Gaze Back

As you gaze back on your childhood, did you live through a disaster? Some of our families (siblings, parents, cousins?) might have been? Any outstanding unkindness? Did a relative or friend die? A neighbor end up in jail? I can answer “YES” to all of these probing questions. What might be some other “unusual” questions you might use to ask the self? Surely, if we dig deep enough, scratch away at those scabs, we can find these Mariana trenches.

Fiddle-faddle & Gibberish

“If you understand hallucination and illusion, you don’t blindly follow any leader. You must know if the person is sane or insane, over the abyss.”    —Marguerite Young

Literature that blows your mind. I remember reading Young’s “Miss Marguerite, My Darling” and thinking, I have no clue what is going on! And somehow, because the language was so rich, and characters so odd, I kept at it. Virginia Woolf’s “The Waves,” I devoured on a coast-to-coast redeye, the sole person who couldn’t sleep, due to fascinating enraptured lines. More recently, Sabrina Orah Mark’s “Wild Babies,” also drove me off-kilter. What did these, or any influential tome, all have in common?

A lack of plot or narrative.

A blending or hybridization of genres.

Risk, both in language, line, topic, even word choices.

Both an infinite and auto-fiction scope.

And flawed characters who lie, mis-communicate, using non-sequiturs, mixed metaphors. Fragments.

Do you remember your last lie? Your first? A lie you were told? Any lie? Write it down. Write a list. Do you remember who you told it to? Was it yourself? Was it your bff? Partner? Spouse? Child? What was the worst thing about lying? What was the best?