Memoir: Mapping the Gap between God and Mob


I’ve been dreaming for months now about being lost, unable to find my way home, wandering along highways—overpasses and underpasses that wind in and around urban areas—streets that make no geographical sense to me.  In these dreams, I’m disoriented, unable to understand direction, unable to make meaning from my surroundings, unable to map my place in the world.

a parallel place (watercolor painted more than 15 years ago)

I think these dreams offer insight into my struggle regarding memoir writing—suggest why I currently feel stuck in what should be the muck and mire, grit and grime of it—the detail that isn’t.

In fact, my childhood was largely a story of lostness,  of disconnect, of putting one foot in front of the other—picking it up—putting it down—picking it up again—but never getting anywhere—never going places—never arriving.

To remedy this, I’ve been reading lots of memoirs, trying to teach myself how best to write one and realizing repeatedly in that process that what I need most is memory.  Without it, I can’t write a book-length account of my past.  I simply can’t recall enough detail.

For me, the past lacks particulars—lacks shape and size.  Is the story wide or narrow?  Thick or thin?  Who made what happen on which day?  What were they wearing?  I don’t know how to untangle truth.  I don’t know how to identify detail that’s lost to me in a pit of vague and void—the blank between  Godfather–and God, the Father.

This may have something to do with the fact that I’ve spent much of my life in a dissociative fog—split off from myself and disconnected from the people around me.  I’ve experienced myself as largely un-time, un-space, un-all-the-particulars-I’ve-lived.  I’ve existed in some no-man’s-land of nothing, nowhere, nobody.

Perhaps, I learned this behavior when placed in an incubator at birth, separated from my identical twin, lost to her, alone.  No one touched me.  No one held me.  No one comforted or consoled me.  I was incubated from the world—walled off by glass—lifting and drifting from my missing me—my  mirror me.

This behavior continued throughout my childhood.  I sat on a couch in our living room, often not seeing or hearing the world around me, unaware of color, texture, sound—barely noticing the FBI agents knocking down the door.

Taking daddy away.

It’s mostly the “away” that I remember—lost in my mother’s incessant talk of Jesus saving people from their sins—her praying for my mafia father.

Someone would ask—“What were you thinking?

“Nothing.”

“Where did you go?”

“Nowhere.”

There was a blank, a gap, an empty space, not noticed, not known—an unlived space, a rupture that remains unremembered.

This, I suspect, is the problem I face when writing a memoir.  I face the gap, the black hole, the place where memory should be but isn’t, the vacant space/event horizon, empty and alone.

As such, I now don’t know how to deal with what was, what wasn’t.  Now the past grates and chafes at me—the chip and chew of its rough edges—unloved, unlived, un-everything that matters.

rough edge of knowing (color pencil)

How do I map this place I haven’t been?  How do I name my own coordinates—the intersection of God and mob, where only I exist?

Memory places a particular person in a specific past.

Memoir maps.

How do I map a past I largely haven’t lived?

How do I create a cartography of Kathy, when Kathy is—only—always—never—not?

How do I map this gap, the void between God and mob?

Note:  If you are new to my blog, you might like to know that I am writing a memoir and blogging about growing up in an organized crime family.  (The post you’ve just read is part of that series.)  For a list of my  memoir posts, click here.  If you are interested in reading any of my protected posts, please email me at kownroom@yahoo.com  or let me know in the comments below, and I will gladly share the password with you.

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99 thoughts on “Memoir: Mapping the Gap between God and Mob

  1. Nice writing. I’ve discovered the same gap in my past due to family disfunction. In my writing, I compare it to desperately doing the doggie-paddle, and being so busy doing it, that life just slipped…right…on….by. I think you’ll find that the more you write – the more starts coming back to you. We don’t need the details of your life as far as dates and times and who was where. Your impressions and your experiences are unique to you and still well worth sharing. I’m new to your blog, Kathryn, but enjoyed it a lot and will definitely be back for more. Thanks!

    • I can’t thank you enough for this comment. Growing up in a dyfunctional family is a very particular kind of struggle and writing about it, an equally unique challenge. I love the doggy-paddle image. I understand feeling stuck in the water, going nearly nowhere–and at an exceedingly slow rate–a child fighting an overwhelming current.

