Re-visioning

On acknowledging resistance

On acknowledging resistance

During some downtime at Vortext, the writing salon I attended earlier this month, I jotted into a notepad, trying to put a tail on the thoughts I’d started to gather on the ferry ride to the retreat grounds that morning. To pin down the questions I wanted my book to ask and to illustrate why they mattered by sketching out its opening scene.

I had resisted writing those words. As I let the questions take shape, however, I realized that my resistance needed its own place on the page. That the struggle to frame the questions was an essential part of the story too.

On rewriting our legacies

On rewriting our legacies

A dream last month reminded me that the idea of legacy is at the heart of the story I started writing seven years ago — of my parents’ story and mine, and now that I have my daughter, of mine and hers. Until I find the truth that writing this story will allow me to tell, part of me fears that my legacy to her will be just as burdensome as the one I was given: the example of a marriage that begs so many questions without answers to any of the what-ifs and whys.

On re-visioning our truth

On re-visioning our truth

The biggest challenge for me in writing memoir is that my view of the past is constantly being rewritten by the present.

As soon as I think I know what an essay is really about, life has a way of introducing new circumstances that make me reconsider my perspective. The truth the story is meant to illuminate is suddenly no longer true. Not the who, what, where, and when — though those do sometimes prove inaccurate when memory and research are laid side by side. It’s the why that refuses to stay put, always wandering onto the page with an invisible asterisk attached. The implied footnotes are the conditions, the qualifications that allow this truth to remain, for now.