we are the thing itself

Today, I am in need of guidance and inspiration. Here is Virginia Woolf, from “A Sketch of the Past,” discussing her “moments”:

It is only by putting it into words that I make it whole; this wholeness means that is has lost its power to hurt me; it gives me, perhaps because by doing so I take away the pain, a great delight to put the severed parts together. Perhaps this is the strongest pleasure known to me. It is the rapture I get when in writing I seem to be discovering what belongs to what; making a scene come right; making a character come together. From this I reach what I might call a philosophy; at any rate it is a constant idea of mine; that behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we–I mean all human beings–are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art. Hamlet or a Beethoven quartet is the truth about this vast mass that we call the world. But there is no Shakespeare, there is no Beethoven; certainly and emphatically there is no God; we are the rods; we are the music; we are the thing itself. And I see this when I have a shock.

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