Oh the torture of never being left alone! I find it impossible to disentangle myself from those instincts, affections, passions, attachments…which bound me…from the first moment of consciousness to other people. I need solitude; I need to feel I belong to myself. I now begin to think that reading has become my secret life and personal refuge.
Virginia Woolf, Passionate Apprentice: The Early Journals 1897 - 1909 (via violentwavesofemotion)
Should I seek out some tree? Should I desert these form rooms and libraries, and the broad yellow page in which I read Catullus, for woods and fields? Should I walk under beech trees, or saunter along the river bank, where the trees meet united like lovers in the water? But nature is too vegetable, too vapid. She has only sublimities and vastitudes and water and leaves. I begin to wish for firelight, privacy, and the limbs of one person.
Virginia Woolf, The Waves (via arosary)
Activity of mind, I think, is the only thing that keeps one’s life going, unless one has a larger emotional activity of some other kind. One’s mind that’s like a restless steamer paddle urging the ship along, tho’ the wind is non-existent and the sea is as still as glass. What a force a human being is! There are worse solitudes than drift ice, and yet this eternal throbbing heat and energy of one’s mind thaws a pathway through; and open sea and land shall come in time. Think though, what man is midst fields and woods. A solitary creature dependent on winds and tides, and yet somehow suppressing the might of a spark in his brain. What nonsense to write!
Virginia Woolf, The Early Journals, 1897 - 1909. (via violentwavesofemotion)
What with the silence, and the possibility of walking out, at any moment over long wonderfully coloured roads to cliffs with the sea beneath, and coming back past lighted windows to one’s tea and fire and book - and then one has thoughts and a conception of the world and moments like a dragon fly in air - with all this I am kept very lively in my head.
Virginia Woolf, from a letter to Clive Bell dated 26 December 1909. (via violentwavesofemotion)
Like everything else this strange morning, the words became symbols, wrote themselves all over the grey-green walls. If only she could put them together, she felt, write them out in some sentence, then she would have got at the truth of things. The extraordinary unreality was frightening; but it was also exciting. Going to the lighthouse. Perished. Alone. The grey-green light on the wall opposite. The empty places. Such were some of the parts, but how bring them together?
Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse
We have come to forget that a large and important part of life consists in our emotions towards such things as roses and nightingales, the dawn, the sunset, life, death, and fate; we forget that we spend much time sleeping, dreaming, thinking, reading, alone; we are not entirely occupied in personal relations; all our energies are not absorbed in making our livings.
Virginia Woolf, The Narrow Bridge Of Art (via violentwavesofemotion)