I have been diving into creative solitude this winter by writing, reading, and watching trees. One of my many book companions was May Sarton’s luminous Journal of a Solitude. Her wisdom on poetry alone astounds me. But so does her more general wisdom, some of which I decided to share on this first day of Lent:
“Under the light of eternity things, the daily trivia, the daily frustrations, fall away.” (54)
“It is only when we can believe that we are creating the soul that life has any meaning, but when we can believe it—and I do and always have—then there is nothing we do that is without meaning and nothing that we suffer that does not hold the seed of creation in it.” (67)
“[S]olitude is one of the ways toward communion.” (73)
“I have said elsewhere that we have to make myths of our lives, the point being that if we do, then every grief or inexplicable seizure by weather, woe, or work can—if we discipline ourselves and think hard enough—be turned to account, be made to yield further insight into what it is to be alive, to be a human being, what the hazards are of a fairly usual, everyday kind.” (108)
“[R]eal joy. It is becoming exceedingly rare among artists of any kind. And I have an idea that those who can and do communicate it are always people who have had a hard time. Then the joy has no smugness or self-righteousness, it is inclusive not exclusive, and comes close to prayer.” (182)
May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude. W. W. Norton & Company, 1977.
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