Lady Slane: All Passion Spent
2016, Oil on Canvas, 36 x 48
Sitting there in the sun at Hampstead, in the late summer, under the south wall and the ripened peaches, doing nothing with her hands, she remembered the day she had become engaged to Henry. She had plenty of leisure now, day in, day out, to survey her life as a tract of country traversed, ….And what, precisely, had been herself, she wondered—an old woman looking back on the girl she had once been? This wondering was the softest, most wistful, of occupations; yet it was not melancholy; it was, rather, the last, supreme luxury; a luxury she had waited all her life to indulge. There was just time, in this reprieve before death, to indulge herself to the full. She had, after all, nothing else to do. For the first time in all her life—no, for the first time since her marriage—she had nothing else to do. She could lie back against death and examine life. Meanwhile, the air was full of the sound of bees.
-Vita Sackville-West, All Passion Spent