“There was a pause. Words had begun to be elusive. Laura could not pin the right ones down. They floated around in her head. She finally managed to say, “Communion. Something women are only beginning to tap, to understand, a kind of tenderness towards each other as women.”
“Tenderness. Sybille did not understand it. In a letter sometimes, but never in the flesh could she give it to us.”
“And that, you feel, is what women can give each other, but have held back, and are learning?”
“To share the experience of being a woman. It’s almost undiscovered territory…”
May Sarton is a kindred spirit and a sort-of elder to me. I’ve long looked to certain passages from her journals and poetry to express what I can’t, but I had never read one of her novels, until this week. Now it sits next to me, prickled with a dozen or so papery bits, marking those lines that I do not want to lose hold of.
The ones I’ve shared here fold in gently with some of the discussions we’ve had around the blogworld lately. I’ve been blessed to have experienced much tenderness from women throughout my life, and that has only continued in the territory of the interwebs that we’ve been discovering. Not every experience, of course, but it has been mostly possible to explore and settle into a mostly beautiful, real, warm-hearted land.
May Sarton wrote this novel in the late ’70s. She died in 1995. I would so love to know what she would think of our online connections and the warmth and kindness so often expressed in our blogs and Instagram feeds? And sharing the experience of being a woman…that most of all.
Communion…it has been harder to find in person as the years unwind…this deep, womanly sort. I am so grateful to have found it through pixels and glass pages. But will keep looking for it also in all of the other ways it shows up. Sometimes captured in photos, taken unbeknownst, found with surprise…and tenderness.