“Your class possesses in its own right and not through marriage practically all the capital, all the land, all the valuables, and all the patronage in England. Our class possesses in its own right and not through marriage practically none of the capital, none of the land, none of the valuables, and none of the patronage in England. That such differences make for very considerable differences in mind and body, no psychologist or biologist would deny. It would seem to follow then as an indisputable fact that ‘we’–meaning by ‘we’ a whole made trained and are so differently influenced by memory and tradition–must still differ in some essential respects from ‘you’, whose body, brain and spirit have been so differently trained and are so differently influenced by memory and tradition. Though we see the same world, we see it through different eyes. Any help we can give you must be different from that you can give yourselves, and perhaps the value of that help may lie in the fact of that difference. Therefore before we agree to sign your manifesto or join your society, it might be well to discover where the difference lies, because then we may discover where the help lies also. Let us then by way of a very elementary beginning lay before you a photograph–a crudely coloured photograph–of your world as it appears to us who see it from the threshold of the private house; through the shadow of the veil that St Paul still lays upon our eyes; from the bridge which connects the private house with the world of public life.”
– Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf
This critical essay by Woolf was penned in 1938 as the threat of devastating war in Europe loomed and was to be realised the following year, but today, her sentiments continue to ring especially true. Continue reading
Took a break from my last minute reading to work on a wee doodle of St. Vincent. that turned out much pink-er and weirder than I intended thanks to the marvels of photoshop.
This design’s currently available as prints & other merch on my redbubble store, where there’s a 20% discount for the next two days (the discount code’s CARPE20).
For nine days I had intended to curl my toes up in warm, wet sand, reading Virginia Woolf, and nine days I spent gazing at the imperceptible horizon as if searching for some truth in nature, when in fact my mind was vacant, my consciousness hollow, and my scant thoughts were consumed solely by the vast blueness surrounding me. Meditated by Woolf’s words, descriptions of a faraway coast in St. Ives (undoubtedly a different one from that which I was lazing on), it seemed I had fallen in love with the salty breeze and the crystalline pools of light flickering as each wave skims the shore. For how the immensity of nature overwhelms? The trifling concerns of man could never occupy one as the expanse of the skies and sea does. And so for nine days the sea sheltered me from the vagaries of reality.
Perhaps it was this sentiment that gave Woolf’s childhood summers in Cornwall its idyllic quality, though I cannot pretend to know for sure. It could very well have been the experience of childhood by the beach that had conjured such arcadian associations. But to students of modern literature and the casual readers of Woolf alike, there is no question to her (and now, my own) fondness of the sea, of its waters crashing against the rocks embedded along the coastline, and of the sheer solace it offers.
Alas, summers do not last. There comes a point where one has to be delivered back to the door of reality, to be forcefully shoved through it. One must, ultimately, confront the ugliness that one has chosen to run from, as I must, now, return from the comforts of my vacation to reorganise my life and reflect upon the politics, violence, and utter chaos that besieges it.
On a side note, I’ll be flying off to London in the following week – it’ll be my first time in England and I’m looking forward to it with equal amounts of trepidation and excitement.