But when Ellen throws at me that I have never had to struggle I feel like saying, 'Maybe. But I have had to learn to be capable in a hundred ways that were no pleasure or nourishment really. If I had not been rich, I might have become a good painter.' Instead, right now I had better get the silver out and see what needs polishing.
Think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a season, how without grief ( it seems ) they can let go...Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long...Let it go.
Solitude itself is a way of waiting for the inaudible and the invisible to make itself felt. And that is why solitude is never static and never hopeless. On the other hand, every friend who comes to stay enriches the solitude forever; presence, if it has been real presence, does not ever leave.
There is always some sleight of hand going on in writing autobiography. So much has to be left out, especially things that might hurt or dismay people. But in a novel one can say everything. The novel is often autobiography distilled and / or transcended.
Machines do things very quickly and outside the natural rhythm of life, and we are indignant if a car doesn't start at the first try. So the few things that we still do, such as cooking (though there are TV dinners!), knitting, gardening, anything at all that cannot be hurried, have a very particular value.
Women have come to understand ourselves as central, not peripheral, before anything real can happen. We have to depend on ourselves...This cannot be done against men, and that's the real problem...It cannot be woman against man. It has to be woman finding her true self with or without man, but not against man.
When I am alone the flowers are really seen; I can pay attention to them. They are felt as presences. Without them I would die. Why do I say that? Partly because they change before my eyes. They live and die in a few days; they keep me closely in touch with process, with growth, and also with dying. I am floated on their moments.
For of course one is never safe when in love. Growth is demanding and may seem dangerous, for there is loss as well as gain in growth. But why go on living if one has ceased to grow? And what more demanding atmosphere for growth than love in any form, than any relationship which can call out and requires of us our most secret and deepest selves?
If we are to understand the human condition, and if we are to accept ourselves in all the complexity, self-doubt, extravagance of feeling, guilt, joy, the slow freeing of the self to its full capacity for action and creation, both as human being and as artist, we have to know all we can about each other, and we have to be willing to go naked.
The more our bodies fail us, the more naked and more demanding is the spirit, the more open and loving we can become if we are not afraid of what we are and of what we feel. I am not a phoenix yet, but here among the ashes, it may be that the pain is chiefly that of new wings trying to push through.
Women certainly learn a lot from books oriented toward a masculine world. Why is not the reverse also true? Or are men really so afraid of women's creativity (because they are not themselves at the center of creation, cannot bear children) that a woman writer of genius evokes murderous rage, must be brushed aside with a sneer as irrelevant? When.