THE LIGHTHOUSEnot know which) before she exchanged the fluidityof life for the concentration of painting she had afew moments of nakedness when she seemed likean unborn soul, a soul reft of body, hesitating onsome windy pinnacle and exposed without protec-tion to all the blasts of doubt. Why then did shedo it? She looked at the canvas, lightly scored withrunning lines. It would be hung in the servants’ bed-rooms. It would be rolled up and stuffed under asofa. What was the good of doing it then, and sheheard some voice saying she couldn’t paint, sayingshe couldn’t create, as if she were caught up in oneof those habitual currents in which after a certaintime experience forms in the mind, so that one re-peats words without being aware any longer whooriginally spoke them.

Can’t paint, can’t write, she murmured monoto-nously, anxiously considering what her plan of at-tack should be. For the mass loomed before her; itprotruded; she felt it pressing on her eyeballs. Then,as if some juice necessary for the lubrication of herfaculties were spontaneously squirted, she beganprecariously dipping among the blues and umbers,moving her brush hither and thither, but it was nowheavier and went slower, as if it had fallen in withsome rhythm which was dictated to her (she keptlooking at the hedge, at the canvas) by what she237
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