THE TWENTIETH YEAR!

FMSW-Papier-Mache Ed1994 saw the birth of From May Sarton’s Well:Writings of May Sarton, Selections by Edith Royce Schade. The book was published by Papier-Mache Press in September of that year,  with a copper colored cover. This second decade since its publication has sent me to musing about what happened during that year and what I thought about it all.

What an  exciting time it was for me. It followed a long gestation period that began with my reading of May’s Plant Dreaming Deep in 1971.

On February 3, 1994 I wrote the following in my journal:

“I sent “the book” to Papier-Mache today!

“I feel as if I am sending a child off to college in some ways. She is likely to change a lot. She is in other hands. How will she be seen by other people? Will she speak to them? Will they understand her? I have very little influence on her now. But I care a lot. Like a child, she is more than me. I gave her birth, and tried to nourish her, but she took off and grew on her own. She is herself. I don’t understand everything about her. Many will see her very differently than I. How fortunate I have been to nurture her. I am proud of her, but I cannot and must not take full credit for her. She is a gift.”

I was thinking especially of the photographs I had made for the book. I didn’t even mention the major role of May’s writing in these thoughts I’d jotted down. But I realize now even more than I did then, that “she”–From May Sarton’s Well–was a gift to me. I think it has been a gift to readers too, though, and hope that will continue as long as books are read.

LONELINESS OR SOLITUDE?

May Sarton often wrote about her need to have periods of solitude in order to be able to write. So, too, there were times when its shadow side took hold. As she said in Journal of a Solitude, At any moment solitude may put on the face of loneliness”341-60214.

Some of the photographs I used in From May Sarton’s Well came from my own files, while others I made especially for the book. Quite naturally I found a few images I had of my family members suited my purposes. My mother appears on page 117. (See “Recovering Published in Japan” in my Reflections blog.) Eric, my oldest son is in three of the illustrations, including one on page 106. (See “Childhood Time”.) While traveling in Utah with my husband and both sons, Nick, the younger one, lead us along a trail, just far enough ahead to seem to be alone with his thoughts. I don’t think he felt lonely but the scene (it appears on page 27) seemed right for this quotation. Yes, my husband made it in too, on to page 99. That’s another story.