Letters: Sylvia Plath (ii)

Dear Sylvia,

Yesterday while pining restlessly waiting for the work day to end, I read what you wrote during the summer of 1951 in Swampscott,
From this experience also, a faith arises to carry back to a human world of small lusts and deceitful pettiness. A faith, naive and childlike perhaps, born as it is from the infinite simplicity of nature. It is a feeling that no matter what the ideas or conduct of others, there is a unique rightness and beauty to life which can be shared in openness, in wind and sunlight, with a fellow human being who believes in the same basic principles.
I experience that kind of faith when I am sharing an artistic process with other people. Either intelligent discussions about life or work or even the spiritual journey most share in isolation. The resonating timbre of thoughts vibrating to the same wavelength becomes such an intimate connection of souls. But moments like this are few and far between. Mostly they occur more in what you have described in the next paragraph,
Yet, when such implicit believe is placed in another person, it is indeed shattering to realize that a part of what to you was such a rich, intricate, whole conception of life has been tossed off carelessly, lightly--it is when that a stunned, inarticulate numbness paralyzes words, only to give way later to a deep hurt. It is hard for me to say on paper what I believe would be best reserved for lucid vocal discussion. However there is no right to condemn, but that still somewhere there was a feeling of a crumbling of faith, and trust. A feeling that there was a way to rationalize, to condone, if only be relegating a fellow human from the unique to the usual.
Why do interactions bear so much weight these days? Are they like grapes being pressed for wine? Are they like clay being fired up in an oven? Are they like silver cooking in a furnace?

I find myself resisting advise from people who have not experienced suffering the tensions of work place politics and the struggle of reclaiming the creative life as much as I have for these past 2 years. Was it because I was so bored at work yesterday because I was enduring the inefficiencies of others and waiting for them to fix what broke? Was it because I'm generally bored with lifeless, purposeless, meaningless interaction that doesn't move or transcend the day to day routine?

Or perhaps I am too lofty in thought that people find it hard to follow. I can only muster a sigh and go back and bury my nose in flowing of your words which somehow do not force me to be any different than I am now. Not that you condone me to despairing. But your words sit with me because they do not resist the truth of how despicable the circumstances pulsate around my life.

It's funny, how you have written your way into your death and I wonder why you never found redemption in your writing, while here I am half a century later, finding redemption in it. It would be nice to be in your company during times like these.

Times where waiting for the bearing of fruit is too hard to bear but there is no other dusty road that'll take me back to the highway.


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