THE LIGHTHOUSEliving, out of community with people into thepresence of this formidable ancient enemy of hers—this other thing, this truth, this reality, whichsuddenly laid hands on her, emerged stark at theback of appearances and commanded her atten-tion. She was half unwilling, half reluctant.Why always be drawn out and haled away? Whynot left in peace, to talk to Mr. Carmichael onthe lawn? It was an exacting form of intercourseanyhow Absence of period, unmarked.tOher worshipful objects were contentwith worship; men, women, God, all let onekneel prostrate; but this form, were it only theshape of a white lamp—shade looming up[%]on awicker table, roused one to perpetual combat,challenged one to a fight in which one was boundto be worsted. Always (it was in her nature, orin her sex, she did not know which) before sheexchanged the fluidity of life for the concentrationof painting she had a few moments of exposure[%]and nakedness when she seemed like an unbornsoul, a soul reft of body, hesitating on somewindy pinnacle and exposed without protectionto all the blasts of doubt. Why then did shedo it? She looked at the canvas, lightly scoredwith running lines. It would be hung in theservants’ bedrooms. It would be rolled up andstuffed under a sofa. What was the good ofdoing it then, and she heard some voice saying245
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