Me and Mrs. Woolf
Preparations for the afternoon tea break. The teapot is by artist Marjolein Bastein and was a present from my frend Angelica many many years ago. I don’t remember where I found this particular tea cup, but I love the deep Imperial blue color. I was drank decaf Earl Grey, by the way.
A day off today. Not a sick day, which is lovely cause I was tired of coughing. At around noon I wrote in my journal (the second entry of the day I might add):
It is past noon already, and I have done nothing useful today, which has been quite a gift. Though I should say not that I’ve done nothing “useful” but I’ve done nothing practical, nothing to be crossed off a to do list.
I spent most of the morning and a great deal of the afternoon continuing to read Virginia Woolf’s The Voyage Out, which has turned into so much more than I imagined. (For some reason I expected the entire thing to take place on the ship with only those few characters. You’d think I’d never read Woolf before.) The wonderful thing about spending all day with a good writer is that when I lay down finally to nap because my eyes needed a rest, I found myself thinking. Not problem-solving or scheming, but rather doing that kind of thinking where your brain hops from one thing to another as if you were following stepping stones across a pond. It’s unclear what’s on the other side, but the sun warms your shoulders, the air smells fresh, and the silence is companionable, so you keep on, unafraid. I had no epiphanies—at least none I can remember now at 8:21—but I did enjoy the journey. I often feel the weight of the undone, the shoulds pressing down when I have a day off—though I like to effect the slouch of the born slacker—and on days like this when I am firmly rooted in a piece of literature, that pressure is relieved.
I have a long list of books to follow Mrs. Woolf: Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, Annie Proulx’s Wyoming Stories (which I abandoned through no fault of Ms. Proulx’s), and a book—part love story, part recipe book—set in Paris, the name of which I can’t remember (and which I’m not quite enoying as much as I’d like so that it was easily thrown over for Woolf). I have a feeling those will stay in the pile a bit longer as I partly want to read Madame Bovary again and partly want to finally dig into Hermione Lee’s Virginia Woolf bio, especially since I can now buy it for the Nook and not have to cart around the actual tome, which weighs about 10 pounds.
But that’s a decision for tomorrow. Now, it’s back to Mrs. Woolf and Mrs. Ambrose and Rachel, et al…
p.s. In the interest of full disclosure, I should confess that I also watched Midnight in Paris while I ate the last of my Souper Girl Rabbi-approved black bean and pumpkin soup. This was the 7th or 8th time I think, for the movie that is, and I am listening to a little bit of the soundtrack while I type this.