Yesterday was an incredibly emotional day, full of splendour but also sadness. I came to the end of the diaries of Virginia Woolf; the genius modernist author of the 20th Century.
I had been living with her, in her every day jottings for many weeks, trying to read as much as I could squeeze into an evening after work. I feel so privileged to have been able to get hold of these diaries, these very personal outpourings from her day to day life. I read from 1915 up until the day before she tragically drowned herself.
What can I say about such an incredible artist? She filled the world with her words, her thoughts, the things she saw and loved. She has given me many things: first of all she would always try to 'find the phrase' for things, 'things I see'. I love this, when you write yourself you see the relevance of finding the words to describe on your tongue. When I see wonder or beauty or ugliness, anything that touches me, I shall try to find the phrase for it.
Secondly she had a wonderful talent at describing people; the way they looked or found a metaphor for the way their smile worked, such fluent unforgettable pictures were conjured up in my head because of her literate, imaginative mind. She would sit listening to her guests and would describe them in her mind, thinking all the time of how fascinating everyone was.
Thirdly, she has encouraged me to write all the time. To keep writing, even when busy, just to write, write write, think and write, speak it out, write it down, that is how we grow in our gifts.
Fourthly, she adored her friends and family so much, in a simple straight forward way that they knew she needed them and they needed her.
And finally, there is the fact that underneath she was an ordinary human being with extraordinary talent; she was humble; refusing publicity, literary honours. She lived every day to find something that was worth that living.
She has touched my life because her soul runs through everything she writes and I couldn't help but think I knew her, as an intimate friend.
So to thank Virginia for her time with me and to show the world how beautiful she was and still is, I would like to post one quote, every day from her diary for the next couple of weeks. These entries are ones that inspired me, fascinating me or just brought something to life.
So Virginia- here's to you.