I’ve spent the passing week reading Jane Hirshfield’s Ten Windows and May Sarton’s Journal of a Solitude, changing between the two of them for very different – still matching – reading experiences. Ten Windows is a book about how we, through poetry, can enlarge our own lives. Journal of a Solitude is story from “inside”, from the day to day life of a very attentive and observant poet.
Sarton’s Journal of a Solitude was first published in 1973. It is an honest confession of the writer’s faults, fears, sadness, and disappointments, but also of her joys; words in right order, the garden, people stopping by – and solitude: Solitude as grace and necessity … and the fear of loneliness.
I’m sharing here a short passage where she writes about the need of being very focused if one is to achieve something great, and how much more difficult such single-pointedness is to achieve for women, especially mothers, than for men. (Sarton is using – very appropriate – her own parents as example).
She underlines that our time (the -70′) have given greater freedom to women, unfortunately I have to admit we still have quite a bit to go …
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I grew up with the idea of multi-tasking … So I try to do many things well … A friend once said that many of these activities may be ‘diversionary’ keeping the central goal harder to reach … Jane
Oh, I think thats true! And then we (or at last me) also often have this difficulty in deciding which is to be the central goal to be reached …