Saturday, June 24, 2006


I love Madeleine L'Engle's name. I love how monks rename themselves for their new lives, and how at baptism you take on the name "Christian."

Just now I sat in front of my computer screen for thirty minutes trying to come up with a name for myself on yahoo chat. I can't think of a single thing that is unique enough to create a name about. Years ago, I was sh_veggie. But I can't define myself tonight. Except by Roxie, and that seems sad. Or knitting, and that seems sadder. Roxie ate my favorite shoes while I was gone, apparently. Now they're gone. Everything is gone except for her. Sometimes the only way I can define my future is through her. Her energy gives me hope. She gets me out of bed. She defines me and my life.

(I suppose I defined Roxie though. Natural ears and tail because I didn't crop or dock them. Purple collar. Attitude that I chose not to crush into scared submission. "Roxanne" because she's red and the first time I met her my friend and I sang "Roxanne" to her. How would she be different if I'd named her something plainer like "Girl" or more foofie like "Queenie"?)

But if I could brand myself, how would I do it? I couldn't just now, so I gave up chatting for the evening. I just really can't figure out how to define who I am. I want to be ordinary, but I don't feel like I'm that either.

Maybe I'm not really brandable. I wonder could brand me. I'm not really a "Tech" girl. I'm not a "vegetarian." I'm not someone's mother or someone's girlfriend. I feel like I'm everyone's daughter and sister. These are good things, I know.

It seems stupid to brand myself as an "animal lover." People laugh at that. But maybe I'm that person, too: I like to make people laugh. Why can't I define myself? I've never wanted to be a person who couldn't define who they were and what they believed and who they wanted to be. But tonight, and a lot lately, I feel a little adrift. It's just too overwhelming, all this figuring out who I am and what I'm going to be. And it's overwhelming watching everyone else define themselves. Why is life coming together around me and mine still stretches on before me like a forest full of trees, so that I can't see any path at all?

At the funeral, Mimi was named "Queen Mother."

How can I be named?

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