Quote of the Week

Let us simmer over our incalculable cauldron, our enthralling confusion, our hotch-potch of impulses, our perpetual miracle.—Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf at age 20; photo via Wikipedia Commons

Virginia Woolf at age 20; photo via Wikipedia Commons

My friend Tammi Truax posted this quote on Facebook, and it seems like just the quote I need this week. It’s exactly right for where I am and what I need to do as I move more deeply into my work on the new book and reassess my plans for 2014. I am simmering over my cauldron of confusion and sometimes miraculous impulses.

This quote comes from Woolf’s essay “Montaigne” in The Common Reader about Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), the philosopher and writer who invented the essay.

Here’s a bit more from Woofe’s essay “Montaigne,” which provides some context for this quote:

“The laws are mere conventions, utterly unable to keep touch with the vast variety and turmoil of human impulses; habits and customs are a convenience devised for the support of timid natures who dare not allow their souls free play. But we, who have a private life and hold it infinitely the dearest of our possessions, suspect nothing so much as an attitude. Directly we begin to protest, to attitudinise, to lay down laws, we perish. We are living for others, not for ourselves. We must respect those who sacrifice themselves in the public service, load them with honours, and pity them for allowing, as they must, the inevitable compromise; but for ourselves let us fly fame, honour, and all offices that put us under an obligation to others. Let us simmer over our incalculable cauldron, our enthralling confusion, our hotch-potch of impulses, our perpetual miracle—for the soul throws up wonders every second. Movement and change are the essence of our being; rigidity is death; conformity is death: let us say what comes into our heads, repeat ourselves, contradict ourselves, fling out the wildest nonsense, and follow the most fantastic fancies without caring what the world does or thinks or says. For nothing matters except life; and, of course, order.”

See more quotes about writing here.

Comments

  1. Mary Johnson says:

    Oh, how I love this, Barbara! Thank you! And thank Tammi and Virginia!