Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Woolf and wolf moon

                           "No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.” 

It is Virginia's Woolf's birthday to day, I like her writing, and she is seen as a feminist, though her involvement with the Bloomsbury Group sets her back in some people's eyes. But 'accidents of fate' land us up with a rum lot of people ;)  You feel sadness through her work, an underlying feeling which is probably to do with the detail of her life.  Losing her mother at an early teenage stage, then her brother Thoby at 20 years old.  Her sister was the famous Vanessa Bell, a leading personality as well in the Bloomsbury Group, her half brothers apparently sexually abused her, though this I will not comment on, as it is hearsay.

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life"

Her tragic end in the river, filling her pockets deliberately with stones and then walking into the water shows a determined person, though she was given to mental illness. She obviously did not write the sadness out of her system, it must have followed her like a faithful dog, hounding her to the grave.

"the eyes of others are our prison; their thoughts our cages"

I quite like that quote, it is a good one for a blogger!  We must learn to write carefully, without offence, winding our way through other people's view of their worlds, though of course do we write as well as we should if we conform?

We have beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and of course a full moon this end part of January, a 'wolf moon', though this is a North American term, for when the wolves go hungry in cold January and howl at the moon.

There is an interesting article in the Reliquiae, on the last of the wolves in Britain, of course we will never know when the last wolf died in this country, we can only speculate and make up stories.  We hounded them out of existence because they were a nuisance, perhaps we could do with a few just to keep the deer numbers down now.....

Although the Hubbard brothers in the 19th century wrote this;

The month which we now call January our Saxon ancestors called wolf-monat, to wit, wolf-moneth, because people are wont always in that month to be in more danger to be devoured of wolves, than in any else season of the year; for that, through the extremity of cold and snow, these ravenous creatures could not find of other beasts sufficient to feed upon. Richard Verstegan, Restitution of Decayed Intelligence in Antiquities 1673


  1. An interesting post and a fascinating woman, although the Bloomsbury set are not my starter for 10 (I'll save Edward Thomas for that!) "You cannot find peace by avoiding life" - a quote I shall pass on to eldest daughter as it aptly sums up current boyfriend . . . (sadly).

    I think farmers would probably rather shoot more deer than see wolves reintroduced and taking their livestock . . .

    I always strive to write without giving offence and have the sat-on hands to prove it!

    1. Yes it is somewhat apt that quote, life can be very miserable when you are in love, happy endings being thin on the ground mostly. Sure there is a quote saying it is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.
      Never knew you 'sat-on on your hands though, being polite is sooo English ;) X

  2. Loved this post Thelma. Thanks for the explanation of the wolf moon - I have been meaning to look it up all week but was too lazy.

    Virgina Woolf - one of my favourites too. Love her writing - and love everything to do with the Bloomsbury Group - sensational at the time and yet by today's standards quite ordinary in a lot of ways. Mrs Dalloway and To the Lighthouse are my favourite books.
    As to her suicide, I feel that maybe she couldn't face old ago - I think she was around sixty when she committed suicide - so deliberately as you say.

    1. Yes the Bloomsbury group are intriguing, I have McCarthy's book on Vanessa Bell; today they would have fitted into our society without comment. Well perhaps that is not quite true, but I loved the two books you mentioned as well. If you want to read about moon names go over to "Beyond the Fields we Know" blog, she has just written about the moons, which she does every year. Her exploration of the beginnings and meanings of words is also good.