Friday, January 26, 2007

knees...


Apparently, Virginia Woolf used to write standing up. These days, I can understand why.

My knees hurt from so many hours of sitting here. I feel restless and am wishing for a little cottage to escape to out in the back yard.

Two hours behind me with only a paragraph and a few revisions to show for it, I find myself wanting to write a little bit more prolifically. But, for now, I need a break and I've come here to take one...

Virginia is on my mind today, and I don't know why. I've been thinking about how she would follow the path between the main house and her "writing room" in the back yard and write in that beautiful long-hand scrawl while standing at a raised table that functioned as her desk. It was made of dark, thick wood and was splotched with ink stains, dented, scratched, and nicked from previous uses. I don't know why I think this. Maybe I learned this in the Virginia Woolf class that I took last year. Maybe Virginia's sister, Vanessa, painted a similar image. Or maybe I just imagined it.

In my mind I see her resting her chin on the heel of her hand. She is bent slightly forward at the waist, leaning on her elbow. Shifting her weight from one leg and then the other, she lets her mind drift. Her eyes look in the direction of the window, but she's followed her mind elsewhere...

She goes back and forth like this...thinking and writing, shifting her weight, leaning forward, standing up straight, writing, thinking, writing...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

too funny, this morning i came upon a website for "a room of our own foundation" and their retreat this year for women writers, which made me think of you. they spend time this year discussing georgia o'keefe and virginia woolf among other things. sounds amazing!

http://www.aroomofherown.org/retreats.html

Sacred Suzie said...

What an eloquent and beautiful post, I can see her standing and writing there too. She is an inspiration for me as well. I'm working on my room of my own right now, although I am sharing half of it with my husband which isn't the same thing but at least I have some of my own space.

Anonymous said...

Jessie! I have been thinking of Virginia, too, which is why I want to watch The Hours tonight. I love that, in different ways and for different reasons, we're both thinking of her :)

Anonymous said...

Yesterday was Virginia's birthday ... I wrote a long post about how shi and I met ... Funny, how we're all thinking about hir at this time.

Someday, there'll be a cottage in the yard with a tall desk in it. One for every womyn.

Anonymous said...

Love the picture you painted of Virginia.... it sounds just like her. Out of the blue, a few years back, I went on a Virginia Wolfe binge and bought many of her books. I've read some of them, while others remain to be pondered. Thanks for reminding me of her.... I need to get back into her words. Her writing always "meshed" with me or something... just a connection.

Anonymous said...

Is it ridiculous that I'm *happy* because I also do a lot of writing standing up? At the kitchen counter, but still...I'm like Virginia Woolf!

Ahem.

Loved this post (and our conversation). :)

Jessie said...

Happy Birthday Virginia!! We're all thinking about you!! :)

How cool is that? ;)

deirdre said...

Oh, a cottage in the backyard sounds delicious. It's something we've actually talked about, but is probably years down the road. It must be a universal yearning for women.