The room grew suddenly several degrees darker, for the wind seemed to be driving waves of darkness across the earth. No one attempted to eat for a time, but sat looking out at the garden, with their forks in the air. The flashes now came frequently, lighting up faces as if they were going to be photographed, surprising them in tense and unnatural expressions.

A terrible confession it was (he put his hat on again) but now, at the age of fifty-three, one scarcely needed people any more. Life itself, every moment of it, every drop of it, here, this instant, now, in the sun, in Regent’s Park, was enough. Too much, indeed. A whole lifetime was too short to bring out, now that one had acquired the power, the full flavour; to extract every ounce of pleasure, every shade of meaning< which both were so much more solid than they used to be, so much less personal.

I went from one to the other holding my sorrow – no, not my sorrow but the
incomprehensible nature of this our life – for their inspection. Some people go
to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends, I to my own heart, I to seek among
phrases and fragments something unbroken – I to whom there is no beauty
enough in moon or tree; to whom the touch of one person with another is all,
yet who cannot grasp even that, who am so imperfect, so weak, so
unspeakably lonely.

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