The Waves by Virginia Woolf

The lake of my mind, unbroken by oars, heaves placidly and soon sinks into an oily somnolence.

I often die pierced with arrows to win their tears.

Now my body thaws; I am unsealed, I am incandescent.

But behold, looking up, I meet the eyes of a sour woman, who suspects me of rapture. My body shuts in her face, impertinently like a parasol. I open my body, I shut my body at will. Life is beginning. I now break into my hoard of life.

But one cannot go on forever cutting these ancient inscriptions clearer with a knife. Shall I always draw the red serge curtain close and see my book laid like a block of marble, pale under the lamp? That would be a glorious life, to addict oneself to perfection to follow the curve of the sentence wherever it might lead, into deserts, under drifts of sand, regardless of lures, of seductions; to be poor always and unkempt; to be ridiculous in Piccadilly.

I see Louis, stone-carved, sculpturesque; Neville, scissor-cutting, exact; Susan with eyes like lumps of crystal; Jinny dancing like a flame, febrile, hot, over dry earth; and Rhoda the nymph of the fountain always wet.

I am whirled down caverns, and flap like paper against endless corridors, and must press my hand against the wall to draw myself back.

Peaked thoughts venture/voyage across a mind the colour of a dove-grey sky.

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