Have I written my memoirs?
I teach how to write your memoirs. I edit other peoples work. But I have not, as yet, paid attention to writing my own memoirs. Shocking and shameful admission, isn’t it?
I am thinking about writing my memoirs. Again. But, no, seriously this time I’m going to do it. I am 46 ½ years old, not really old but, well, things go downhill from here, don’t they? You never know how much time you have.
Why do I have such a sense of urgency to be heard? To be known? Really, I don’t want people to know the things I have done – my shames, my mistakes. But yet somehow it seems important to show others that we are all alike – we do shameful things, we are secretive people at our basest, aren’t we?
So, can I hide myself in fiction instead? Write my stories through a character – my invention of myself? I don’t even recognize myself now – a totally (no, not totally) different woman than I was my first 10 years, my first 20 years, and certainly from the woman I was in my 30’s. All different people – all me. Maybe that is what we all are – a conglomeration of different people making up one self?
Am I any closer at age 46 to discovering my true self? Is there even such a thing as a true self? If son, how does one go about finding her?
Certainly I am closer now to ever before to feeling whole in my own skin. But hose other selves – those previous shadowy ghostlike selves – are still in me, still a part of what makes me “me”.
And I ask myself if this new self can bring glory to God with all those shadows crowding around? How can I hollow out a place for the present “me” when these ghosts insist on being heard?
Tristine Rainer says in “The New Autobiography”, “It is by writing specific scenes with visceral detail and dialog that one discovers wonder within moment-to-moment ordinary life (Rainer 234). So, the only answer I can think of is to give the shadows a voice, make them a presence through which they can speak and maybe, finally rest.
Get your hands on a copy of Tristine’s book and join me on my journey. Join the online group and let us write our memoirs in the company of other brave travelers!
Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lifetales/ to sign on to this FREE Memoir Writing Workshop!