May Sarton, (May 3, 1912 - July 16, 1995), an American poet, novelist and memoirist, is one of my favorite writers. I have all her books (except for her poetry) in my collection of "precious" books.
Her books are getting harder and harder to find. So, imagine my delight when I saw two of them sitting on the shelf at the Rabbit Hole, a second hand bookstore, I felt pulled to go visit when in Grande Prairie this week.
Did I come home with them? Of course I did. Did I already have them? Of course I did. What will I do with them? Give them away to someone who can appreciate them. If that's you let me know. I'll be more than happy to deliver or send them to you free of charge.
"Journal of a Solitude" - published in 1973, has an original price on it of $2.95 - imagine! The 2nd hand store was selling it for $6.25.
"The House By The Sea" - was published in 1981. Not sure what the original price was on that one but it was selling for $5.95.
Those are my two favorite books from my collection of her journals. Finding these treasures reminded me of how much I enjoyed them and I decided to dive into them again.
Here's her opening paragraph from her book, Journal of a Solitude.
Begin here. It is raining. I look out on the maple, where a few leaves have turned yellow, and listen to Punch, the parrot, talking to himself and to the rain ticking gently against the windows. I am here alone for the first time in weeks, to take up my "real" life again at last. That is what is strange-that friends, even passionate love, are not my real life unless there is time alone in which to explore and to discover what is happening or has happened. Without the interruptions, nourishing and maddening, this life would become arid. Yet I taste it fully only when I am alone here and "the house and I resume old conversations."
That woman speaks my language. She normalizes what I have often felt, thought and lived and still do today. I need my time alone to extract the most precious, to savor, absorb, fully appreciate and taste life.