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red peony

'It is one of the difficulties of this book that I must always be appearing on a higher plane than that to which I properly belong - or, in case, per impossibile, I under-rate myself, at least I must always be omitting the evidence of my sinfulness. And it is a hateful situation. I do not want to appear other than I am - partly because of the untruth, partly because it is all such nonsense, this convention, this police convention, this drawing-room convention of reticence in matters which we know are vital to our judgment, and partly because of the unreality. But there is perhaps one comfort. It is this: we human beings are all in the same difficulty. We are all torn asunder, all of us, by this disintegration of our flesh and our spirit. And so if in this book I am appearing more spiritual than is credible to some of those I have loved, let them examine their own consciences. I think they will discover, as I have done, that they also are torn asunder and that they also have desired to be made whole.'

- Eric Gill, Autobiography