Monday, 25 January 2010
Today is "A Room of One's Own Day", a National celebration of both Virginia Woolf's birthday and her premise that women will never reach their creative capacity while hampered by domestic duty. And oh how we know, even more than three quarters of a century later, exactly what she was talking about...
And so here on Brocante, in celebration of a woman who so often spoke for all of us, I hereby offer you a little collection of Virginia Woolf quotes that have been scrawled in the papery debris of my life for many a year now. Quotes, which if taken line by line, could make the starting points of quite the most fabulous set of blog posts... I dare ya, hell perhaps I even dare myself!
"Really I don't like human nature, unless all candied over with art"
Oh well put Virginia! People can be awfully bothersome in real life and so utterly charming on paper. Let me live my life between the pages of a book...
"The truth is I often like women. I like their unconventionality. I like their completeness. I like their anonymity."
Are we complete? More complete than men? What is our completeness for? A protective shield of authenticity, real or otherwise? Do you feel complete? What if we revealed all the holes? What then Virginia??
"You cannot find peace by avoiding life."
I do that. I hush myself. I hide and behave and play a part. All the time the chorus in my head gets louder. And more than this I see women everywhere avoiding life. On purpose! Fear a madness we consume like so much chocolate compromising everything we should be.
"My own brain is to me the most unnacountable piece of machinery- always buzzing, humming, soaring, diving and then buried in mud. And why? What's this passion for?"
And then this. So alert, so alive, chasing concentration, some bewildering ecstacy, applause, exhaustion. One sparkly day, three muddy months and on and on and on.
Because what comes out of that one sparkly day is worth whatever it costs thereafter? Yes, yes, that is it: because it is the sparkly days that propel us towards our dreams: the sparkly days that give us the power to sieze a room of our own and create within it something that matters. The sparkly days that will have us do what Virginia Woolf decreed and "arrange the pieces that come our way" in a way that leaves it's glittering mark behind us.
Those of us who cannot help but create are always willing to pay the price. How will you set about creating a room of your own today?