What it means to be a grown-up
The Dog's Tale

Taking the quieter path

Woodland gate

From May Sarton's Journal of Solitude:

"It is only when we can believe we are creating the soul that life has any meaning, but when we can believe it -- and I do and always have -- then there is nothing we do that is without meaning and nothing we suffer that does not hold the seed of creation in it. I have become convinced since that horrible review* (unimportant in itself) that it is a message, however deviously presented, to tell me I have been overconcerned with the materialistic aspects of bringing out this novel, the dangerous hope that it become a best seller, or that, for once, I might get a leg up from the critics, the establishment, and not have once more to see the work itself stand alone and make its way, heart by heart, as it is discovered by a few people with all the excitement of a person who finds a wildflower in the woods that he has discovered on his own.

"From my isolation to the isolation of someone somewhere who will find my work there exists a true communion. I have not lacked it these last years and it is a blessing. It is free of 'ambition' and it 'makes the world go away,' as the popular song says. That is what I can hope for and I must hope for nothing more and nothing less.

Bluebells and wild orchids

"Thinking of writers I cherish -- Traherne, George Herbert, Simone Weil, and the novelists Turgenev, Trollope, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, all of them modest, private, 'self-actualizers' -- I see that they are all outside the main stream of what is expected now. The moderate human voice, what might be called 'the human milieu' -- this is supremely unfashionable and appears even to be irrelevant. But there have always been and will always be people who can breathe only there and who are starved for nourishment.


"I am one of those readers and I am also one who can occasionally provide this food. That is all that really matters to me this morning."

Woodland window* The "horrible review" was of Sarton's novel Kinds of Love in the Sunday New York Times


Such beautiful words, and the photographs are enchanting. I hope all is well with you.

You keep it alive for all of us out here I think--"From my isolation to the isolation of someone somewhere who will find my work there exists a true communion."--I'm glad I found you.

This, a hundred times. The nudge to comply with the "push" is persistent, but submitting to the allure of the "pull" from those who really need to find our message reaps greater spiritual rewards.
(Unfortunately, spiritual rewards don't pay the bills!)

"and make its way ,heart by heart" - wonderful.

Writers Prayer

May the muse come to me
Start by start,
May the light come to me
Part by part,
May the work consume me
Art by art,
May the poem flow through me
Heart by heart.

2014 Jane Yolen All rights reserved

All the comments are as enheartening as the post. And the poem is exquisite. Thank you.

May Sarton's words speak so straight to my heart. Thank you, as ever, for all your thoughtful sharings.

Yes, true communion with some souls, somewhere. Thanks for helping break down our obsessions and fears and for reminding us of what we really long for.

Well said.

Another gorgeous post with accompanying inspiring poem by Jane!

Jane, it was such a privilege to hear you speak at NESCBWI. I'm grateful to have had the brief chance to tell you, "Thank you for your poems."

Never hurts to hear that, Jennifer.

Good morning! Your sentiments are expressed beautifully here and it's so refreshing to read you. As a person who is always searching for a particular sort of truth, I instantly relaxed behind your descriptions and recommendations and sighed in relief. It would be my pleasure to follow your written journey. Thanks to Fiona Campbell, looks like I've come home. She curtsies and leaves the page.

"...outside the mainstream of that is expected now." It is so good to read this from May Sarton and about authors I love. Sarton is so low key, you need to hush and listen as if to whispers. Her wisdom
about fame and not seeking it is what I have to remind myself over and over again. Many of my friends
are wonderful writers, who have day jobs until retirement age. They have given so much beauty and
hope to their readers and listeners at readings. Sometimes I wonder how I got into such lively and
productive friendships. But that's because part of me is always in the Central Oregon forests, listening
in awe and having no idea of music and writing as being what I have learned it is.

Thank you so much, everyone. Your kindness has lifted my heart this morning. And a big thanks to Jane especially, for the poem. Angela's right. It is exquisite.

This made my day... thank you.

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