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ROLLING WITH JAMES JOYCE ON AN IRISH HILL

bookish girls

ODE TO THE BOOKISH GIRLS

The unaffected life

unaffected life Mathilde Frachon by David Bellemére marie claire italia

“…to live an unaffected life, unaffected by your inner worrier,” Madeliene Rose.

“How nice it is,” she said, “not to be young! How nice not to mind what people think! Now one can live as one likes,” she added, “. . . now that one’s seventy.” Kitty, The Years.

I might have mentioned to you already darling, in some other stories, how I tend to move in leaps and bounds. I can go from dining al fresco with Proust one day to dealing with the villagers on another day. Some people may call this obsessive daydreaming, others would even dare to say it is madness but I like to think it is one useful skill.

As I was saying, I tend to move in leaps and bounds, subsisting in one time or another. I have seen myself younger but mostly, I see myself as an old woman with the stains of relative time on my face. I like older me, she is still at it, having tea with James and eating Baker’s gingerbread beasts but more so than that, she is even more unaffected by the voice inside her head.

You know the voice darling, the one that is insecure, adhering to whatever others say; that worried, scared and persistent little voice. Well, future me pooh pooh-s it more than Tess of the D’Urbervilles pooh, pooh-s the one thing after another that happens in her tragic life.

I don’t want to wait till old age, as Virginia Woolf’s Kitty does, to be unaffected by that voice.

You see, this is why I love the seventy year old future me darling because she does not take notice of that insecure inner voice. Nevertheless, I don’t want to wait till old age, as Virginia Woolf’s Kitty does, to be unaffected by that voice. I want to live like I am seventy years old every day, pooh pooh-ing fear and worry, and living with the weird and the wonderful

…and I hope you too will join me.

 Story credits: Image via Marie Claire Italia.

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