Monday, February 19, 2018

Thoughts before retiring

I wrestle a lot with feelings of rage. Something flashes into my mind and it's like a lightning bolt. I go from relatively indifferent to consumed. I think about this as I walk, as I spend my energy (I did it again today, though not as far, and I turned back - so as to get home without the need for a cab). I find walking useful, to absorb my misplaced passions, to quiet my mind, to listen to the beat of The Waves...

At home I stroke my cats. I watch them play. Feed them, Clean out their kitty litter. Read "In the Restaurant" by Christoph Ribbat (I am on page 78), think about showering before I go to bed, think about rubbing my very expensive frankincense on my aching parts, thinking about writing the last letter that I was going to write...except that now I am tired and have run out of inspiration and flourish..

(Here is how Bernard writes a letter, I suspect that this is how VW wrote a letter):

Yes, all is propitious. I am now in the mood. I can write the letter straight off which I have begun ever so many times. I have just come in; I have flung down my hat and my stick; I am writing the first thing that comes into my head without troubling to put the paper straight. It is going to be a brilliant sketch which, she must think, was written without a pause, without an erasure. Look how unformed the letters are — there is a careless blot. All must be sacrificed to speed and carelessness. I will write a quick, running, small hand, exaggerating the down stroke of the “y” and crossing the “t” thus — with a dash. The date shall be only Tuesday, the 17th, and then a question mark. But also I must give her the impression that though he — for this is not myself — is writing in such an off-hand, such a slap-dash way, there is some subtle suggestion of intimacy and respect. I must allude to talks we have had together — bring back some remembered scene. But I must seem to her (this is very important) to be passing from thing to thing with the greatest ease in the world. I shall pass from the service for the man who was drowned (I have a phrase for that) to Mrs Moffat and her sayings (I have a note of them), and so to some reflections apparently casual but full of profundity (profound criticism is often written casually) about some book I have been reading, some out-of-the-way book. I want her to say as she brushes her hair or puts out the candle, “Where did I read that? Oh, in Bernard’s letter.” It is the speed, the hot, molten effect, the laval flow of sentence into sentence that I need. Who am I thinking of? Byron of course. I am, in some ways, like Byron. Perhaps a sip of Byron will help to put me in the vein. Let me read a page. No; this is dull; this is scrappy. This is rather too formal. Now I am getting the hang of it. Now I am getting his beat into my brain (the rhythm is the main thing in writing). Now, without pausing I will begin, on the very lilt of the stroke —.
That is how Bernard writes his letters. Dashing. That is how VW writes her letters - it is performance, it is art, it is artifice, it is highly polished.

But I am tired now. All my reflections sink under the the dark waves of slumber. I shall take a shower. I shall go cuddle TimTam who is in disgrace for escaping and attacking Sheba and who has been ignored for the rest of the day in consequence. I shall put my phone on the charger and set my alarm so that I may wake up and go walking early enough, this time to the Kiara Hills, so I may listen to The Waves without having it drowned out by the sounds of traffic. 

And so to bed.

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