Like a symphony of waves, six lives are gathered in harmony and symmetry of selves. What an extraordinary metaphor for telling us about six lives, six friends, six selves. Soliloquies that unite in one and many.
In the pause that follows while the ripples spread, the girl to whom one should be talking says to herself, “He is old.” But she is wrong. It is not age; it is that a drop has fallen; another drop. Time has given the arrangement another shake. Out we creep from the arch of the currant leaves, out into a wider world. The true order of things — this is our perpetual illusion — is now apparent. Thus in a moment, in a drawing-room, our life adjusts itself to the majestic march of day across the sky.
If I have to wait, I read; if I wake in the night, I feel along the shelf for a book. Swelling, perpetually augmented, there is a vast accumulation of unrecorded matter in my head. Now and then I break off a lump, Shakespeare it may be, it may be some old woman called Peck; and say to myself, smoking a cigarette in bed, “That’s Shakespeare. That’s Peck”— with a certainty of recognition and a shock of knowledge which is endlessly delightful, though not to be imparted. So we shared our Pecks, our Shakespeares; compared each other’s versions; allowed each other’s insight to set our own Peck or Shakespeare in a better light; and then sank into one of those silences which are now and again broken by a few words, as if a fin rose in the wastes of silence; and then the fin, the thought, sinks back into the depths, spreading round it a little ripple of satisfaction, content.
The Waves, Virginia Woolf.