Our two solitudes never quite merged, perhaps, but accepted each other gratefully.

May Sarton

May Sarton

Profession: Poet
Nationality: Belgian

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In the middle of the night, things well up from the past that are not always cause for rejoicing--the unsolved, the painful encounters, the mistakes, the reasons for shame or woe. But all, good or bad, give me food for thought, food to grow on.

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.

I feel like an inadequate machine, a machine that breaks down at crucial moments, grinds to a dreadful hault, 'won't go,' or, even worse, explodes in some innocent person's face.

We are able to laugh when we achieve detachment if only for a moment.

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.

We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.

Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.

Still, a person who cannot express love is stopping the flow of life, is censoring where censorship is a form of self-indulgence, the fear of giving oneself away.

Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light nothing flowers.

One has only to set a loved human being against the fact that we are all in peril all the time to get back a sense of proportion. What does anything matter compared to the reality of love and its span, so brief at best, maintained against such odds?

It always comes back to the same necessity: go deep enough and there's a bedrock of truth, however hard. It looks as if I were "meant" to be alone, and that any hope of happiness is not meant.

It is the privilege of those who fear love to murder those who do not fear it!

Wrinkles here and there seem unimportant compared to the Gestalt of the whole person I have become in this past year.

We cannot withdraw love without damaging ourselves. I have been badly hurt again but I see this morning that it does not really matter because I perceive the truth. Rage is the deprived infant in me but there is also a compassionate mother in me and she will come back with her healing powers in time.