Monday, January 26, 2009

[How can I explain why I love you so?]

[Sally] came into a room; she stood, as he had often seen her, in a doorway with lots of people round her. But it was Clarissa one remembered. Not that she was striking; not beautiful at all; there was nothing picturesque about her; she never said anything specially clever; there she was, however; there she was.

Just look at how long that last sentence is—that last justification. Peter Walsh is, and always will be, it seems, a little bit in love with Clarissa. He cannot explain it; when he tries to, he fails to find anything that stands out about her. In comparison to Sally she is, allegedly, plain in every way. Sally immediately attracts and maintains everyone’s attention, but Clarissa is seared into Peter Walsh’s memory. And there she was.

For some reason the lyrics of an unpublished Sherman brothers (composers of many a hit tune) song just popped into my head:

The winter snow

Only hides the flowers below

Every face and every day place conceals

The beauty in reveals

Through the eyes of love

Reading on in Mrs. Dalloway, I found that Clarissa and Peter had so much in common in regards to their world outlook; their literal way of looking at the world. They see the beauty underneath. In the beginning of the day, Clarissa is so taken with the beauty of her city awaking. And walking around in the afternoon, Peter goes so far as to muse that he “scarcely needed people any more. Life itself, every moment of it, every drop of it, here, this instant, now, in the sun…was enough.” And yet they are captivated by each other.

Clarissa may very well be as plain as Peter makes her out to be. (And his insistence on her plainness is all the more intriguing, as he can’t stop loving her and thinking of her, as he tries to explain his feelings away.)

……maybe that’s it, then.

Either everything is extraordinary, or nothing needs to be in order to capture one’s heart. We assign meaning to things, to places, people, events, smells, sounds, memories. OR… being open to everything, the most ordinary time or place or person can completely overwhelm your senses, your memory, your heart.

Without any outward sign. It’s the (nearly) imperceptible underneath of things that you can hear buzzing when you stop and listen………..

There she was.

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