15 Feb

15 February 1920

Villa Flora, Menton - France

And yet one has these ‘glimpses' before which all that one ever has written (what has one written) all (yes, all) that one ever has read, pales . . . The waves, as I drove home this afternoon - and the high foam, how it was suspended in the air before it fell . . . What is it that happens in that moment of suspension? It is timeless. In that moment (what do I mean) the whole life of the soul is contained. One is flung up - out of life - one is ‘held' - and then, down, bright, broken, glittering on to the rocks, tossed back - part of the ebb and flow. I don't want to be sentimental. But while one hangs, suspended in the air - while I watched the spray I was conscious for life of the white sky with a web of torn grey over it, of the slipping, sliding, slithering sea, of the dark woods blotted against the cape, of the flowers on the tree I was passing - and more - of a huge cavern where my selves (who were like ancient seaweed gatherers) mumbled, indifferent and intimate ... and this other self apart in the carriage grasping the cold knob of her umbrella thinking of a ship, of ropes stiffened with white paint & the wet flapping oilskins of sailors . . . Shall one ever be at peace with oneself, ever quiet and uninterrupted - without pain - with the one whom one loves under the same roof? Is it too much to ask?  [KM Notebooks, dated February 1920 by J.M. Murry]