20 August

20 August 1920

2 Portland Villas, Hampstead - London

It often happens to me know that when I lie down for sleep at night instead of getting drowsy I feel wakeful and lying here in bed I begin to live over little scenes from real life or imaginary scenes. Its not too much to say they are almost hallucinations: they are marvellously vivid. I lie on my right side & put my left hand up to my forehead as though I were praying. This seems to induce the state. Then for instance its 10.30 p.m. on a big liner in mid ocean...
People are beginning to leave the Ladies Cabin. Father puts his head in & asks if one of you would care for a walk before you turn in, its glorious up on deck. That begins it. I am there. Details - father rubbing his gloves, the cold air, the night air rather he brings to the door, the pattern of everything, the feel of the brass stair rail & the rubber stairs. Then the deck. The pause while the cigar is lighted, the look of all in the moonlight, the steadying hum of the ship, the 1st officer on the deck, so far aloft the bells, the steward going into the smoking room with a tray, stepping over the high brass-bound step. All these things are far realer, more in detail, richer than Life. And I believe I could go on until....there's no end to it. I can do this about anything. Only there are no personalities. Neither am I there personally. People are only part of the silence, not of the pattern - vastly different to that - part of the scheme. I could only do this to a certain extent - but its only since I was really ill that this shall we call it "consolation prize" has been given to me. my God, it's a marvellous thing! [KM Notebooks, undated]