10 November

10 November 1920

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

Your long descriptive letter has come. Dont observe too much. I feel at the end you were GASPING. I dont want you to see more than its easy to see. Yes, I do admire your observations of course & I am ashamed to say a wave of pure disgusting female relief went over me at your description of Rose Macaulay. I was lying on my bed, dressed in a peach coloured handkerberchief having my bang de soleil and I kicked up my toes at their dinner. Oh, how it does bore me - the Naomi type & that kind of conversation. If I were there & you were there we should do something desperate. Youd make yourself a ladder & Id climb on to your head & turn there on one toe. (Perhaps). All that you said about Elizabeth is extremely interesting. And the queer thing is that she only wants a male appearance. Theres her essential falsity. Forgive my frankness: she has no use for a physical lover. I mean to go to bed with. Anything but that. That she cant stand - she'd be frightened of. Her very life, her very being, her gift, her vitality, all that makes her depends upon her not surrendering. I sometimes wonder whether the act of surrender is not one of the greatest of all - the highest. It is one of the [most] difficult of all. Can it be accomplished or even apprehended except by the aristocrats of this world? You see its so immensely complicated. It ‘needs' real humility and at the same time an absolute belief in ones own essential freedom. It is an act of faith. At the last moments like all great acts it is pure risk. This is true for me as a human being and as a writer. Dear Heaven how hard it is to let go - to step into the blue. And yet ones creative life depends on it and one desires to do nothing else. I shouldn't have begun on this in the corner of a letter, darling. Its not the place. Forgive
Wig. [Letter to J. M. Murry in Collected Letters, 1920]