Sunday, 12 September 2010

"I have experienced love, sorrow, madness and if I cannot make these experiences meaningful, no new experience will help me"

"I have experienced love, sorrow, madness and if I cannot make these experiences meaningful, no new experience will help me."

Sylvia Plath.
I wrote about her before - several times. The first time I wrote when I was 19 I think - after reading 'The Bell Jar' - after realising that I didn't want to wear it anymore, like her... I didn't want a life like hers... not for all her genius.

Maybe she could have stepped away; maybe she couldn't. Maybe it was her destiny to feel and write and suffer, all so intensely.
Maybe I can step away; maybe I can't. Do I believe in destiny or do I believe in choice?

There is no author whose work I have ever identified with more closely - except maybe Tennessee Williams. And this makes me sad. Sad, because I don't want to be like Sylvia Plath.

I don't.
I'm sure I don't...

So why don't I just step away?

Please, come on, step away... I must have a choice, because I swear, I never chose sadness, I would never choose sadness...

I didn't choose to feel, I didn't choose to write. Did I?
What am I trying to achieve by feeling and writing, so much, so intensely?

When I am sad I read a lot. I reach towards my passion for literature, the burning in the mind and heart, the burning in the eyes, because it hurts so much. No, I crave it, I crave poetry, all poetry, epic and contemporary; all literature, modern and Renaissance. It makes me feel sane - it places my mind in a safety where it's not reeling or crazy, but among reeling words and ideas and questionings that it can feed off, and feel safe - like I'm not alone.

I started to consider my mantra last weekend as I dove into Sense and Sensibility and the BBC archive of British Novelists 'In their own words'. I fell in love with Sense and Sensibility during my darkest time. (I forget this time was never charted in this blog... but that is the time when I was 20, and I lost Jon and discovered bulimia). I clung to literature, in the hope it would relieve the pain. I don't know why.

I want to write a masterpiece before I die.
There. Now I cannot line up the pills on the kitchen table, and scrutinise them, under the bright light as I pop them into my mouth, over and over.
I have to write a masterpiece first.
But of what?
Always, I think, I have been acutely aware of my identity as a woman and what it means to be a woman. The common themes - men, love, eating, disorder, weight, looks, beauty, fitting in, being loved, giving love, losing love. But then, am I a typical woman, struggling with identity in the 21st century? No, I don't think I can speak for my generation. My generation are not sick.

But this is my drive now. To write - to really write - something of consequence, of structure, of meaning. For I have all but wasted my life, so may it at least have been in the pursuit of something... some understanding, some vision, some something, written on neatly bound paper.

Why do it?
it cuts me free
it looks so pure
a fever of 103
Clean blood.
like the mist
like my lips you used to kiss
like my face
like my heart
like the bind around my wrist.


  1. she has made them meaningfull. to you, me, so many. how i wish she would have only been aware of this. how i wish you were. but you still can be. we can.

  2. I wish I could show you just how amazing you are. These words of yours are a gift; they belong to you, only you, and when you speak them, share them, make them known, you are giving something so much more beautiful than those words could ever explain. All I can do is thank you, and hope you don't stop.

  3. its so.. different seeing how you write/feel/connect with Sylvia Plath, when she is so familiar to me because we are forced to learn about her and Hughes in school. interesting.

    Anyway, beh you write so well, I love your blog. I want you to find happiness, its all so sad. I don't know what to say. You seem like such a wonderful beautiful person.

    I have to ask, do you know/remember Dot? I haven't been on blogger for agess and due to changing blogs have lost a lot of people but don't know if she's ok? And I can't remember her blog's name blahh. I'm just a bit worried.

  4. Just because you're like Sylvia Plath and identify with her doesn't mean you have to end life the way she did. :-* You're a wonderful writer, and you will write MANY masterpieces before you die. I'm sure of it. Your masterpieces will slowly form themselves into words that you can write down, and you probably won't even realize you're writing them until you're finished.

    ...I think that makes sense.

    Hope you have a good week, hun!!

  5. Sylvia Plath is my soul mate. I am her reincarnation, I am convinced.

    the end of this made my heart break.

  6. I love Plath.

    I hate that I love Plath.

  7. You always have such wonderfully written posts that i can identify with insane amounts. I'm sure your masterpiece will be a best seller.

  8. I had a teacher once who said that pain was pointless, that it added nothing to art. But the same can be said of comfort.

  9. I have full faith in the instant classic that is stored within you.

    I miss you!

  10. i have been reading yor blog forever but just started one myself today. I cannot expect you to visit(although I'd be delighted if you do) but let me say one thing - you are magical, no matter how dark verything seemes to be now, you do and will shine. Thats all i am able to say,
    all the love


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