THE LIGHTHOUSErest in the extreme obscurity of human relationships. Who knows what we are, what we feel?Who knows even at the moment of intimacy, Thisis knowledge? Aren’t things spoilt then, Mrs.Ramsay may have asked (it seemed to havehappened so often, this silence by her side) bysaying them? Aren’t we more expressive thus?The moment at least seemed extraordinarilyfertile. She rammed a little hole in the sand andcovered it up, by way of burying in it the perfection of the moment. It was like a drop ofsilver in which one dipped and illumined thedarkness of the past.Lily stepped back to get her canvas-so

into perspective. It was an odd road to bewalking, this of painting. Out and out one went,further and further, until at last one seemed to beon a narrow plank, perfectly alone, over the sea.And as she dipped into the blue paint, she dippedtoo into the past there. Now Mrs. Ramsay gotup, she remembered. It was time to go back tothe house—time for luncheon. And they allwalked up from the beach together, she walkingbehind with William Bankes, and there wasMinta in front of them with a hole in her stocking.How that little round hole of pink heel seemed toHaunt itself before them! How VVilliam Bankesdeplored it, without, so far as she could remember,26 5

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