like a spreading of invisible sentient feelers

sea-anemone

Although I knew what to do I hardly ever remembered to do it, like the heroes in fairy tales who used to exasperate me by forgetting to use the charm they had been expressly given. But when I did remember to do it, I was reminded of that little one-celled animal which can spread part of its own essence to flow round and envelop within itself whatever it wants for food. This spreading of some vital essence of myself was a new gesture, more diffuse than the placing of awareness beyond myself which I had tried with music; it was more like a spreading of invisible sentient feelers, as a sea anemone spreads wide its feathery fingers. Also I saw now that my usual attitude to the world was a contracted one, like the sea anemone when disturbed by a rough touch, like an amoeba shut within protective walls of its own making. I was yet to learn that state of confidence in which my feelers would always be spread whenever I wanted to perceive.

~ Marion Milner, A Life of One’s Own (Routledge, May 2011. Originally published in 1934)


Notes:

Comments

  1. be open.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hhhmmm
    Never thought of it this way.
    Brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

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