Thursday, January 10, 2008
The Girls Of My Youth
As a child, I played a game where I wished myself into being other girls, girls I felt were more beautiful and glamorous, the ones that always looked put together and didn't have a million embarrassing things happen to them. A favorite of mine was Kim Blevins (even her name that incorporated the word blemish seemed magical to me). Before I got kicked out of Girl Scouts, I would examine her during meetings, hoping like hell some of her effortless ease would rub off on me. No such luck. I felt a strange nostalgia for things that had never happened to me (the Germans have a word for this feeling; that's what I love about the language -- there's a word for everything!) and could vividly imagine how I would conduct myself in a variety of situations that would never ever happen to me. That's probably why I started writing now that I think about it, to lead other lives.
The irony being that writing has not brought me any further from myself. In fact, I find that my strong suit is not in other magnificent worlds, but in my own demoralized self, a self that cannot be other than what it is. Of course, I change, everyone does, even we stubborn to death types. But none of us get a free pass from the past which shapes us and the decisions we have made or the ones we haven't. The girls of my youth have transformed into women now and upon an outward viewing of their lives, I am glad to say that I wouldn't trade places with them anymore. It's not that I like myself any better, but I realize that no matter what happens, I'm under my own sway, my history like chains, inexorable and haunting, but it's mine, and I can't help but love it sometimes.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"From one thing, learn ten thousand things." Musashi
Drinking song suggestion: "The Bargain Store" Dolly Parton
Benedictions and Maledictions