adored

August 22, 2019

She was born to be the adored of poets

Virginia Woolf
The Waves

magic world

August 10, 2019

I want to raise up the magic world all round me and live strongly and quietly there.

Virginia Woolf
Diary entry February 1934

For [Virginia] Woolf, getting lost was not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need, to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you are, who others think you are. This dissolution of identity is familiar to travellers in foreign places and remote fastnesses, but Woolf, with her acute perception of the nuances of consciousness, could find it in a stroll down the street, a moment’s solitude in an armchair. Woolf was not a romantic, not a celebrant of that getting lost that is erotic love, in which the beloved becomes an invitation to become who you secretly, dormantly, like a locust underground waiting for the seventeen-year call, already are in hiding, that love for the other that is also a desire to reside in your own mystery in the mystery of others. Her getting lost was solitary, like Thoreau’s.

Rebecca Solnit
Open Door, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

the depths of the world

February 12, 2019

My roots go down to the depths of the world, through earth dry with brick, and damp earth, through veins of lead and silver. I am all fibre. All tremors shake me, and the weight of the earth is pressed to my ribs.

Virginia Woolf
The Waves

most poetic

January 29, 2019

The most ordinary conversation is often the most poetic, and the most poetic is precisely that which cannot be written down.

Virginia Woolf
Orlando

something has grown in me

January 17, 2019

The next morning I shall get up at dawn. I shall let myself out by the kitchen door. I shall walk on the moor. I shall see the swallow skim the grass. I shall throw myself on a bank by the river and watch the fish slip in and out among the reeds. The palms of my hands will be printed with pine-needles. I shall there unfold and take out whatever it is I have made here; something hard. For something has grown in me here, through the winters and summers, on staircases, in bedrooms. Then my freedom will unfurl, and all these restrictions that wrinkle and shrivel–hours and order and discipline, and being here and there exactly at the right moment – will crack asunder.

Virginia Woolf
The Waves

Rain

January 3, 2019

A wet day. And I am glad of the rain, because I have talked too much.

Virginia Woolf
diary entry May 1929

a mass of odds and ends

November 3, 2018

burning book

What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace any thing, solemn, slight or beautiful that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk, or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself and refined itself and coalesced, as such deposits so mysteriously do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, and yet steady, tranquil compounds with the aloofness of a work of art.

Virginia Woolf
A Writer’s Diary

the unspoken

September 4, 2018

What matters is precisely this; the unspoken at the edge of the spoken.

Virginia Woolf
Diary entry 21st July 1912

converse for ever

September 1, 2018

We might go to moonlight ruins, cafés, dances, plays: converse for ever; sleep only while the moon covers herself for an instant with a thin veil.

Virginia Woolf
Letter to Vita Sackville-West, September 1928