Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sucked into May Sarton's House by the Sea

After my anxious and impatient wait, two of the three books, by May Sarton that I ordered arrived on Friday. I’d long decided that her Journal of a Solitude would be my first read. So I tore open the packaging and hastened to write my name and the date on the inside cover of each book.

With a cup of mint tea on the side table, I settled down to a couple of hours of delightful reading. After a few pages, I thought I should at least take a brief look of the other book, The House by the Sea.

I was smitten, obviously. Before I knew it, I had read 38 pages.

What a captivating record of her time at Wild Knoll! And I found it so because for the longest time, I have harbored a secret wish to live by the sea. There were numerous thoughts May expressed that struck me and resonated with my heart for solitude, the sea, writing, home, pets (cats and dogs specifically), and life. I had to go back to the beginning and do what I always do when I read – underline, highlight and take notes.

This happens sometimes. I start reading a book or magazine planning to mark and note words, phrases and thoughts that strike me or spark an idea for an article perhaps. But sometimes, I am drawn into what the writer is sharing and then have to backtrack when I realize that I had not been recording my discoveries.

Anyway, I only stopped reading at page 38 because I just felt so delightfully overwhelmed with the richness of her description of each day her affinity to solitude which mirrored mine so closely.

Finding or in this case, reading about someone who so thoroughly enjoys the pleasure and purity of being alone makes me more confident in asserting my own preference for it. Also, I mentioned in my last post, that I had written a piece, Ode to Solitude, and some of her thoughts seemed like an extension of what I wrote on the topic. May Sarton’s journal entries about her time in The House by the Sea was such a refreshing confirmation of the beauty and benefits of solitude.

Of course she also wrote about some of the fears and problems she experienced living alone. No great and beautiful thing is without its drawbacks. But as in all circumstances in life, we must weigh the good and the bad; consider the pros and the cons. And, decide for ourselves, which outweighs the other. We have to choose the path that we believe will feed our souls and give our lives meaning, day by day.

I plan to share with you, excerpts of this book as I continue reading and lingering with May throughout her time at Wild Know, The House by the Sea.

P.S. You can see the books on my bookshelf, below, to the right.

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