I was recently watching Nichole Kidman`s Oscar winning portrayal of Virginia Woolf in The Hours. It`s well known that Virginia struggled with her demons all life long; finally succumbing to their endless twittering by walking calmly into a river and drowning herself. There are so many emotionally sharp and observant moments in this gem of a film, in which the camera burrows deep into the turbulent mind of it`s subject; but one which, perhaps, looks directly at me, with hardened gaze and knowing eye. Virginia is sitting in a room with her sister, and young niece and nephews, and she is far away in her own thoughts. Her sister`s words are lost in the air between them as her mind gathers up her thoughts like a woman raising her skirt hem to avoid a puddle. The thoughts centre upon suicide: should she, or shouldn`t she, perhaps have done with unfinished business. Temporary disassociation from all around one is an amazing experience: you are in a mental island fortress, protected from the world`s noisesome tidal sea, clamoring for attention like a self obsessed child. In those few lingering seconds, you are indeed an island; iron clad and ringed with barbed, determined, mental isolation.
“The future is dark, which is on the whole, the best thing the future can be, I think.”
To be able to dredge suicidal thoughts up from the murky depths is something, I know full well, can turn into a murderous impulse. Virginia is not alone in keeping company with the Black Dog: it yaps away, demanding attention while you are engaged in the most mundane and pleasant situations……….Such as entertaining your sister and her children.
“I wish you`d find the exit out of my head.”
You never know what the next day may bring: both feet remain shakily on dry land, or they are baptized by a lifetime`s river of tears. Virginia has always spoken to me unlike any other writer; as one who has walked along the emotional cinder path in bare feet, taking an almost perverse pleasure in the pain because it is what makes you who you are, and yet, at the same time, wishing it were gone forever.
“My own brain is to me the most unaccountable machinery-always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring, diving and then buried in mud. And why? What`s this passion for?
What is this passion for?