“But how to describe a world seen without a self? There are no words. Blue, red — even they distract, even they hide with thickness instead of letting the light through. How describe or say anything in articulate words again? — save that it fades, save that it undergoes gradual transformation, becomes, even in the course of one short walk, habitual — this scene also. Blindness returns as one moves and one leaf repeats another. Loveliness returns as one looks with all its train of phantom phrases. One breathes in and out substantial breath; down in the valley the train draws across the fields lop-eared with smoke.
But for a moment I had sat on the turf somewhere high above the flow of the sea and the sounds of the woods, had seen the house, the garden, and the waves breaking. The old nurse who turns the pages of the picture-book had stopped and had said, ‘Look. This is the truth.’”
[Firmly reinstated as my favourite of VW’s novels. But I like to imagine the one that was never written: “On May 26, 1924, Virginia Woolf notes in her journal: ‘My thoughts are completely occupied by The Hours‘”. — Henri Lefebvre, The Missing Pieces.]