Jervis McEntee Diaries

Thursday August 12, 1886

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, August 12, 1886, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Thursday, Aug 12, 1886 Awoke with great depression and discouragement. The future seemed most barren and unlovely and a sense of disaster seemed to envelope me. The morning when one is troubled seems the saddest time. I wonder if there are not more suicides in the morning than at any other time. O that I had some absorbing work in which I could forget the nagging annoyances. I long for release from these wearing and sordid cares, a life however simple so that I am saved all this fret and worry and can live in the pursuit of my Art. I am growing old and begin to fear my artistic career is closed unless I can lead a different life. I am going to N. Y. to get my sketches and studies next week hoping I can get at work upon a picture, only the most discouraging feature of it all is that I seem so barren of ideas and of all inclination to do work. I read a number of pages in Amiels Journal. A most unhappy man and to me a most depressing book. I see in him a sort of paralysis of effort which I fear might easily befal me, and it frightens me to see how timid and cowardly I become when my money is going and none coming in. It is after all a most honorable feeling to wish to be independent, to keep ones obligations and to fear to contract them without the material to meet them. The house seemed most lonely this afternoon. My father was lying down and Mary and Sara were in their rooms. I think of dear Gertrude in my discouragement and loneliness with a never ceasing sense of my impassible loss in her. Andrews and Lucy came home from N. Y. this evening. It has been pretty hot. Acknowledged Hanna & Ives' letter.

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