At each year’s beginning I always have the inclination to look back over my shoulder at some place I’ve been, where I’ve come from. Artist Erin Lee Gafill wrote a piece she posted on Facebook in which she looks back at a first place she and her husband lived when they were young. I’ll paste the link below. It’s a really good read that I think you’ll enjoy.
Erin’s writing took me back to a first place, Milford, CA, where I lived just after leaving home when I was 17—it’s pictured here. A converted chicken coop on highway #395, 22 miles from Susanville, California, it had no heat, just that which came from my waterbed. There was snow outside for much of the time I lived there during the winter of 1976. No kitchen or bath either. For those I used the big house.
What I remember most about that time was my chosen aloneness and a determination, a seeking, that lit like a flame, helping me to overcome difficult anxiety. I remember how much writing was a part of that time, how it anchored me, how putting words on the page got me through.
And you, where’ve you come from? Recall a place of long ago (or not so long ago!) when you were just setting out on your own? How does that time inform who you are now?