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224 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEwhatever reason she could not achieve that razoredge of balance between two opposite forces; MrRamsay and the picture; which was necessary.There was something perhaps wrong with the design?Was it, she wondered, that the line of the wall wantedbreaking, was it that the mass of the trees was tooheavy? She smiled ironically; for had she notthought, when she began, that she had solved herproblem?

What was the problem then? She must try toget hold of something that evaded her. It evadedher when she thought of Mrs Ramsay; it evaded hernow when she thought of her picture. Phrases came.Visions came. Beautiful pictures. Beautiful phrases.But what she wished to get hold of was that veryjar on the nerves, the thing itself before it has beenmade anything. Get that and start afresh; get thatand start afresh; she said desperately, pitching her-self firmly again before her easel. It was a miserablemachine, an inefficient machine, she thought, thehuman apparatus for painting or for feeling; it al-ways broke down at the critical moment; heroically,one must force it on. She stared, frowning. Therewas the hedge, sure enough. But one got nothingby soliciting urgently. One got only a glare in theeye from looking at the line of the wall, or fromthinking—she wore a grey hat. She was astonish-ingly beautiful. Let it come, she thought, if it willcome. For there are moments when one can neitherthink nor feel. And if one can neither think norfeel, she thought, where is one?

Here on the grass, on the ground, she thought,sitting down, and examining with her brush a little