Englishwoman's Love Letters (Chapter 9, page 1 of 3)


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Chapter 9

Beloved: Is the morning looking at you as it is looking at me? A little to
the right of the sun there lies a small cloud, filmy and faint, but enough
to cast a shadow somewhere. From this window, high up over the view, I
cannot see where the shadow of it falls,--further than my eye can reach:
perhaps just now over you, since you lie further west. But I cannot be
sure. We cannot be sure about the near things in this world; only about
what is far off and fixed.

You and I looking up see the same sun, if there are no clouds over us:
but we may not be looking at the same clouds even when both our hearts
are in shadow. That is so, even when hearts are as close together as
yours and mine: they respond to the same light: but each one has its own
roof of shadow, wearing its rue with a world of difference.

Why is it? why can no two of us have sorrows quite in common? What can
be nearer together than our wills to be one? In joy we are; and yet,
though I reach and reach, and sadden if you are sad, I cannot make your
sorrow my own.

I suppose sorrow is of the earth earthy: and all that is of earth makes
division. Every joy that belongs to the body casts shadows somewhere. I
wonder if there can enter into us a joy that has no shadow anywhere? The
joy of having you has behind it the shadow of parting; is there any way
of loving that would make parting no sorrow at all? To me, now, the idea
seems treason! I cling to my sorrow that you are not here: I send up my
cloud, as it were, to catch the sun's brightness: it is a kite that I
pull with my heart-strings.

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