Full text: The waves

: THE WAVES 
“ But how describe the world seen without a self ? There 
are no words. Blue, red—even they distract, even they hide 
with thickness instead of letting the light through. How 
describe or say anything in articulate words again ?—save 
that it fades, save that it undergoes a gradual transformation, 
becomes, even in the course of one short walk, habitual — 
this scene also. Blindness returns as one moves and one leaf 
repeats another. Loveliness returns as one looks, with all its 
train of phantom phrases. One breathes in and out sub- 
stantial breath ; down in the valley the train draws across the 
fields lop-eared with smoke. 
“ But for 2 moment I had sat on the turf somewhere high 
above the flow of the sea and the sound of the woods, had 
seen the house, the garden, and the waves breaking. The 
old nurse who turns the pages of the picture-book had stopped 
and had said, ¢ Look. This is the truth. 
“ So I was thinking as I came along Shaftesbury Avenue 
to-night., I was thinking of that page in the picture-book. 
And when I met you in the place where one goes to hang 
up one’s coat I said to myself, ‘It does not matter whom I 
meet. All this little affair of “ being ” is over. Who this is 
I do not know ; nor care ; we will dine together.” So I hung 
up my coat, tapped you on the shoulder, and said, © Sit with 
me.’ 
“ Now the meal is finished ; we are surrounded by peelings 
and bread-crumbs. I have tried to break off this bunch and 
hand it you ; but whether there is substance or truth in it 
I do not know. Nor do I know exactly where we are. What 
city does that stretch of sky look down upon? Is it Paris, 
is it London where we sit, or some southern city of pink- 
washed houses lying under cypresses, under high mountains, 
where eagles soar ? I do not at this moment feel certain. 
“1 begin now to forget; I begin to doubt the fixity of 
tables, the reality of here and now, to tap my knuckles smartly 
upon the edges of apparently solid objects and say, ‘ Are you 
hard ?’ I have seen so many different things, have made so 
many different sentences. I have lost in the process of eating 
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