While I was in Telluride, Colorado I read Orlando by Virginia Woolf. The book begins with Orlando as a young nobleman and an attendant and favorite of Queen Elizabeth I. After the queen’s death he falls in love with a Russian princess and because she was not a member of the English aristocracy the relationship was not allowed. Yet, so in love was Orlando that he cared not for his reputation and the two lovers plan an elopement to Russia arranging to meet by a bridge at midnight. But the princess doesn’t come, leaving Orlando alone on the coldest night of the early seventeenth century.
As an outcast Orlando becomes a recluse and returns to writing poetry. After several years, he shows his epic poem to a famous poet, Nicholas Greene, who is dismissive of the manuscript. A few months later Mr. Greene comes out with a new book. Inside the book Orlando discovers his own poem under Greene’s name.
These two betrayals cause Orlando such great despair that he sleeps for seven days and seven nights. Those near him tried to rouse him and still Orlando slept. When he awakens, he sees that his body has transformed into that of a female and continues to live on as a woman.
While reading this novel I would pause to look through the windows. The assortment of windows, at different times of day brought a variety of views altering the landscapes and surroundings, at times summoning me to leave the indoor world, step outside and go walking. It was breezy outside. There was beauty in every direction.