Photo: Broad-Bodied Chaser/Monk’s House/Rodmel, England.
Today, I was writing about being at Monk’s House, where Virginia Woolf lived with family and friends, where her ashes are scattered. I realized exactly where they were scattered because in this enchanted world, an amazing dragonfly, a Broad-bodied Chaser, flew circles around it. (Dragonflies carry the souls of the dead, so this makes sense.) There was more to it today, as I thought back to the situation. I realized that Virginia Woolf may have something for me today. As I thought about what that might be, I recalled her short story, Kew Gardens. This story is her stream of consciousness about people visiting a particular flowerbed in this famous London Garden. A man and his wife walked by the flower bed, the man recalling years before when he spent the day trying to convince unsuccessfully, his lover to marry him. At one point a dragonfly appeared. “And my love, my desire, were in the dragonfly; for some reason I thought that if it settled there, on that leaf, the broad one with the red flower in the middle of it, if the dragonfly settled on the leaf she would say ‘Yes’ at once. But the dragonfly went round and round: it never settled anywhere.” How did that dragonfly ‘know’ that that man and woman should not marry? I only ask because in my enchanted world, dragonflies bring messages from the inner world, from non-ordinary reality. Perhaps that’s what the dragonfly in Virginia Woolf’s story was doing, bringing a message from the inner world, a message that the man in the story didn’t like.