A sort of longing

These two sites I have, sometimes they make it difficult to write. Sometimes I wonder about the privacy of a thought, I imagine that putting it on the little site will keep it closer to me. And sometimes I wonder whether there is something about the content -- for this problem of paradoxes is something I want to keep over there too -- at least as they touch my own thoughts and feelings. And so I often wonder, what it is I want to do here.

And I have plans, plans that riddle these posts -- little barnacle clusters that never amount to much. For instance, the note about Socrates in his cell, composing verses to Apollo -- I want to think about that -- also the image of Socrates that Alcibiades gives in the Symposium -- Socrates as Marsyas -- that seems to be a problem too. But mostly I want to talk about the books of Durrell's. I want to talk about this Alexandria before they fade from me -- before I turn again to Villette, as I do every winter, to hide my dormouse-bones in some wintry cave. But I haven't found any vein to strike --

Is it an abundance of ideas? Perhaps, though it doesn't feel like that -- I know what that abundance feels like and it's glorious, not damming and damning. There is also Diotima -- her image of love as a birth -- and then I think of Hans at the end of Magic Mountain -- that passage I've never quite gotten -- life pregnant with death, the song in Hans' heart. I think higgeldy-piggeldy of the artist and the lover, what is the connection there -- and then, oh so tenuously, a flood of unformed thoughts rush forward -- Whitehead, Valery, Gilson (Gilson! there is the sacred! There is the ideal!). I wonder if I can understand Durrell through the Symposium -- the eros of the artist and the lover -- there is fertile land to be tilled.

An image keeps recurring to me -- from Virginia Woolf's diaries -- have I written it here before?

Now is life very solid, or very shifting? I am haunted by the two contradictions. This has gone on for ever: will last forever; goes down to the bottom of the world -- this moment I stand on. Also it is transitory, flying diaphanous. I shall pass like a cloud on the waves. Perhaps it may be that though we change; one flying after another, so quick so quick, yet we are somehow successive, & continuous -- we human beings; & show the light through. But what is the light?

Every time I read this passage (and I can now read its lines without a page in front of me), every time I think these phrases I collapse and I am lifted up. This is the heart of the world for me, the heart of being, of knowledge, of the self, of action. These phrases and what they contain, they have for me a pristine lyrical validity. A pristine lyrical validity.