My mom read me these lines the other night. I was telling her how I should get a library card in Providence, seeing that I am now a temporary resident. I wanted to pick up the book To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, because my current mentor suggested that Ms. Woolf was the best when it came to making the writer's/artist's life sound unromantic. (She said I needed more proof of the nitty gritty-- the hardship of discouragement, the lack of inspiration that plagues those aspiring to create). Thus upon this remark, that evening, my mother pulled out an anthology of personal essays written by such authors as Joan Didion, Charles Lamb, Virginia Woolf, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I sat and listened to her, as she curled up in her green couch with the book, with her native length hidden behind its paperback cover, hearing her purposeful recitation, as if she already knew it by heart these words: "Is the true self this which stands on the pavement in January, or that which bends over the balcony in June? Or is the true self neither this nor that, neither here nor there, but something so varied and wandering that it is only when we give rein to its wishes and let it take its way unimpeded that we are indeed ourselves?"
Here I sit, three glasses into a bottle a wine. I still hear her words as my fingers punch the keyboard, hammering at something I need to understand. Is it love that I am after? Success at some long-shaped skill? Or do I just want the restraints loosened enough to fill my lungs with the deepest breath I have ever taken? Nothing fullfills me more than the quiet and stillness of solitude, when I am no longer forced to consider myself in relationship to anything else. I look forward to those hours of truth, when the circles under my eyes are starting to form, when my skin smells like a well-worn out day, and I know I did everything in my power to stay honest to myself. Those are the most successful days. Those are the days I love myself most. And those are the days I can let out that much deserved sigh and rest my head, so that I can begin again the next day, seeking that sense of self all over again.