TO THE LIGHTHOUSEthis and that and then this, and so made outof that miserable silliness and spite (she and Charlessquabbling, sparring, had been silly and spiteful)something—this scene on the beach for example, thismoment of friendship and liking—which survived,after all these years complete, so that she dippedinto it to re-fashion her memory of him, and thereit stayed in the mind affecting one almost like awork of art.

"Like a work of art," she repeated, looking fromher canvas to the drawing-room steps and backagain. She must rest for a moment. And, resting,looking from one to the other vaguely, the old ques-tion which traversed the sky of the soul perpetually,the vast, the general question which was apt to par-ticularise itself at such moments as these, when shereleased faculties that had been on the strain, stoodover her, paused over her, darkened over her. Whatis the meaning of life? That was all—a simple ques-tion; one that tended to close in on one with years.The great revelation had never come. The greatrevelation perhaps never did come. Instead therewere little daily miracles, illuminations, matchesstruck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one. This,that, and the other; herself and Charles Tansley andthe breaking wave; Mrs. Ramsay bringing them to-gether; Mrs. Ramsay saying, "Life stand still here";240
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