Sunday, January 10, 2010
I was looking for something in my study/studio last night. I flicked through books of poetry, prose, songs: looking for some words of comfort and wisdom for a dear friend. She is currently far from home, and has apprehensions about returning to poignant memories and deep wounds.
Nothing I found was quite right, so I decided to sleep on it. Lying in bed, I glanced at the stack of books on my bedside table and my eye fell on May Sarton's Journal of A Solitude. I read it in 2000 during a holiday in Eden (fitting!) and somehow it seemed like the right time to be rereading it, hence its presence in one of my [several] To Read piles.
I opened to a random page and came across this:
"I feel renewed by having gone down into hell, the Hell of self-hatred, the Hell of war with a person whom I love, and come back to the Heaven of self-forgiveness, as well as forgiveness of the other because in the struggle between us, if we can face it, the truth is concealed, and could be revealed.
For weeks and months I have allowed myself to be persuaded into a frustrated pseudopeace to spare the other. But if there is a deep love involved, there is a deep responsibility toward it. We cannot afford not to fight for growth and understanding, even when it is painful, as it is bound to be."
I want to honour my friend for being brave and doing the hard work. For descending into the depths of the Hell of self-hatred in order to find the truth. For seeing a glimmer of self-forgiveness in that truth. For nurturing that tiny whisper of self-love into a firm defiant voice.
I will rejoice the day I hear it as a roar.