This a portrait of Virginia Woolf which I painted some years ago. I was struck by her beauty and her sensitivity, and I think also by the intelligence and strength which I saw in her. I am a great admirer of her work, though I have to admit I can only read it in snatches. She it was who, in 1928, coined that immortal phrase: ‘in order to be able to write a woman needs to have an income and a room of her own.”
Life has moved on since then and, of course, a woman can now write anywhere and needs very little income. J.K. Rowling would be the classic example of that. Nonetheless, a few years ago I thought it would be very nice to have a room exclusively for my writing, and so I cleared out my front room, had it repainted and installed my computer and all my writing materials, and a few choice paintings including the one of Virginia which faces me now as I write.
I am currently recovering from what I am calling a mini breakdown. I had a kind of a panic attack, brought on I think by a series of crises and stresses during this prolonged period of lockdown. I am slowly getting better, but still suffering from extreme tiredness and moments of anxiety, which manifest through my beating heart. On the advice of my therapist, I am having a dialogue with my heart, asking it what it needs from me. I have been writing down what it is saying to me, and for the first time in my life, I think, I am developing a relationship with my heart. Sometimes I think it is my inner child, speaking to me and guiding me. It is a very wonderful and tender feeling.
This is not what I intended to write when I began this blog. The Duke of Edinburgh had just died and I meant to write about that, but that moment has passed.
So I think my heading of New Beginnings was more accurate than I realised at the time. I think it was the poet Rilke who said that the future always lies in the present, when we are fully conscious of it.
So I am going to sign off now, as I have used up my energy for today.