“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.” Virginia Woolf
How terribly difficult it must have been to be a Woolf, or Plath, Parker, Gilman, or Cowen. Sensitive, thoughtful, brilliant and forced to have to work harder, hide your real life, find scorn over and over for simply wanting/needing to BE your true self.
Virginia Woolf was born on this day in 1882. She conceived sentences in radically new ways. Her writing continues to be innovative, challenging, inspiring and brilliant. For us her words are always enough.
“No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.” – Virginia Woolf
Her novels have been described as being written from stream of consciousness and heavily focused on character thoughts and impressions even more than deep story line or studies of plot. They are complex, psychological and filled with detail. Her stories are poetic and infused with allusions to the society, it’s problems and promises in which she lived.
“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” – Virginia Woolf
She drowned herself in 1941 by filling her overcoat pockets with stones and walking into the River Ouse near her home. Her suicide note written to her husband is beautiful, tragic and haunting. I wish it were fiction but the letter is extraordinary in its clarity of how she feels about her illness and how it is consuming her.
I feel certain I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that – everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer.
I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.