Saturday, November 12, 2005

May Sarton

Can't believe I've not posted since the Spring. Job cuts into personal, to the quick. Every waking moment spent either working, thinking about work, or recovering from work. Have had a week away from the library, sort of. Conference Friday through Monday, in briefly Tuesday night, then off through today Saturday. Only beginning to get a complete breath. Doubt enough of a breather to do all the creative things I wanted to do when looking at the five days from the other side. So, mostly read the whole time. My best source of recovery. Without reading, and the opportunity to spritz my "rich inner life" with nourshing ideas, I would shrivel, a walking talking dry husk of humanity.

Have read many of May Sarton's books, though not much of her poetry. Just finished reading AS WE ARE NOW (1973), a short novel of the power of self-determination. We would seem to agree, May and I, that it is only with our acceptance of responsibility for our own death are we ever truly able to give definition to our lives. This book is really too beautiful to review and must be read to be appreciated. A few quotes to savor:

"The tide goes out, little by little; the tide goes out and whatever is left of us lies like a beached ship, rotting on the shore among all the other detritus--empty crab shells, clam shells, dried seaweed, the indestructible plastic cup, a few old rags, pieces of driftwood. The tide of love goes out."

"It was as though we were the last people left alive on earth. I do not really know what happened, why it was like that. I felt I was speaking to someone very far away, yet someone who would hear a whisper, and perhaps I did whisper, Can you forgive me now?"

The one thing that May doesn't convey to my satisfaction is that by having to ask for forgiveness, we exhibit the most crucial inability to forgive ourselves.