(Droplet) the waves of creation.

Virginia Woolf, July 1902. Photo by George C. Beresford.

«‘But Bernard goes on talking. Up they bubble — images. “Like a camel,” . . . “a vulture.” The camel is a vulture; the vulture a camel; for Bernard is a dangling wire, loose, but seductive. Yes, for when he talks, when he makes his foolish comparisons, a lightness comes over one. One floats, too, as if one were that bubble; one is freed; I have escaped, one feels. Even the chubby little boys (Dalton, Larpent and Baker) feel the same abandonment. They like this better than the cricket. They catch the phrases as they bubble. They let the feathery grasses tickle their noses. And then we all feel Percival lying heavy among us. His curious guffaw seems to sanction our laughter. But now he has rolled himself over in the long grass. He is, I think, chewing a stalk between his teeth. He feels bored; I too feel bored. Bernard at once perceives that we are bored. I detect a certain effort, an extravagance in his phrase, as if he said “Look!” but Percival says “No.” For he is always the first to detect insincerity; and is brutal in the extreme. The sentence tails off feebly. Yes, the appalling moment has come when Bernard’s power fails him and there is no longer any sequence and he sags and twiddles a bit of string and falls silent, gaping as if about to burst into tears. Among the tortures and devastations of life is this then — our friends are not able to finish their stories.’»

Virginia Woolf, The Waves.

Along my inclement journey with literature, towards which I’m always shackled into a sentiment of certain rain-shadow, no book entreats more envy to me than The Waves, despite not even being my most favoured book. That writing, itself suffusing in one’s mind like luminous vermillion ink thrown at the solid shadows of a nightly sea, manages to collect the summonings of a graceful elm whose leaves command delicate beams of light that lick the hairs of ancient Gods, and whose roots silhouette skeletons quivering and thrilling with allegories of forgotten heroes. I would readily give much of what I have — which isn’t much at all — if I could write with her convex descriptions and concave emotional realisms. Virginia dawned lives inside herself so ravelled and ornate, one should only feel the perpetual shame of inhabiting a world in which a soul as hers could ever meet a fate so ruthless. But I lean against my stile to find the watery-eyed posture of loss trailing my memories of her, serenely laden against her own, looking at the threaded colours diluted in the glass, conjuring the whirlpools of vivid sorrow that I and so many others readers have been entranced by, and I’m happy to fit silently into her designs. Extremely happy with the chance of doing so, at least.

In the passage above quoted, Louis catches Bernard be betrayed by his own oneirism and enchanting absurdity for the first time; this laceration is one that any wordsmith is far-too privy to, when we feel our phrases with such intensity yet they become miserable attempts at flight once they leave their tidy homes within our minds. This heartbreak is inexorable, and, as children, we are lured into it as the carps of a pond whose surface ripples with breadcrumbs; the world, as in others, as in natures, as in images, cannot resist the prestidigitation of padding our hearts full of prismatic lights only to fracture it with one stealthy strike. Percival delivered that strike to Bernard, but I do not have any literary account of who delivered that strike onto me, but rather, a series of blows along the coastal remains of my life in shape of dense black spots in a beach brimming with whiteness. They grow; they grow once remembered, once any is added, some coalesce and obscure further hideouts of my youth, some are so intimately cruel that they seethe with a purple, purulent aroma, and those I cannot ever approach, as they hold the tyranny of possibilities.

Once, at a swift nightly escapade with my friends in the dusk of Lisbon, I broke down in a self-liturgy pulled from my own sense of decay. Those friends, some actors of considerable talent, some writers containing what, to me, were the greatest possible stories, all of them liegemen to the Arts which I, due to cowardice, so vehemently denied to ever stand a chance of creating anything worthy of the inheritance those Arts so severely cast upon their creators, these friends stand both as the Atlantean pillars of my dreams and those black and grim holes of memory; constant reminders of my timid and inept attempts at existing half-formed in a world that seduced and daunted me in equal magnitudes. I broke down as Bernard did, fervently portending my own doomed reality in which my story would never be finished, but scattered among others; I was to die as a liegeman to them and not to the Arts they served; a pathetic being in a frail cocoon that I, frailest still, couldn’t shatter. And that was a task and fate that disappointed me, but did not dissatisfy me, as holding that would elevate holding nothing.

In more ways that those I’m able to count, perhaps like specks of obsidian dusk pairing above a stream, both dark and brilliant, the creation of this website allowed my continued survival. I do not write for posterity or immortality, as those things are uninteresting to me, and it does not bother me that I will be forgotten. I write, now, for interaction, my interaction with both the Art I love and with those who love it as much as I, to exist in a cordon of souls representing both aspects of Virginia’s Percival, those who receive my words as to allow them their chance of flight, their chance of surviving my despotic and cruel rule, and those who are bored by them, because those are the ones who inspire poetry.


Published by João-Maria

A tick clinging to the bristles of a purple boar.

17 thoughts on “(Droplet) the waves of creation.

  1. Joao-Maria, your writing stuns me, as it is ever as good as Virginia Woolf’s writing. It makes me feel sad, those obsidian specks of dust where you compare yourself unfavorably to your acting friends. I’d like to see them write one essay that could compare to anything you’ve written. I adore your phrase, “the tyranny of possibilities”. How many of us have been enslaved by the rabid fear of examining such a place?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Jade; your name is justly given for your brightness and hope. Being compared to my dear Virginia is not something I can ever hold lightly. I no longer compare myself to them, I’ve found that to be unnecessary; what I can do, what they can do, it is all mossy gravel in a cold stream. What is important, now, is that we flow together, support each-other beyond the weights of success and the watery graves of obsession and prepotency.

      “The tyranny of possibilities” is likely to be one of the most grievous wounds one can sport, since they are so seductive, so potent and charged; they allow for great artistic production, but the cost is high and the toll unworthy. To fear them or not to fear them, I do not know; I don’t think I’m quite prepared as of now to return to those dark trenches of self.

      As always Jade, you are magnificent and I love you dearly!, never leave!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lia. Despite the occasional controversies she often found herself embedded into, her writing is unquestionably some of the greatest in all of English literature. It saddens me that she found it necessary to give herself to water, but, in some sense, I’m glad she chose to do it in that manner. Water was the only element that deserved her.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing both of these. You have reminded me to go back to Virginia Woolf. Also to chase those phrases and images that come to me no matter how imperfectly. I will try not to judge them too harshly. I too find myself writing for the journey on a website. I have appreciated knowing that you have looked and read. I would also value your communication. I will be reading more as time permits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you dearly, Martha. If I’ve brought you back to Virginia, then I had some significant impact. I only very rarely comment on contents, unless something truly exults me in details or forms, usually related to innovative structures or unusual perusals. To me, commenting can have weighty effects on how someone else may perceive their works, and I’m far too young and inexperienced to even agitate the idea of having that effect. It might be a silly fear, but I’m very respectful of how others express themselves, as much as I can.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Virginia Woolf is one of my favourite writers. I did a course called Reading Virginia Woolf last year in which we discussed some of her most remarkable works. The Waves was one of them. I was stunned by the poetic rhythm of the narrative, and I’m stunned by your beautiful writing, João-Maria.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was absolutely staggered when I started reading and realised that each of them are waves, and they communicate in wave-like manners. It was a stunning construction.
      The Waves and Orlando are the two most dear works I have of hers, but I have read all of them at one point.
      Thank you, Isabelle, you are always so kind to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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