but any thought of going public, of coming out, and I’m looking for excuses, limits, obstacles
Now that I’m entering the second year of this reading+writing project and I’m putting these words out in public (even if effectively hidden in this very out of the way place) I do feel the need for certain limits. When V.W. writes about her work-in-progress, she’s telling us about Mrs. Dalloway and that’s of interest to everyone. When I was writing privately (and maybe some of these chapters will be held back), I let myself talk about my own works-in-progress, but that was because the only reader I imagined was a future version of myself. Now that my idea of a reader includes you, now that I’m writing.as I have to guess what it is that you want to read, or worse, I’m obliged to entice you to keep reading. So … the less I say about my works-in-progress, the better, right?
A safe guess is that you are a reader. Maybe you are even a writer or a secret writer. Even though I post these words here, I do so in the spirit of Bernardo Soares, in the way someone might toss a bottled message into the abyss. Not really expecting an answer.
My fault is that of the person who wishes to do everything that I dream up for myself to do. Reading the diaries of Virginia Woolf in real time is only one of a dozen or more really big reading projects. If only I could spend my days reading rather than toiling in the back office at a desk where my talents (if any) as a writer are spent in drafting correspondence and editing “business” communications. It would have been better if I was an honest laborer ,, and I could spend my days digging ditches and carrying rocks and when I return home in the evening I would be exhausted, sweaty, covered with earth, and could then devote myself to relaxation, but as it is, when I clock out and am freed from my paid labor (if only for a few hours), I’m nervous, empty, hungry, needy. What have I done with my day? Sold my time to a low bidder? I want to immerse myself in a river of words, I want to drink the ocean, but once I’m wet I begin to feel cold, tired, and I choke on the few gulps I manage to ingest before it’s time to fall asleep dissatisfied.
In V.W.’s 1923 diary, there’s a break from 18 September to 15 October, so maybe I will put that break to good use, and go back to 1917 when V.W. was a more regular diarist and the entries shorter. For 28 September she writes, “Another very quiet day, which grew dark, though warm & still … Old man brought our flowers out.” Yeah, my day will be quiet. I still have another hour to add words to my work-in-progress and I’ll do my best to add the best words. Old man, Old man, will you bring me flowers too?