full of harp-noises

August 11, 2017

They went in. Pine-needles are not easy to walk on, like a floor of red glass. It is not cool under them, a black scented life, full of ants, who work furiously and make no sound. Something ached in Carston, a regret for the cool brilliance of the wood they had left, the other side of the hills, on the edge of the sea. This one was full of harp-noises from a wind when there was none outside. He saw Picus ahead, a shadow shifting between trunk and trunk. Some kind of woodcraft he supposed, and said so to Felix who said sleepily: “Somebody’s blunt-faced bees, dipping under the thyme-spray”; a sentence which made things start living again. Would they never have enough of what they called life? There was no kind of track over the split vegetable grass. A place that made you wonder what sort of nothing went on there, year in year out.

Mary Butts
Armed with madness

not illness

August 7, 2017

27 May 1918

There is nothing wrong with my body but everything with my nervous control. This is not illness – underneath there is an immense content of a right process well continuing. All the discomforts are local. There are times when I take pleasure in my nightmare of slavery – but I do not somehow believe in it. One is so & so & karma dissolves before one’s personal will.

But there is dullness, a fatigue of spirit, a vast isolation.

Mary Butts
Journals