michael j. morris

from May Sarton
31 December, 2009, 11:57 am
Filed under: inspiration | Tags: , ,

I have been reading May Sarton’s Journal of a Solitude in full or in part annually for many years now. It makes a significant touch-stone in that every time I return to the text, it is changed (because I am changed). Passages strike me that I never found striking before, or they strike me in a markedly different way. Last night I read her entry on January 5th, and this passage echoed my present sensibilities profoundly. I wanted to share it:

“My own belief is that one regards oneself, if one is a serious writer, as an instrument for experiencing. Life – all of it – flows through this instrument and is distilled through it into works of art. How one lives as a private person is intimately bound into the work. And at some point I believe one has to stop holding back for fear of alienating some imaginary reader or real relative or friend, and come out with personal truth. If we are to understand the human condition, and if we are to accept ourselves in all the complexity, self-doubt, extravagance of feeling, guilt, joy, the slow freeing of the self to its full capacity for action and creation, both as human being and as artist, we have to know all we can about each other, and we have to be willing to go naked” (77).

That’s what I’m thinking about on this full mooned new year’s eve.

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