I wouldn't exactly call it writer's block but the pressures that have kept me from writing for the past few days include: impatience, unrealistic comparisons, sticking too closely to what I hoped this new piece of writing would be thus causing forced storytelling, and not being open enough to accept and document all the thoughts that are actually emerging around the memories.
Another certainty: remembering is nonlinear.
I had some idea a week ago that this unfolding story would be a memoir because it started at my birth. I could easily recount memorable anecdotes with mindful commentary, self aggrandizing, confessing all from birth to now. No such luck - I can't force this narrative through that tunnel - my thoughts won't follow a line, my memories evoke related memories and unless I stop, divert, and cover the branches of that rhizomatic trail, what I write would not only be predictable but something greater would be lost. Settling for a linear narrative limits uncertainty and does not allow a larger story to emerge.
And I know from making drawings that these moments of emergence from uncertainty are where mysteries reveal themselves. We don't want to miss those moments.
So I am on the winding path again, back to the day when I was three, standing in the street, back to back with my sister, my mother in the yard, a ball being kicked, and the tragedy that followed. The first non-linear branch is in the present. My parents visited me here in upstate NY a week or so ago, coincidentally just around the days that the puppy incident was published. We had a discussion of what details we could remember from each of our own points of view. My mother remembered it much the same way I did, especially how emotional the lady driving the car got. The discussion set off a kind of parallel vibration in my mind between emotions from the day it happened and the day we discussed it. I had the briefest of thoughts that somehow my consciousness was in touch with itself through that remembering. My fantasy is that memory is not just recalled facts and sensory information; but in fact when things happen we become entangled with them, we store that entangled state, and access those entangled particles through our brains to activate, communicate, and exchange feelings across time.
See what I'm saying about nonlinearity?
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