...i've written about my only aunt privately, never had anything about her published (to date)...but over the last year i've done a massive amount of writing about my childhood and my aunt keeps coming up...i've never quite known how to publicize that writing...i suppose i've been waiting for "the right moment" and have finally realized there is not a "right moment" for truth...it is what it is...
...joan didion's words: "We tell ourselves stories in order to live...We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the "ideas" with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience."
...and: "In many ways writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of sayinglisten to me, see it my way, change your mind. It's an aggressive, even hostile act. You can disguise its qualifiers and tentative subjunctives, with ellipses and evasions--with the whole manner of intimating rather than claiming, of alluding rather than stating--but there's no getting around the fact that setting words on paper is the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of the writer's sensibility on the reader's most private space."
...and my own:
Sheila is late, as usual. But this time—instead of delaying Christmas dinner, or the Easter egg hunt, or blowing out candles—we can’t postpone why we're here: to plan Grandma’s funeral. We’re meeting with the Director of the mortuary at 11am. It’s 11:05 and he’s standing in the lobby with Mom and me—that strange piped-in organ music coming from somewhere, the smell of formaldehyde filling my pores. A smell so familiar because of the visits Grandma and I took to Texas to bury her sisters one by one, then her eighty-six-year-old mother. A smell that makes me think she should be standing here, tapping her foot and smoking a cigarette and saying, “Let’s just start without Sheila."