This topic, appearing right on time. This topic, appearing right in line. On time with what I’m doing, in line with life. Sometimes things do seem to shimmy into place.
I began reading my memoir into a microphone on Monday. It’s audiobook recording time.
I’ve lived with the words for years now. The story has been evolving since my first breath. The feeling of my family has been wrapped around my heart, and hanging over my body and soul since I came into the world. Trying to wrap words around THAT and IT hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve done a version of it, and now those words have been put to bed and will soon be sent out into the world, bound with thread and glue and protected by end papers and hard covers. And it will also be told in my actual voice, for all the world to hear.
Some things can be written down easier than they can be said.
I’ve only choked up a few times during the process, but my pulse has quickened over and over as I’ve read my own words — at times harrowing, hard, even bitter, then going soft, compassionate, childlike, and ultimately forgiving. It’s one thing to put words like “cause of death” on paper. It’s another thing entirely to say them out loud, especially when the deaths to which you’re referring are those of your parents. It’s one thing to describe in detail what was heard through walls or the fear that was felt on a cold morning in January as a 13-year-old with words that appear on a screen. It’s another thing entirely to immerse oneself in the experiences again in order to effectively imbue what is being read with the appropriate emotion. But not too much emotion. It’s a dance. A balance of reportage and humanity that one can only achieve by being able to get up close and be distant all at the same time.
I think I’ve been doing that my entire life. Dancing dancing on the head of a pin with the other angels who got left in the cold. Dancing dancing because they don’t know they can stop… those lines stick in my head, I read them yesterday.
I finished my reading today. Another piece of this revealing ready to go. I suppose this part is storytelling in its truest form. At times, I wanted to whisper the words I was reading. I have a habit of whispering when I’m saying something that isn’t necessarily pleasant. At times, I felt disconnected and wondered who in the hell wrote the words at which I stared. At times, I felt all too familiar with them, and felt my face drop in sadness as I went through all of the details once again.
This story I’ve told so many times, in so many ways, has come to an end. I am making the final punctuation marks now and that feels so good, so right, so needed. There are terms to a thing, and I’ve said all I have to say on the matter and matters of my family as it was. A book written, a record made, and ultimately, a life lived with what at times seemed like a singular purpose — to set things straight. I can’t do it any better than I’ve done it. The story is told.
Now I get to tell the new ones. And I couldn’t be happier.
Peace and Love,