A Way of Keeping a Diary
Routledge – 2011 – 248 pages
Following on from A Life of One’s Own and An Experiment in Leisure, Eternity’s Sunrise explores Marion Milner’s way of keeping a diary. Recording small private moments, she builds up a store of ‘bead memories.’ A carved duck, a sprig of asphodel, moments captured in her travels in Greece, Kashmir and Israel, circus clowns, a painting - each makes up a 'bead' that has a warmth or glow which comes in response to asking the simple question: What is the most important thing that happened yesterday?
From these beads – sacred, horrific, profane, funny – grows a sense of an ‘answering activity’, the result of turning one’s attention inwards to experience real joy. What Marion Milner conveys so vividly and inspirationally is her lifelong intention to live as completely as possible in the moment.
With a new introduction by Hugh Haughton, Eternity’s Sunrise will be essential reading for all those interested in reflecting on the nature of their own happiness – whether readers from a literary, an artistic, a historical, an educational or a psychoanalytic/psychotherapeutic background.
"The book is the culmination of Milner’s own literary journey, a final conjunction between her maverick take on psychoanalytic theory and her interest in art as it is created by or seen by people who are not ‘artists’, art historians or psycho-analysts. No-one can read the book, I think, without wondering about their own equivalent of Milner’s glass bead game or what mysteries lie concealed in the memories and souvenirs we bring back from our trips away from home and visits to galleries, as from our dreams." – Hugh Haughton, from the new introduction.
Acknowledgements. Chronology. Introduction. PART I: Diary Keeping on Holidays. A First Visit to Greece. A Second Visit to Greece. A Third Visit to Greece. Telling the Beads. The Gypsy and The Soldier. The Nature of the ‘Answering Activity’. ‘And Answer Came There None’. The Dancing Girl of Mykonos. A Fourth Visit to Greece. Other Beads from Other Places. ‘Not Seeing Mountains’. PART II: Diary Keeping Between Holidays (A-Z). PART III: A Visit to Israel. PART IV: Work and Play. Further Meditations on the Beads and Some New Ones. A Moment of Eternity. The Source of Transformation. The Place of Transformation. Postscript. Notes.
Marion Milner (1900-1998) was a distinguished British psychoanalyst, educationalist, autobiographer and artist.