May Sarton On Solitude

May Sarton (May 3, 1912 – July 16, 1995)

The value of solitude — one of its values — is, of course, that there is nothing to cushion against attacks from within, just as there is nothing to help balance at times of particular stress or depression. A few moments of desultory conversation … may calm an inner storm. But the storm, painful as it is, might have had some truth in it. So sometimes one has simply to endure a period of depression for what it may hold of illumination if one can live through it, attentive to what it exposes or demands…. The reasons for depression are not so interesting as the way one handles it, simply to stay alive.