From the journal of Martin Way
August 18, 1935
Until recently I expected more from people than they could give and still keep themselves whole. What happened with Estelle is a good example. I wanted her to be interested in what I was doing and be interesting to me, which meant she had to make me her passion instead of the pursuits she was engaged in before we became a couple. The more we became entangled the more I lost interest in her. She became my shadow, always there in a passive way. But a driven woman like Estelle will not put up with that for long. So before I could adjust she was pulling away into new projects. I felt betrayed, but it was I who should have moved into her life at least part way.
I always expected my parents to always make things better for me. They are just human, and have 2 other children. But I remember even recently asking them to give me some extra money for something I did not need. I expected my friends to sacrifice their time to my restless ideas. Why do they do it? Just because they do does not mean I am not to blame, and will end up with shallow friends who avoid me instead of trusting me to look for what they might need. People are drawn to me without a lot of effort on my part. I see where it might be easy to live a life counting on that, but I also see how easy it would be to slip into a life that was easy enough, but without substance. I just am not sure what I want, but I feel the need to separate myself from easiness and open my mind to more of the world.
I am realizing I have to be by myself for a while without support to see who I am. I wonder how long it will take to feel the solitude. So far it is like a long breath after being underwater for a long time.
I talked with the woman who owns the shack. Her name is Viola. She says I can stay as long as I will help her keep an eye on her 2 boys and the sheep. Why do people trust me? I do not have as much faith in myself as other people have in me. She does not have any extra food as her husband disappeared about a year ago without word. She is really quite courageous, the way she goes about running the farm without help.
August 19, 1935
I went into town to see about a job or anything I could do for food. I found a little church that does a soup kitchen every other day in the basement. I told the woman working there I would come early next time to help cook or clean or whatever needs to be done. I am beginning to see how hard the world is, and how hard people work just to eat and have a place to sleep. I am sleeping on the floor on a couple of blankets, Viola lent to me. The weather is warm so I can sleep on top of them. I swept and scrubbed the floors like a monk, and cleaned the little window and walls. It is a nice little cell. At night I can hear small animals moving here and there over the planks, but having no light and cannot see them.
Maybe something will come from all this deprivation. Nothing I do is planned. I have brought no books, and don’t miss them yet. I have enough paper and pencils for a while. I am drawing the sheep and trees. The boys, Bradley and Baxter, are curious and watch me closely as I sharpen my pencils using my pocket knife. They don’t say much being very young and naturally shy.
I am trying now to expect very little from people and everything from myself. So far I amazed at the tiny miracles that come without being looked for.