misssylviadrake (misssylviadrake) wrote,


Dear Diary,

This was once meant as a diary. I want to record what I did not on my new Sylvia blog: what I now understand to be my reaction to the trip, what it meant. There I told of how I got myself to NYC and went through all the experiences I had planned and a couple more, and got myself home; and how this occurred after a previous overfull 5 days. So:

I taught myself I can do it or such things are doable. At the close, though, I grew tired of seeing so many faces about me. I did have a very bad thing happen which I can't speak of -- partly I'm not sure altogether precisely what happened. It taught me something too -- long periods where I can't find edible food or food I can bring myself to eat are dangerous for me. What to do about the food situation when traveling I know not.

So I can do all the things others do -- and without Jim -- though I can't get beyond some of the problems of travel. The question is, Do I want to? What really happens is just as in Cassandra's words when Jane Austen died: I don't enjoy most of what's called life without him. I don't understand it very well; I don't know why what's expected is expected, and I know I don't like a lot of social experiences others seem to. On the level of cultural activities (so to speak) I will take myself to Wolf Trap tomorrow to attend one of the Garrison Keillor kind of shows. Jim would probably not have bought for it; he would have bought for the operas at the small opera house; as I used still to fall asleep on them as they were without subtitles, often esoteric, there's no use my going. I am going to show myself I can find it by myself and I may enjoy it some; it's not far from home; I won't have that stress. But I'd have had more fun and comfort at the opera house with Jim.

It's that I don't know what to do with existence without Jim, how to have any good feeling about it. I understood life when I was by his side. At the close of my acknowledgements page of my Trollope on the Net I write: "as to my husband, Jim, there is nothing that I do not owe to him: che faro senza il mio ben? When did I foresee this? sometime in the 1980s. It was not long after that I began to translate Vittoria Colonna, another bereft widow.

My bedside now

Tags: diary, travel writing, widowhood

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