At sea

Louise Bourgeois - Drawing via wrongdistance

Still adrift -- we had the internet working for a couple of days, but now it has left us again. Doesn't matter as I can't seem to muster up any shred of creativity or thought anyway.

I finished The Years again, remembered what it was about that book that prompted me to write so well after I first read it. So many scraps from life -- and so right -- especially the sense of family I think. The thing about Woolf that gets to me -- she says things just as I've seen them -- the closeness, the rightness about the words.

Also reading her diaries, found this:

[Saturday 1 June 1935]
My excuse for not beginning my book -- I mean finishing it -- is that I've not got the final chapter here. So what shall I do? Read the old one. But that's fussing & fidgeting. I think wait till Monday & then flash at it, get it done by August. Holidays are very upsetting. And it is cold & grey. And my hand shakes. And I want some regular hours & work. And it'll take at least a weeks agony to get back in the mood. And I shall slip back by reading about in the book, & dreaming after tea; & perhaps, if nature allows, taking a walk [...] And -- odd how the spring of life isn't to be tapped at will. I cant get into the swim by saying it is Saturday morning and I will write. I cant get into that stream by standing & wishing it. All sorts of habits, of being unconscious of the surface, attentive to other things, have to settle naturally. Coming back one is horribly broken up, notices surfaces. Habit is the desirable thing in writing.

And yes, with a few word changes, that's it precisely. This floating about through different options -- transitoriness, some residual worry over the quotidien things -- money, spending, possible crises -- some irritation over those infamous uncontrolables -- too much television, but with the glory of sport to partake in, how can I avoid? All of these little bits combine, accumulate, mass themselves into a general burden which defeats my mind. Each night so far I have written two pages -- one of my journal pages about the day, and one commentary/criticism about the previous page. The first is always a sad sort of chronicle, the second inevitably says No more of that! Must write! Must create! etc.

And I say it is because I have no desk -- surely that contributes, no desk to spread out on, I have to rest the computer on my knees and hunch over the keyboard with my wrists at a funny angle. And see -- here with this dingy desk in this old library I can scratch away (scratch doesn't work when it's type-type).

And yes, I want some work -- 'regular hours and work' -- funny how I want that -- something to press on me so I can press back -- an obstacle to fight against -- just like the necessary effort/endeavour/striving of Bernard at the end of The Waves. And I denigrate the work when I'm in the middle of it. But it helps keep my mind in order -- helps keep things straight. For when I'm oppressed by the work I can let my mind rise up -- aloft and adrift -- was that it? I can't remember now -- a phrase that came to me on last night's page two.

All so untethered and fragmentary -- posturing of some sort, but better than nothing.

I meant today to retrieve some books from this library, but now, with the loan worries, I wonder, cynically, if I'll even be able to keep them! Is that the biggest burden right now? This disbelief that all these administrative woes could be so difficult? That I'm really that strange of a case? Still, I would be better off with some books. And then a desk. And then a settling of sorts. A return to habit.