Sunday, January 15, 2006

A room of one's own

Just before heading back to school I was listening to Cowboy Take Me Away a lot and rereading Anne LaBastille's Woodswoman and generally wanting to go live in the wilderness someplace and get up early and drink cold water and spend a lot of time not talking. That hasn't exactly come true, but I'm now moved into my sunny little hardwood-floored room in Bryn Mawr's vegan co-op. It looks over the woods and the creek, now dusted with snow.

When I was dating Simon, I felt like every anecdote from my past life involved Bridget in some way. Being around Ricky, it seemed that every story involved Simon. Before I left Richmond, I was telling some story to Simon and thinking, "Oh, but he was probably there for this" but then realized that it had happened before I knew him. It felt good to suddenly be reminded that I have a life as just Julia, not in the context of a relationship with someone else.

The night before I left I was searching in the attic for something and found a vagabond doll I had made when I was ten. I was very into vagabonds for some reason, particularly with the idea of carrying all one's belongings in sledges or packs. My doll was made of an old pair of white tights and had strapped to her back a pack containing a shirt, pants, a skirt to wear alone or over the pants in cold weather, a cooking pot made of masking tape, a waterproof ground cloth, and a tent. (I think originally she had a cardboard dog and a snare for catching rabbits as well. Unfortunately I forgot to give her a knife or way of making fire, so I hate to think how she would have dealt with any rabbits she caught.) I was delighted to see this miniature Anne LaBastille I had made up half a lifetime ago, a model of independence.

My goal for this semester is to learn how to live without anybody particularly important in my life, but to stay connected to people - alone but not lonely.

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