Sunday, September 22, 2019

Memory Quest: Episode 1

Because I thought to write, everything else is tugging at my attention. The furnace filter, my bladder, discussion of my son's boyfriend's musical taste, shopping at Walmart.

I've heard it said that a memory revisited is a memory forever altered. Which seems to imply the memoir has power to change the past. If only it could. Perhaps the memory means each step we take forward is a step into truth.

I'm melodramatic, if not histrionic. I reread my written snippets and become overwhelmed by the weight of my word choices. This is how I am perceived. I would apologize, perhaps if that's what you're asking for.

My therapist urges me to take back the narrative. It offers me empowerment, she says. To thine own self be true.

These are words. I've written. The outside presses in. At some point I'll be back.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Not a beginning, again.


I'm all blundered up.

Teetering toward the totter. Mistaken. Muddled in midlife. The girl I was at 17. The boy I was at 5. All the persons I've been before, between, and everyone I'll ever become. Mixed up in the mess of human potential that I think may have been determined before my parents ever had sex to try and make a baby.

This isn't a start (at least that's what I'm telling myself in order to write). It's like picking up a book you've read halfway, turning to the dog-eared page, and trying to remember where the plot was headed when you last left off. I won't tell you how many unpublished drafts happened between then and now. Writing is more challenging for me than before for myriad reasons. The weightiest of those is starting and then committing to the fall all the way to the bottom of the cliff without reaching for a branch to catch myself and climb back to the safety of the ledge. Friends, family, therapists, anyone who matters, all say jump. And here I am—a sucker for peer pressure.

I'm writing.

My biggest fear is reproach, which didn't become a problem for my writing until four years ago when suddenly, because of my husband's stroke, my readership spiked and I felt trapped beneath a magnifying glass of expectation. That was rough, and I don't think I'm over it.

But I should clarify. I'm as human as they come. I'm not hoisting myself as any sort of paradigm. Every time I sit to try and put words on a screen/paper it's an attempt to work through the puzzle of my own human nature and a negotiation of surrounding conditions. There is nothing here to judge, although, I suppose criticism is an unavoidable variable in putting naked work in the open. And I shouldn't fear it. Criticism's been status quo for forty-four years.

I'd be an idiot if I didn't admit this attempt is a cry for help. I'm begging for charity simply because I'm trying to be brave in a life that I know no one else can possibly live, and the only option is moving forward.