Live in the changing light

I always forget how important the empty days are, how
important it may be sometimes not to expect to produce
anything, even a few lines in a journal. A day when one
has not pushed oneself to the limit seems a damaged
damaging day, a sinful day. Not so! The most valuable
thing one can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let
it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room.

May Sarton
Journal of a Solitude

I’ve lived quietly in the “changing light of a room” today and am deeply glad not to have been troubled by the suggestion that it was a “damaged damaging day, a sinful day”. Not for the first time, I’m grateful that May Sarton – one of my favourite contemplative poets – kept her journal for so many years. The lived experience and voiced learning of others is so often such a great help to what “one can do for the pysche”.

Instant success

Instant success is the order of the day; “I want it now!” I wonder whether this is not part of our corruption by machines. Machines do things very quickly and outside the natural rhythm of life…so the few things that we still do…anything at all that cannot be hurried, have a very particular value.

May Sarton
Journal of a Solitude

Yes: isn’t that true for all of us? “I want it now!”. It’s lovely to read May Sarton’s journals and poetry towards the end of her life. Full of hurry and vim and vigour in early life – and fairly heavy periods of serious depression along the way – she mellowed and slowed, as we all must. Contemplation, flowers, garden, home, poetry and her books – “anything at all that cannot be hurried”.

Wanting everything now, we’re all of us on a hiding to nothing!