Molly Burns

Vir­ginia Woolf

The London Magazine - - NEWS -

I think a lot about Vir­ginia Woolf and the way she filled her pock­ets. I won­der where the peb­bles that pinned her down have ended up. Is one liv­ing a life as a pa­per­weight, serv­ing a sen­tence hold­ing down pen­sion pa­per­work? Do they lie in the deeps of the river, brag­ging to their friends about their brush with fame? Which stones have I stepped on to­day? I worry about the atroc­i­ties of the stones that I tip from my shoes, giv­ing them the chance to trip up some­one much less de­serv­ing.

I think a lot about Vir­ginia Woolf and the way she filled her pock­ets. I think about how she dressed that cold morn­ing be­fore she died. Did she wear a scarf to her in­nun­da­tion? What did she wear un­der her coat? Did she bother to bring her house keys that day? Did she think twice? I won­der if she wanted to change her mind, but per­haps the stones for­bade her. To­day I wore clothes I’m to be buried in. Clothes to rot with. I think about the wa­ter in her lungs, and her last breath ris­ing up to meet my skimmed stones.

I think a lot about Vir­ginia Woolf and the way the filled her pock­ets. How long she might have sat on the river bank, se­lect­ing stones. Did she con­sider aes­thet­ics? Den­sity? Mix­ing shards of flint with the lint al­ready lin­ing her pock­ets. Was it a des­per­ate move? I think of her hands claw­ing the dirt of the river, the sand and grit un­der her nails, ver­sus the serene way I pic­ture her as she walks into the depths of the wa­ter, arms spread out like Christ hang­ing on the cross.

I think a lot about Vir­ginia Woolf and the way she filled her pock­ets. I can­not pass by the river with­out a swarm of spooked swans de­scend­ing on me for snacks. What did they think, sit­ting, watch­ing her labour away, ur­gently pil­ing stones into her pock­ets? Did they ap­proach? Or were they scared? Were they afraid of Vir­ginia Woolf? Be­cause I think a lot about it, and I I think she was.

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