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Perfect Communication, 2015
First published in “Oslo Pilot Artist Writings”, Mousse Publishing, 2018
In March 1941, Virginia Woolf walked out into the River Ouse. Her body was discovered nearly a month later, but her suicide note was found the same night by her husband Leonard. It is a touching, lucid, perfectly simple note. It gives its reasons, tells of affection, tries to remove the possibility of blame. It has clear objectives. It ends with the sentence: “I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.”
In suicide notes, the most important premise for successful delivery is that the sender must be deceased, the recipient still alive. Notes of failed attempts are mostly destroyed, never read. Optimistically, the note is intended to serve, in some ways, as a new holder of its author. A true, desired form, free of intruders.
Leonard’s job, obviously, is to imagine her. At her desk, in the moment of writing, looking out the window, as she imagined him, first discovering, then reading, allowing for a doubling of time, an occurrence where a false present allows them to meet, to be suspended in the same psychic space as one another. On each side of the black fog or veil or whatever you prefer to call it, a drawn line, a river uncrossed. As Orpheus and Euridice again, having left the hopes of a future, folding instead into an impossible now.