Virginia Woolf, The Years
But why do I notice everything? She thought. Why must I think? She did not want to think. She wanted to force her mind to become a blank and lie back, and accept quietly, tolerantly, whatever came.
Millions of things came back to her. Atoms danced apart and massed themselves. But how did they compose what people called a life?
There must be another life, she thought, sinking back into her chair, exasperated. Not in dreams; but here and now, in this room, with living people. She felt as if she were standing on the edge of a precipice with her hair blown back; she was about to grasp something that just evaded her. There must be another life, here and now, she repeated. This is too short, too broken. We know nothing, even about ourselves. We’re only just beginning, she thought, to understand, here and there. She hollowed her hands in her lap, just as Rose hollowed hers round her ears. She held her hands hollowed; she felt that she wanted to enclose the present moment; to make it stay; to fill it fuller and fuller, with the past, the present and the future, until it shone, whole, bright, deep with understanding.