Thursday, October 8, 2015

Stepping Out of the Eddy

I wish you all could come to next week's Books & Bakes salon. I'm reading Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse for perhaps the bazillionth time and discovering that it's even more amazing than it was the last time. It might be one of those books that illuminate your present no matter your past. It does for me. I'll be making what Mrs. Ramsay serves at the dinner party around which the book revolves, but I won't tell you what it is -- honestly, if you want to get into the great woman hive-mind, you should read this novel.

When doors slam, they slam and I jump.

But what have I done with my life? thought Mrs. Ramsay, taking her place at the head of the table, and looking at all the plates making white circles on it. "William, sit by me," she said. "Lily," she said, wearily, "over there." They had that -- Paul Rayley and Minta Doyle -- she, only this -- an infinitely long table and plates and knives. At the far end, was her husband, sitting down, all in a heap, frowning. What at? She did not know. She did not mind. She could not understand how she had ever felt any emotion or affection for him. She had a sense of being past everything, through everything, out of everything, as she helped the soup, as if there was an eddy -- there -- and one could be in it, or one could be out of it, and she was out of it. It's all come to an end, she thought, while they came in one after another, Charles Tansley -- "Sit there, please," she said -- Augustus Carmichael -- and sat down. And meanwhile she waited, passively, for some one to answer her, for something to happen. But this is not a thing, she thought, ladling out soup, that one says.


  1. You jump, and then ladle the soup.

  2. If I lived closer, I'd be at your table! It's time for a reread for me. Maybe I can entice my book group to read it if I promise the meal. I'll be waiting with delicious anticipation to know what you prepare!!


  3. "But this is not a thing...that one says."
    Oh god yes.

  4. She understood this time of life, and articulated it so well in that spare prose. I like it and wish I could attend your salon. XO

  5. I have spent a good long time reading your blog catching up and feel as though I just had coffee with an old friend. It is good to hear your voice again, dear friend. xo

  6. Wow. This scorches. How I wish I could be there to sit at your table and sip your soup. Love.

  7. I knew what book it was from the photo, before I read your post. Now I know what my next book will be--again. The passage you chose here is searing. What a writer! What a woman! What an interesting dinner you will have.



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