29 April 2011

'The same energy which inspired the rooks, the ploughmen, the horses, and even, it seemed, the lean bare-backed downs, sent the moth fluttering from side to side of his square of the windowpane. One could not help watching him. One, was, indeed, conscious of a queer feeling of pity for him. The possibilities of pleasure seemed that morning so enormous and so various that to have only a moth’s part in life, and a day moth’s at that, appeared a hard fate, and his zest in enjoying his meager opportunities to the full, pathetic. He flew vigorously to one corner of his compartment, and, after waiting there a second, flew across to the other. What remained for him but to fly to a third corner and then to a fourth? That was all he could do, in spite of the size of the downs, the width of the sky, the far-off smoke of houses, and the romantic voice, now and then, of a steamer out at sea. What he could do he did. Watching him, it seemed as if a fiber, very thin but pure, of the enormous energy of the world had been thrust into his frail and diminutive body. As often as he crossed the pane, I could fancy that a thread of vital light became visible. He was little or nothing but life. '

/ wandered around various parts of long island today, saw the water, kids playing, went to a bakery. met an 85-year old harvard professor who was speaking about virginia woolf's 'the death of the moth' essay, the last essay she wrote before her death. thought it was ironic/not so ironic that he brought that up as i've been obsessed with virginia woolf lately and am usually, consequently, thinking about that impending death headed for us all. the quote above is from that essay by virginia woolf, 1942 (note, she died in 1941, a year before this essay was published).