a kind of fugue

Polly Thayer's portrait of May Sarton owned by the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University

“There is nothing to be done but go ahead with life moment by moment and hour by hour–put out birdseed, tidy the rooms, try to create order and peace around me even if I cannot achieve it inside me.” May Sarton.

As the last days of summer float by, I’m thinking about reclaiming control of my days. I want to read more and write more, lose fewer hours to Twitter and Facebook, the internet in general.

Social networking does have a place. It helps me stay current with the latest articles on writing and books. It helps me feel connected to the writing community. And it’s a way to let others know what I’m doing. As Lori A. May pointed out in a recent post I discovered on Twitter, “For a writer, it’s not only about writing.”

“I am in a limbo that needs to be patterned from within….this problem of ordering a day that has no pattern imposed on it from without.” Again May Sarton.

Last week a friend and I were brainstorming about how to order our days. First we made a list of deadlines and everything we wanted and needed to do. Then we made daily, less-than-daily-and-more-than-weekly, and weekly lists. Finally we talked about what shape we wanted the mornings, afternoons, and evenings to take.

“That was what I was after–a daily rhythm, a kind of fugue of poetry, gardening, sleeping and waking in the house.” Yes, May Sarton.

Lori May eschews the word schedule as antithetical to writing. She refers, instead, to a plan of attack. I like that. I also like fugue for its sense of interweaving of parts, for its writerly rhythm. So yes, I am working on a plan of attack, in order to create my daily rhythm–a kind of fugue of reading, writing, blogging, connecting, and living.

Eleanor Marie Sarton was born in Belgium in 1912. All of her quotes in this post can be found in  Journal of a Solitude, published in 1973.

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