This writing shed was very close to the life I wanted, even if it was a temporary arrangement. I mean it was not my real estate, I did not own it, I was renting it, but I owned its mood.
The photographer asked us all to assemble for a photograph by the hotel pool and then he told us to do a thumbs-up gesture. I did not feel this was the right look for me. Its association with the popular gesture of male authoritarian leaders parading their erect white thumbs for the world’s media was not something I wanted to imitate.
In every decade of my life, from twenty onwards, I have often thought about Woolf, witty, brilliant, despairing, filling her pockets with stones and walking into that river. I don’t know why it is her suicide in particular that so personally hurts and haunts me. If I feel that her books speak calmly to me about the things that enraged her, I can nevertheless hear her rage, her breath, her chair creaking as she rearranges the position of her legs while she writes.