Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year's Renascence

From Recovering: A Journal by May Sarton (1980)
Sunday, December 31st, 1978

"Tenderness is the grace of the heart, as style is the grace of the mind, I decided when I couldn't sleep last night. Both have something to do with quality, the quality of feeling, the quality of reasoning.

The last day of what has been an uneasy and painful year for me. I look forward to dawn tomorrow and, as the days get longer, to begin to feel my way into renascence. It is not strange though it is mysterious that our "New Year" comes at the darkest time in the seasonal cycle. When there is personal darkness, when there is pain to be overcome, when we are forced to renew ourselves against all the odds, the psychic energy required simply to survive has tremendous force, as great as that of a bulb pushing up through icy ground in spring, so after the overcoming, there is extra energy, a flood of energy that can go into creation. Painting of "Miss May Sarton" by her friend, Polly Thayer (1912-2006) 1936. Collection of Harvard Art Museum/Fogg Museum, Harvard University.

Monday, January 1st, 1979

...Now on this first day of a New Year, I am in a quiet way blooming. And this year, no more wild hopes. Then maybe the Furies so present in the last two months will go elsewhere."


An old abandoned Kentucky homeplace where daffodils and forsythia bloom each spring: "the psychic energy required simply to survive has tremendous force, as great as that of a bulb pushing up through icy ground in spring..."

NOTE: Poet May Sarton (1912-1995) was also known for her many published journals–quiet and luminous reflections long before the popular memoir genre of today. For many years, before she moved to York, Maine, Sarton lived in the small village of Nelson, New Hampshire where she is now also buried. [She was a good friend of my friend the author Elizabeth Yates McGreal, although I never met her during all of my years in New Hampshire.]

For more New Year's musings from the literary world, see our book blog, Cupcake Chronicles.

7 comments:

Jennifer Dee said...

I love anything by May Sarton she really has a way with words.

Catherine said...

She is a beautiful writer. I've only read a few of her journals but would really like to read all of them. JOURNAL of a SOLITUDE is a particular favorite.

Thanks for your comment ~

Catherine

1 Frugal Queen said...

Thank you for posting these beautiful words. I enjoyed reading every one. Have a happy and blessed New Year!

Anonymous said...

I have been lurking around your blog for quite awhile, and want to thank you for sharing bits of your community and life with us. I am 47 and single without children, so I can't identify with everything you write about, but I think this age is a second adolescence for women---another burst of change, "finding" yourself, and deciding just where in the heck you want to go from here. My resolutions are to be neater and learn how to weave. I have also been losing weight this year, and while I've just maintained over the holidays, I want to buckle back down and be ready to ride my bike and walk outside next spring. (I live in Iowa, and it was four degrees here at 8:30 this morning. No outdoor exercise for this chica.) I hope you have a healthy and happy new year---
Brenda in Iowa

Catherine said...

Hi Brenda and welcome! I always enjoying hearing from readers here.

I believe you are right about that: I've been feeling this seismic shift for a few years. Letting go of old stuff, reevaluating the new, figuring out the next phase of my life.

I intend to have a thoroughly modern menopause and embrace all of that great energy and change!

Good luck with the weight loss, too. I "maintained" from Sept-Dec and it's time to kick it up a few notches again!

All best to you,

Catherine

Kris said...

Happy New Year!

Kris said...

Wonderful! Happy New Year!