Unless artists can remember what it was to be a little girl, they are only half complete as artist and women. – T.M.
A few years back, I translated my little Holly Hobby Diary (Jan-Dec 1977) from Swedish to English for my brother as a birthday treat. It was also an exercise for me to look back and at myself (my terrified, pubescent self) objectively and with a hint of forgiveness. It is a hilarious read.
The pages show an innocence and longing that borders on a personality disorder, I swear. They record an epic year in a young life. It starts in Sweden and ends in Canada. Throughout the pages one can gleam signs of development, torment, birth, death, family and health issues, anxiety, longing, leaving, movement, goodbyes, dreams fulfilled and lost, friendship, romance, love… And ballet, ballet, ballet. But there is a strange detachment on the part of my adolescent self- an innocence that shocks me now. Perhaps the self-indulgent tunnel vision and inappropriate affectation I exhibited in those pages protected me from the growing pains of change.
There is a need to revisit the past. To re-look. To analyze. Who was I then? And why did I not know that all would eventually be OK? Why was I so naïve, berating myself with bitter self-judgments and debilitating existential anxiety? But truly, I was just developing. I can forgive this young diary writer. I can. And I thank her for her recordings. It is cathartic to revisit the past from the safe house of adulthood.
The color of my 1977- PINK- Halfway between the white innocence of a child and the red worldliness of a woman. No… not halfway quite yet. Revision: the color of my 1977- PALE PINK. Quite pale.