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In the end, my pursuit of the elusive New York State driver’s license became about much more than a divorced woman’s learning to drive for the first time.

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I loved the atmosphere of the dance studios – the wooden floors, the big mirrors, everyone dressed in pink or black tights, the musicians accompanying us – and the feeling of ritual the classes had.

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And I really wanted a driver’s license. I was 43, had my learner’s permit and had failed the test once already – but that was in Riverhead, on Long Island.

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Solitude stands by the window<br>She turns her head as I walk in the room<br>I can see by her eyes she’s been waiting<br>Standing in the slant of the late afternoon

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Of course, sometimes when you write personally, you are also writing about society, obliquely reflecting topical issues, but not in a way that people would expect you to or in the way that someone trying to make a point would.

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I had some fears as a kid, but I was also relatively fearless. Maybe that’s a result of living half the time in reality and the other half in fantasy.

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My mother wanted me to understand that as a woman I could do pretty much whatever I wanted to, that I didn’t have to use sex or sexuality to define myself.

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When I was pregnant, I felt filled with life, and I felt really happy. I ate well, and I slept well. I felt much more useful than I’d ever felt before.

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The first song I wrote was the first song I remember thinking, &quot;Well, maybe I can do something here.&quot; The very first one. By the second one I knew I could do something.

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Writing in other voices is almost Japanese in the sense that theres a certain formality there which allows me to sidestep the embarrassment of directly expressing to complete strangers the most intimate details of my life.