Excerpts from the journal my 19 year old self kept in her junior year abroad:
February 18, 1979
This morning’s dream – a member of Star Trek Enterprise landing party on an odd planet with huge, congested cities and no adults. Riding huge turtles we have to get to Jeelung on the other side of the planet, but the Enterprise is attacked because nobody here trusts that “thing in the sky” and I feel: 1) Geez, these folks are backwards, 2) Don’t blame ‘em – look at the mess progress has led us into. Had a party at Mark’s house last night. Brought Marcia and Mary – got wasted – I remember coming home to a quiet apartment – my eyes couldn’t function well enough to read, the tape deck would be rude – Oh no – you mean I’ll be alone with my THOUGHTS??? God forbid! So I dragged the deck over on my bed and focused all my concentration on Joan Baez at low volume and crashed. Shouldn’t I travel before hitting home? To explain kinda how I’m thinking about home – I jotted this down two days ago:
I’ll sit down to dinner; The Celebrated Traveler.
“You are so lucky”, they’ll all insist.
“Wish I could have been in your shoes”
“What did you learn there?”
“Who are you? How have you changed your views?”
How will they see me, what will I find there? Will my home have changed? Classmates who’ve returned to their homes in Colorado or the Bay Area say it’s still the same. And THAT’s what will blow your mind. So easy. So dull. All the colors of your perception will have changed. But shades of gray is all you’ll find…If I polish that up, it might make a good poem or song. Damn – every time I write in my journal twenty more important things to do pop into my mind. So I’ll go do some now.
February 24, 1979 Saturday afternoon
Sweet dreams will fly away – Where. Now. Is.
Anger, then helplessness.
Ramming, retreating, remembering
Pushing, falling, losing, shaking hands with trembling fingers.
Doing the wrong thing in whose eyes?
Where is the right path of righteousness?
Interwoven dreams wearing
re-washed faded shredded fabric
needles of masochistic ambition zigzagging towards patches of light
pain left for less inspirational fringes
frayed fond useless cast-offs
new apartments and a new life
built on those clothes we are no longer wearing
favorites with nothing but holes left
I was 14 years old when I wore that nightgown
now faded flannel polishing cloth
used to wax the car, rendering it clean and gleaming
Ready for my return