The Romance of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West

“Great thinker”: Virginia Woolf, painted by Duncan Grant, a Bloomsbury Group member (Picture: The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence Photo/Estate of Duncan Grant/DACS 2014)
“Great thinker”: Virginia Woolf, painted by Duncan Grant, a Bloomsbury Group member (Picture: The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence Photo/Estate of Duncan Grant/DACS 2014)

…I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your undumb letters, would never write so elementary a phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn’t even feel it. And yet I believe you’ll be sensible of a little gap. But you’d clothe it in so exquisite a phrase that it should lose a little of its reality. Whereas with me it is quite stark: I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal. So this letter is really just a squeal of pain. It is incredible how essential to me you have become. I suppose you are accustomed to people saying these things. Damn you, spoilt creature; I shan’t make you love me any more by giving myself away like this — But oh my dear, I can’t be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defenses. And I don’t really resent it.

So… yeah. Virginia Woolf is one of my favorite female writers and she (apparently) had an affair with Vita Sackville-West, an English poet who will become her lifelong friend. The quote above is taken from a letter by Vita to Virginia and dayummm.

Try the hell out of yourself.

So… I dropped by Goodreads today out of sheer habit and was glared at by a vicious reminder of my flaws:

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That would be 3 books in two days too. Not exactly a proud stat for someone who considers herself readerly. I haven’t book-blogged for two months now. Two months!

So what’s been up?

First: I haven’t really been feeling too chatty as of late. My mind is all over the place and it has become too taxing to switch roles: from wifey, to mama cat, to corporate biatch, to socially inebriated friendy friend, to… many other roles I have to play on a weekly basis. It’s quite difficult maintaining a healthy social life, some physical activities, do good at work, and nurture my nerdery all at the same time. I also had some personal issues I needed to work through which were very mentally exhausting.

People have been bothering me about TV episodes I cannot catch up with, and books I haven’t been reading, and believe me – I tried. I try very hard, actually, but I need to sleep too.

Second: For some strange reason, the outdoors have become unduly fascinating to me. I’ve climbed two major mountains in the last three months and worried myself to eyebags for both trips. They have not been easy but mountains are so grounded, and so strong, and they all feel potent and permanent to me. I want to climb them all just for the heck of it.

Mt. Kinabalu 2014
Mt. Kinabalu 2014

Don’t get me wrong  though – I am not a great hiker; I am a card-carrying Super Noob. I am always, always worried, nervous, and scared, and my pace is slow, but “nothing else exists, only the climb.” Mountains are so unforgiving and I’ve waded through dark, maladaptive behaviors to haul myself up to the top, and I always have (so far) and I plan to always do. I have so many insecurities and doubts, but dark thoughts will not give me shelter, they will not give me those impossible views, they will not get me anywhere. Nothing else exists, only the climb.

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Mt. Pulag 2014 by Michael Jay Abalos

I’ve just gotten back from a trip. It was the most outdoorsy I’ve ever been in my entire life (literally!) and I’m so drained but I am so happy. I always question my sanity before and during these relentless adventuring but I need to write this down to remind me why I keep doing this to myself – I am happy, I feel so brave, and weathering through cruel discomforts makes my soul grow. 

I am back in one piece albeit nursing an injured tailbone. I didn’t even know I had a tailbone and now I hurt it, and I cannot ascend anything without wincing. As much as I am taking delight in feeling extreme and intense outside with no roof on top of my head,  I’m taking this  as a sign to lean back gently, open a book, and go back to old loves.

I cannot wait to read again.