Book: The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume I, 1915-1919
Author: Virginia Woolf
Page 46, Tuesday 28 August, 1917
Prompt from Charis Cotter
“Leaves and swallows blown about in the field; garden dishevelled.”
I believe I will forever marvel at the way the on-goings outside my window delight me with theatrical nature shows. The birds alone are spectacular players against the ever-shifting sky-stage. Also, it is as if the weather knows my most intimate yearnings, her intuition regarding what I need is scarily accurate. Why as I woke this morning as the sun was splaying her crown on the horizon, my body was a stone in a sticky mud marsh, completely unable to twitch out of its desire for more sleep. Then the swallows flew amidst the leaves and I couldn’t tell them apart for all their playing and swooping. The vision was enough to lift my elbows so I could get a better view of the unfolding morning before me. Nature knows how to wake my marrow. My marrow in the mornings…
Indeed, the garden is dishevelled, and that is the way I like it best. The garden is my mirror and I am anything but neat and tidy, organized sometimes, yes, but at heart bunches of tangled roots and seeds strewn about…ripe for growth and digging into the soft earth, but in a wild display of choice at the moment. From my window, (bless this window!) all of this living and dying and growing and stretching and displaying colours for the sun to dance with, well, it is what keeps me breathing. That is, besides the page. This page…you, dear friend, who (whom?) I crawl into for guidance, solace, validation…for the daily unloading of the bits of me that have fallen off, that I’ve held as tenderly as possible in the folds of my writing dress to give to you as the gifts of my undoing. For I know it is so. This vessel, plagued with sadness and itching with expression I can’t deny, in a time when this body is ‘meant for child-birthing, rearing’ for ‘cooking and cleaning’, well that is not the life of a wild garden, is it? I am witness, instead, to those around me who are able to vibrate this living…but I, oh, I, I am a stone in the mud – moved only by a seed’s frolicking in a kiss of morning dew.
Nature understands me, but most do not understand my nature, and therein is the challenge. I sigh out the desires I am forbidden…and put my soul onto your pages for sanity, though sanity is also part of the sky…my moon waxing and waning, that even in its fullest, even in my fullest…I can barely bare my light for it hurts my eyes to see what slithers in the darkness, which is my true mother.