December 2, 2011

To the Lighthouse, or, why I love Virginia Woolf

"With her foot on the threshold she waited a moment longer in a scene which was vanishing even as she looked, and then, as she moved and took Minta's arm and left the room, it changed, it shaped itself differently; it had become, she knew, giving one last look at it over her shoulder, already the past" Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
I actually find it incredibly hard to read Virginia Woolf's novels, if only because she has a way of writing that really grips me hard and doesn't let go. It is difficult to describe how reading Woolf makes me feel like she knows me- my insecurities, my worries about death and life and memory and past, my emotions towards certain people- and has ripped them out to capture them perfectly on a page.

I remember feeling this way on the stage in the Czech Republic and singing our last competition song. Trying to hold it inside me and hold the moment inside me because I knew I would never feel this way again. Or in the last few months of JC, where I would walk around RJ in my uniform and tell myself to remember how this feels right now, the perfection of being in school and loving everything about it before I become an alumni and even that, the ownership of school, will be lost to me forever. I felt this way in Chicago, in that booth in Blue Line Lounge, the complete contentment in that single moment and knowledge that we would lose most of it once we got back to Berkeley. And we have, I think. It is difficult to be kind and thoughtful when you have the pressures of accounting homework and papers on Woolf bearing down on you. It is so easy to treat other people terribly and I'm really guilty of that, so this is a note to self to stop doing that and start appreciating all the many wonderful people you have in your life.

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