Saturday, October 30, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
I’ve been driving around in the unseasonably warm fall weather we’re having here in Minneapolis, listening to “Every Grain of Sand” (well, listening to Dylan's “Biograph Disc 2”) and my thoughts are filled with some combination of longing and memories…sort of a nostalgic pondering.
There’s always been something about fall that makes me nostalgic. The yellows and oranges remind me of old photographs…as if the entire world actually appeared in muted, yellowish tones once. It’s not even all nostalgia for my own memories, I suppose, I’m more imagining the past in all of its convenient simplicity. What was the same, what was different?
But some of my own memories are in there; I have grainy images in my mind of a tractor that used to sit in our yard when I was young – it sat on what is now the boundary between my mom’s yard and ours. I don’t remember it ever running, so I suppose at some point someone hauled it away. I used to play on it when I was maybe 3 or 4. It shouldn’t mean anything to me, but I think that it represents a time when my dad was still here. Here, in this space, in our house. When he had actual belongings marking his territory.
But lately, I’ve been pondering my childhood more than usual I suppose thanks to reading Meredith Hall’s memoir “Without a Map”. I read it because it came recommended by one of my favorite mama-writers Catherine Newman, but I was startled at the parallels I felt between Hall's life and mine. Ok, not the actual events in her life: I didn’t grow up in the 60’s, get pregnant as a teenager, or give a baby up for adoption, but…
The emotions she experienced – the isolation, detachment, loneliness and confusion – were surprisingly familiar. I suppose it’s possible that no matter what form parental neglect or rejection or even just carelessness takes, it creates a kind of universal scar in children.
So yeah, if you think you might be recovering from abandonment issues or have a complex relationship with your parents, this might be the book for you. (I’m starting a side business writing quotes for book jackets.) Actually, I’d recommend it to anyone who appreciates a well-written memoir. Along the lines of “Lit” or even “The Glass Castle,” only with less alcoholism and mental illness.
And now I realize that I sound like a member of a book club for traumatic childhood memoirs. Now there's a club I'd join...