At a young(-er!) and (more!) impressionable age, I read May Sarton’s A Journal of a Solitude. I remember being floored by the line ‘Hope, but for what?’. The lack of hope or vision or joie de vivre struck me as utterly sad and terrifying too.
I have known the feelings of being rudderless and at times been terribly lost. I think that is part of the human experience. Many of us anticipated the recent Covid quiet period with dread – it smacked of ‘the end is nigh’ and yet on the other side of it, many of us feel renewed and are facing forwards with some hope. And we are certain what we are hoping for.
On the other side of solitude, I think the things we are hoping and hopeful for are not ‘things’ – there is a communion in that too. It reminds me of the words of another great writer, Mary Oliver:
‘Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
The world offers itself to your imagination
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
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