE SAME FOR #to do the same For it is all jotted down in journal form as it occurs This is Cruel Attachments: The Ritual Rehab of Child Molesters in Germany effective which is why I find myself irritated when I try to read it in anyplacelse but silence She is on a pilgrimage inward This is really what this book is about This pilgrimage inward The act of letting go of oneself in order to find one s self It is the contemplation of a tortured soul The self xploration of mind body and spirit Virginia Woolf is called upon a few times in this narrative of part feminine discourse she was one of Sarton s writing idols Scary when you think of it because we know how it all nded for Woolf and Sarton discusses clinical depression at great length in this book Nonetheless introspection coupled with observation dazzles An island of tall fir and spruce of many colored soft mosses blueberry patches and a long open meadow that rolls down to a salt water pool We come here to a timeless world steeped in tradition where for a week or so we are sheltered by The Safety And Comfort Of safety and comfort of Victorian ra when the many roomed shingled ark of a house was built by Anne s father in the 1890 s We come back to all the familiar joys sitting on our balcony to watch the silent sails glide past up the Sound and the ver changing clouds and light and shadow on the water and on the hills gathering mussels or blueberries for supper making bunches of wildflowers finding tiny trees and cushions of moss for Japanese gardens to be created when we are home again going to bed with a candle up the great staircase there is no Tempting Fate electricity 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 friendsven passionate loveare not my real life unless there is time alon. ,

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Journal of a SolitudeInking into our twin beds and talking for hours side by side before we fall asleep She blasts me with lyricism like this and it doesn t matter that I m a thirty something and she is a fifty something because when she plays I am singing her song It does matter that I too have xperienced this solitude that she speaks of intentional moments of introspection and seclusion in the teeny town I ve called my temporary home I read and I know that it is necessary to reuire solitude at my age just as it is necessary for Sarton to still ponder seek and wander at her age I only wish that the seeking could have had some resolution But really does it need to or am I leaning on her story for my own trajectory Maybe it is as she says we write toward what we will become from where we are One must believe that private dilemmas are if deeply xamined universal and so if One Giant Leap expressed have a human value beyond the private and one must also believe in the vehicle forxpressing them in the talent I have now spent 3 months reading Sarton s journal of a year of her life in Nelson New Hampshire a journal which reflects her love of the old colonial home and the vast gardens she had cultivated there her nightly skirmishes with local wildlife who wanted home access raccoon feral cats the neighbors who tended to her land and road her flowers and pets her many friends acuaintances and above all perhaps her writing Sarton also
exposes her core 
her core occasional bouts of depression her cstasy upon creating a poem or seeing the perfect sky or perfect flower in just the right beam of light We learn of her belief in feminism her homosexuality and something of her relationships her uasi religious beliefs as she does not fit herself into any belief system past acuaintance with Virginia Woolf and othersWhat a life she led And the year of this journal with Virginia Woolf and othersWhat a life she led And the year of this journal in fact a transition year for her as she contemplated and ultimately accepted her status as a solitude She provides what for me is an ssential description of this meaning for her From August 27th ntry There is no doubt that solitude is a challenge and to maintain balance within it a precarious business But I must not forget that for me being with people or ven with one beloved person for any length of time without solitude is A Bride for McCain even worse I lose my center I feel dispersed scattered in pieces I must have time alone in which to mull over anyncounter and to Heart and Soul / Almost Heaven extract its juice itsssence to understand what has really happened to me as a conseuence of it loc 2045And she writes in her final ntry of this journal on September 30 I begin to have intimations now of a return to some deep self that has been too absorbed and too battered to function for a long time That self tells me that I was meant to live alone meant to write the poems for others poems that seldom in my life have reached the one person for whom they were intended loc 2188Here she does not wallow she sees the reality of her life and xperience and accepts the future and what she will do with it go forth and writeThere are moments also of humor moments of beauty moments of reflection about friends who are living life well or with difficulty and always there is nature and the garden From May 23 It is a catastrophe to have five baby woodchucks under the. E in which to xplore what is happening or what has happened In this journal she says I hope to break through into the rough rocky depthsto the matrix itself There is violence there and anger never resolved My need.