By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo
I wish I could eat an unimaginable dessert in a strange new land. I wish I could breathe twice as deeply as I do now. I wish I could go all the way, never look back, have nothing to lose, feel no guilt, leap across the chasm, praise mysterious heroes, dance in the street after midnight, and worship a wildly responsive female deity.
I the above was written by Rob Brezsny, of Freewill Astrology fame. I remember when I found this quote many years ago, back when I was more bound up in parental, societal, religious, and personal expectations than I am now. Shortly after that time I discovered the phrase Carte Blanche. That phrase resonated with me as I struggled to free myself from the web of conditioning that was a large part of my familial inheritance. I was ‘domesticated’ by that upbringing in the way that women in the 1950s were.
In our household it was as though the 1960s never happened. Once I was on my own the discongruency between my domesticated character and my inner true self caused me no end of grief. I was like a time-traveler, vaulted into a future for which I was essentially unprepared.
I have made peace with my history; today the dissonance of my past finds its way into my writing. Steven Canelli lives a life very different from mine, yet with many of the same self-defeating beliefs. He’s as much a prisoner of his ruinous upbringing as I was… but with less psychological understanding of his own motivations. While I started out as a sheep among wolves, he is successful and self-satisfied, until his compulsive habits and addictions destroy everything he holds dear.