Here sitting on the world, she thought, for she could not shake herself free from the sense that everything this morning was happening for the first time, perhaps for the last time, as a traveller, even though he is half asleep, knows, looking out of the train window, that he must look now, for he will never see that town, or that mule cart, or that woman in the fields again. The lawn was the world; they were up here together, on this exalted station, she thought, looking at old Mr. Carmichael, who seemed (though they had not said a word all this time) to share her thoughts. And she would never see him again perhaps. He was growing old. Also, she remembered, smiling at the slipper that dangled from his foot, he was growing famous.
This is a an excerpt from Chapter 11 of Part Three: The Lighthouse, of Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse. My dears, don't wait for me to give you an idea. Think about what you have just read. Did you really read it?
I love to share my thoughts with you, but my dears, I don't want you to depend on me. This paragraph contains some very heavy ideas, that caused me to sigh sadly and heavily as I rethought them.
I love the idea of 'sitting on the world'. This is a thought that I have so often mused, even as a young child. I would just think about it. Think about the world as a ball. Think of it rotating, orbiting. Think of myself planted on the surface, going around with it, going upside down, gravity and I just going around and upside down. It is a thought which has the effect of making me feel incredibly small and alone, and yet in awe of size and time which no one can control. Maybe the only thing that NO ONE can control.
Time continues. Blink and you missed it. I think my darling Woolf has a better grasp of Time as time than anyone I have ever known. She talks of watching and seeing things because it might never be seen again. Things get old. Things grow away. Things become famous and so get old and grow away at the same time. I am only extremely young to the world, and so don't you dare suspect me of knowing much, but still. I hear what Woolf says, and though I may not have a mature understanding of it just yet, I look forward to twenty years time for when I can re-listen to her voice and learn the meaning. Perhaps that will be the both of us.