Structure

A dream revisited

A dream revisited

During a workshop at Vortext led by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, we used the tarot to explore questions in our individual writing projects. The cards are simply a tool to remind us of what we already know, she said.

This has been my own approach to working with the tarot. In the most literal sense, it has helped me recall memories I’d suppressed for years as I’ve continued my dive into not only what I hid but why I hid it.

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 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.