Virginia and Roger

Roger_Fry_-_Virginia_WoolfI have lost friends, some by death… others through sheer inability to cross the street.

In this madly slap-dash way we’re living, with twisted wires limply cascading from our ears and the steady thrum of recorded voice pressing against our temples, rarely affecting our hearts, I have decided to channel V. W.

Years ago, when I first read The Waves and encountered this line, I was young with all my friends intact. And I believe that I did cross the street. Yes, yes I flew at them and pushed on with rising excitement toward the next adventure! Friends and I were tight, back then.

Slap-dash and negligent. We’ve begun to de-value what most deserves our attention while damnably circling around erroneous priorities. People are priorities; friends are priorities; they are what count not niggardly checkmarks in our calendars.

We have become stapled to the mundane and inconsequential. “The world is too much with us,” to quote another fine poet.

Is it the age? Is it my age? Look sharp, I say, and replace the waste. The waste of time on other-than-friends.

This is not an optimistic Christmas greeting I am now writing. I don’t much care about it being Christmas. I find that the weight of these several days lays waste our powers even more. I just want to tear away the interruptions to what is beautiful before the beauty dies.

I was strolling–yes, actually strolling–along my street earlier today when I glanced up and saw a sprig of lilac buds taking shape. This, on December 17th, when I ought to be squinting against snow flurries and bucking wicked winds.

Across from where I now write there are red geraniums growing.

It’s just not right, said my partner, and I snippily said: “let the next generations worry about it.”

But I do worry and so…

What I’d really like to do now is leave my desk and meet a friend. To slide away from the labyrinthine keyboard on my Apple and find someone to toast instead.

I wish to frequently look both ways then step into traffic; offer or receive a generous elbow and a story or two from someone who knows my name and likes to use it.

Virginia Woolf’s good friend, Roger Frye painted her portrait. 

Roger Frye died in 1934 .

Roger Frye’s good friend Virginia wrote his biography in 1940. 

One year later, Virginia Woolf was dead.

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About Nor

I'm a creative non-fiction writer, with a special interest in memoirs and obituaries--life stories, local histories with flesh & blood anecdotal details. I'm also beginning to create podcasts of people's stories and expanding their audiences. I'm a diarist, an editor, and a political activist. I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and spend days tapping keys or staining my fingers in ink.
Aside | This entry was posted in art, death, memory, poetry, writer and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Virginia and Roger

  1. jerrontables says:

    You write beautifully.

  2. roothcad@look.ca says:

    excellent thanks noreen loved the painting

  3. John Black says:

    Great to read your thoughts on these two, Noreen! Although Fry is better known as a critic and historian of art, I find his painting, though not revolutionary, extremely evocative of mood and character. The portrait of VW is a superb example.

  4. Just finished reading Virginia’s diaries; writing her friend Roger’s bio was a real stress and strain for her, but I’d sure like to read it! She loved him dearly.

  5. John Machen says:

    My god, I love this site! Ex reporter here trying to become a responsible pre-need obituary writer.
    To me it’s much more about the life a person lived, not that he/she died. Lady, you have a major fan in Virginia.

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