send in the elves

img_1194My desk this morning, instead of being covered with books and manuscript pages, is covered with Christmas lists.  I wanted to make a post.  But it was hard to draw my mind away from the unanswered questions and undone errands on my list–with the clock ticking.  Six days, six days, six…

I wondered how other writers managed to focus at this time of the year.  So I reached for May Sarton‘s Journal of a Solitude, written from September to September, from 1970 to 1971, I think.  And guess what?  As far as December, there’s an entry for the 2nd and then nothing until January. 

It’s like falling into a black hole.  In December, most of all, it’s a struggle to claw through the must-do’s, the should-do’s, and the do-nows to find something real.  In December, it definitely takes both hands to catch a day.  So I’m going to aim for a minute here and there.  Maybe an hour.  I’m not going to give in.  I’m going to take a deep breath.  Read a few words.  Write a sentence. 

In her January 2nd entry, May Sarton writes, “I can understand people simply fleeing the mountainoimg_1190us effort Christmas has become even for those, like me, without children.  Everyone must feel revolt as I do about the middle of December when I am buried under the necessity of finding presents, the immense effort of wrapping and sending, and the never-ended guilt about unsent cards…”

In an attempt at a real thought for today, I leave you with this.  In her last entry in the book, she suggests that writing is a “messenger of growth,” that from where we are, “we  write toward what we will become…”

2 thoughts on “send in the elves

  1. Black hole, indeed. Thanks for reminding your readership that it’s all too much: You, I, May Sarton and much of the rest of the planet have an 11-month year. December’s shot because merchants have convinced us that we have to spend a ton of money by 12/25 to prove to our loved ones that we love them.

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  2. May Sarton also writes so beautifully in Plant Dreaming Deep, a book of essays about her move to solitude in a small town. I also just finished a novel Sarton wrote about a woman dying of cancer, which is more about living than dying, called A Reckoning. It’s not depressing at all, but rather extremely uplifting and thought provoking. I may start at page one again tonight. I love to reread books, some several times, some once a year or so.

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