On the whole, what I like is to flash and dash from side to side, goaded on by what I call reality. If I never felt these extraordinarily pervasive strains - of unrest, or rest, or happiness, or discomfort - I should float down into acquiescence. Here is something to fight: And when I wake early I say to myself Fight, fight. If I could catch the feeling, I would: the feeling of the singing of the real world; the sense that comes to me of being bound on a perpetual adventure; of being strangely free to do anything.
Virginia Woolf, from a diary entry dated 2 October 1929. (via violentwavesofemotion)
Love was all very well, and those snug domestic houses, with the kitchen below and the nursery above, which were so secluded and self-contained, like little islands in the torrents of the world; but the real things were surely the things that happened, the causes, the wars, the ideals. Of course they were happy and content, but there must be better things than that. Surely one could get nearer to life, one could get more out of life, one could enjoy more and feel more than they would ever do.
Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out.
Suppose the looking glass smashes, the image disappears, and the romantic figure with the green of forest depths all about it is there no longer, but only that shell of a person which is seen by other people - what an airless, shallow, bald, prominent world it becomes! A world not to be lived in.
Virginia Woolf, Between The Acts. (via violentwavesofemotion)
It was a way things had sometimes, she thought, lingering for a moment and looking at the long glittering windows and the plume of blue smoke: they became unreal. So coming back from a journey, or after an illness, before habits had spun themselves among the surface, one felt that same unreality, which was so startling; felt something emerge. Life was most vivid then.
Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse.