Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Call me Mary Beton, Mary Seton, Mary Carmichael or any other name you please—it is not a matter of importance.

"...she took her hand and raised her brush. For a moment it stayed trembling in a painful but exciting ecstacy in the air. Where to begin?--that was the question at what point to make the first mark? One line placed on the canvas committed her to innumerable risks, to frequent and irrevocable decisions. All that in idea seemed simple became in practice immediately complex; as the waves shape themselves symmetrically from the cliff top, but to the swimmer among them are divided by steep gulfs, and foaming crests. Still the risk must run; the mark made." from To the Lighthouse

I'm in a Virginia Woolf kind of mood today (but not a walk into the river mood!). Looking at this photo of my Dad's art studio made me think of A Room of One's Own and wishing for my own true retreat where I can focus and forget the kind of stupid things that have front loaded my week.

Or, today, I'm like a preoccupied Mrs. Dalloway, chasing one small fact across my day (she just had to get the flowers, I fucked up my schedule for the whole week. grrr). Of course, I won't knock Mrs. Dalloway--she's one of my favorite characters in all literature. (Every so often when I'm feeling a little intense I reread a chapter or two in the bathtub. It's sort of like literary PMS...if I'm really in a mood, I'll scan the last two page of Joyce's The Dead in the bath because I'm melodramatic like that). Mrs. D might at times be frivolous, but she has a capacity for profound unassuming revelation. I always imagine her existing right under the surface--she may not be brilliant or artistic but she occasionally crests to see life as it is before she sinks underneath again. But, although it's slightly murky right below the surface and she can't see a clear picture of the larger world, she can see and feel the light refracted in the water and she's content with that. Somehow, though superficial, she's connected to life in a deep way precisely because she just sort of lets it all wash over her. When she does orchestrate a part of her life, it's generally to provide pleasure for other people. I don't know, this just seems really real to me.

AAAAnyway. Am now going to indulge in a hot shower and some hot chocolate and finish up page 74 (!) of the comic.

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