we are never the first of our kind

On today’s Writer’s Almanac I found this wonderful love letter from Vita to Virginia, January 21st, 1926. It’s so easy to believe, as we invent and re-invent love and being lesbian, that we are New In The World. Granted, love may FEEL ever-new, but this speaks to me and for me in an immediate, right now, I yearn for how they yearned for each other way. Go Vita! Win your girl’s heart! We’re all rooting for you!

Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Wolf, Jan 21st, 1926:

“I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your un-dumb letters, would never write so elementary a phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn’t even feel it. And yet I believe you’ll be sensible of a little gap. But you’d clothe it in so exquisite a phrase that it would lose a little of its reality. Whereas with me it is quite stark: I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal. So this letter is just really a squeal of pain. It is incredible how essential to me you have become. I suppose you are accustomed to people saying these things. Damn you, spoilt creature; I shan’t make you love me any the more by giving myself away like this — But oh my dear, I can’t be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defences. And I don’t really resent it.

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