this cotton wool, this non-being

Often when I have been writing one of my so-calld novels I have been baffled by the same problem; that is, how to describe what I call in my private shorthand – ‘non-being’. Every day includes  much more non-being than being. Yesterday was for example a good day, above the average in ‘being’. Separate moments of being were embedded in many more moments of non-being. A great part of every day is not lived consciously. One walks, eats, sees things, deals with what has to be done. When it is a bad day the proportion of non-being is much larger. I had a slight temperature last week; almost the whole day was non-being. Asa child, then, just as they do now my days contained a large proportion of this cotton wool, this non-being. Week after week passed at St Ives and nothing made any dint upon me. Then, for no reason that I know about, there was a sudden violent shock; sometihng happened so violently that I have remembered it all my life. I will give a few instances. I was fighting with Thoby on the lawn. We were pummeling each other with our fists. Just as I raised my fist to hit him, I felt: why hurt another person? I dropped my hand instantly, and stood there, and let him beat me. I remember the feeling. It was a feeling of hopeless sadness. It was as if I became aware of something terrible; and of my own powerlessness. i slunk off alone, feeling horribly depressed.

VIrginia Woolf – Moments of being

So with pregnancy this non-being thing increases from whatever it was to about 90% of the time. Pregnancy brain. Apparently it is not scientifically proven to happen, but some things just can’t be proven scientifically, and it takes writers to describe them. Maybe babies just need to borrow all of that being, for now, until they can fabricate their own. Being and blood and other vitals.