Maybe it’s a gift not to be ‘gifted’ …

General musing about Virginia Woolf

Sometimes, when I’m waiting for whatever, I delve into the library on my Kindle, looking for short-prose-pieces to read. Virginia Woolf wrote many, one is “Kew Gardens”. Every now and then I dive into this piece to read a paragraph or two — the writing is excellent — I’m able to savour the sentences within the paragraphs much more readily than if I focus on the whole thing. Slow reading, similar to slow food.

The story is about a garden bed at London’s Kew Gardens, a snail moving within it, and the people who walk past. Yes, it’s a very very “micro”, I agree. Virginia creates this micro-focus in a way that is enchanting. Like a photo-realistic painting, although the visual is created with words. Heres’ a little sample:

In the oval flower bed the snail, whose shell had been stained red, blue, and yellow for the space of two minutes or so, now appeared to be moving very slightly in its shell, and next began to labour over the crumbs of loose earth which broke away and rolled down as it passed over them.

Source: Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf was truly gifted. It’s a shame she was so unhappy. Why is it that happiness eludes so many of the “gifted” ones. Maybe it’s a gift not to be “gifted”!


The piece mentioned above has been published with other short-prose-pieces in Virginia Woolf’s book: “Monday or Tuesday“.