Gnomicon 96

If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.

Gnomicon  96
Monday 13 August 2012

Read gnomica 1-50 here!

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“I talk to God but the sky is empty.”
Sylvia Plath (27 Oct 1932 – 11 Feb 1963)

This deeply troubled human being committed suicide in 1963 by putting her head in an oven – and in 1982 was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her poetry.  In that single line above one experiences her commanding way of expressing her isolation and loneliness, her inability — for all her pointed succinctness with words as a crafter of poetry — to communicate with either hearth or heaven.  I see such profound sadness in that line, such a sad realization that, finally, there is nowhere to turn.

One is left, in the end, to one’s own limited and inadequate devices.

Plath had a history of difficulties.

Many suicides do not.

Out of the blue, people for whom everything appears just fine on the surface will kill themselves, and those who knew the suicide will chorus, “Not her!”, “Not him!”.  But these out-of-the-blue suicides are a surprising fact.  A sense of what is going on prior to the deed may perhaps be garnered here.

It is probably true that many people from time to time may experience a sense of isolation or abandonment, whether from or by others or even oneself.  Yes, that is sad, but people cope.  That all my wishes and desires are not always fulfilled is – as Anna Freud noted  – called ‘life’.  And I need to be mindful of the opposite:  sometimes all my wishes and desires are fulfilled – and that, too, is called ‘life’.

I was just struck by the plaintive poignancy of Plath’s statement.

Its brevity speaks at length.

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4 Responses to Gnomicon 96

  1. julie601 says:

    Brevity is the key word here. It is, or ought to be, the goal of all writers to express what is to be expressed in as few words as possible. The same holds true for verbal encounters. There is no reason why a report on weather conditions should be a thirty minute lecture. I grow weary of both writer and speaker who suffer from diarrhea of pen or mouth. Just as “the less said the better” is a Yiddish adage: “A closed mouth catches no flies.” juliespeaks

  2. heather says:

    When i read her poetry i enjoy it (and her) and i want to help her.

  3. Al Cram says:

    Your links are always informative. The suicide email site is helpful in trying to see how desperate people can become, and one suspects that others are mired so deep by the emptiness they feel that they don’t even look for help at such sites. I can understand to some degree the pain of depression, but the total lack of hope is difficult for me to comprehend. No matter how bad things are in life there are three possibilities. Things will stay the same, get worse, or just maybe they will get a little or a lot better. At some point despite any effort on my part to prevent it, I will in fact cease to exist in any form that I comprehend today. At that point, things here cannot get worse for me. I can’t think of a reason I would want to expedite the time of that eternal solution to any pain or suffering I may experience.

  4. Al Cram says:

    On reflection I had to look up an old Winston Churchill quote. “There is time and hope if we combine patience and courage…Meanwhile, never flinch, never weary, never despair.”. Of course I suspect his bunker was among the strongest in Britain when the German bombs and rockets were falling. Despite these encouraging words there were doubtless many who did despair.

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