If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.
Monday 13 August 2012
Read gnomica 1-50 here!
“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.