I will not send my children to school

peter 5

















I will not send my children to school nor spend a night all my
life in London. Here in this vast station everything echoes and
booms hollowly. The light is like the yellow light under an
awning. Jinny lives here. Jinny takes her dog for walks on these
pavements. People here shoot through the streets silently. They
look at nothing but shop-windows. Their heads bob up and down all
at about the same height. The streets are laced together with
telegraph wires. The houses are all glass, all festoons and
glitter; now all front doors and lace curtains, all pillars and
white steps. But now I pass on, out of London again; the fields
begin again; and the houses, and women hanging washing, and trees
and fields. London is now veiled, now vanished, now crumbled, now
fallen. The carbolic and the pitch-pine begin to lose their
savour. I smell corn and turnips. I undo a paper packet tied with
a piece of white cotton. The egg shells slide into the cleft
between my knees. Now we stop at station after station, rolling
out milk cans. Now women kiss each other and help with baskets.
Now I will let myself lean out of the window. The air rushes down
my nose and throat–the cold air, the salt air with the smell of
turnip fields in it. And there is my father, with his back turned,
talking to a farmer. I tremble, I cry. There is my father in
gaiters. There is my father.’


Words: Virginia Woolf
Collage: Peter Strange Yumi

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