      I look forward to checking out your blog and thank you for your visit. Hope you have a lovely day!

      • Thank you, Kathryn. If you do check out my blog, please check the archives and read, “My Place in the Sand” about doing the doggie paddle. Or check out, “The Right Shoes and a Box of Bandaids” – I think you’ll appreciate it. Thanks again and take good care! xoxo

  2. This is the nut of your story, this fog and formlessness and the way you navigate through it. Your memoir will not be like any other out there. It will contain lots of speculation and invention of history instead of factual retelling of history. Gosh! I have this beautiful image of you pulling threads like gossamer out of the fog and weaving them into something new, something that is *more true* than the facts.

    • Sandy, thank you for this feedback. I so value your insight–not only into the kind of emotional space I occupy, but into the effort of writing about it, as well. I love the notion of writing something wholely new. If only I knew how. Perhaps, I just do–and the what will follow–the form–the focus–the narrative flow or lack thereof–something “more true.” Hope you have a great day, my friend. And thanks for offering your thoughts. I need and value them–a lot!

  3. This fascinated me. I think because it rang “true” with me. I have 7 siblings. They all seem to have “more” memories than I do. They often make fun of what I perceive to be a memory. And when they talk about people and events…I don’t know what they’re talking about.

    Could this truly go back to you being in an incubator? It makes complete sense to me that it would. Your first interactions with this world are a forced disconnect. That is very powerful.

    Your art work seems to speak as loudly as do your words.

    I hope you keep writing your memoir. It’s only factual to your memory, and your perception. And your loss of, or not having, memory is part of your story.

    • Good God–this notion of “focused disconnect” is powerly true, my friend. That is it exactly. I can’t thank you enough for that language–that way of describing it. I can’t quite believe how well you capture the experience. But then you know the experience of forgetting–forgetting as action–the doing of forgetting. (So sorry to hear your siblings make fun of you! That sucks.)

      I also thank you for reading my blog–for your ongoing, meaningful feedback! Hugs to you this Monday!

  4. Maybe you’re too worried about writing the parts of the story that you don’t have. Maybe you only learned some of those parts as an adult.

    Start by writing whatever it is you do remember. The parts you don’t remember will lurk around the edges like they probably did in real life. It will be okay.

    Just keep writing. You have all the time in the world to revise.

    And make sure you keep what you wrote above. :) Maybe that is really what your memoir is about.

    • I value your insight immensely, Christine–you have written a memoir. YOu have been here. Thank you. My problem at the moment is I don’t seem to remember anything elsse of interest–so I feel. Maybe I need to write about the boring stuff. I have diaries from my teenage years that record what I did every day, but it’s kind of uninteresting stuff–“I went to school. I came home.” etc. I will try and see what happens. Thanks again, my friend!

  5. The experience of forgetting. Now, I like THAT expression. No worries about the siblings. It’s part of what we do. I give as good as I get. ;)

    Hugs returned! Speaking of memories (ancient) we will be working on our own family tree and history this week. An ongoing project with my aunt and uncle.

    • Oh, wow, the family tree will be fun. I’d love to know how all of that goes. It’s great you have an aunt and uncle to help.

      Also, glad you like “the experience of forgetting.” I will work more on that. Take care, my friend!

  6. I can understand your struggle. Just write what you remember, the actual details are not important, it is how you feel about your experience that is what people will want to read.

    • Really? You think folks are more interested in feelings than facts. Great thought–and, God, I would love you to be right about that! I like thinking about the juxtaposition of feeling and fact. Thanks for that, my friend!

  7. I’ve said it before in some way, and I will say it again, I don’t think the exact details matter. So far everything you have told us of your story fills in enough details for me as a reader. I don’t believe the memoir writers who can remember everything, because nobody really has that clear a memory of their lives. That said, I’m not trying to dismiss or ignore your concerns. Perhaps you need to approach this memoir slightly differently, in the sense of interweaving the woman you are now with the fragments of where you come from. I don’t know if I am saying this right, but I guess I wonder why memoir has to be in the past. I mean, couldn’t your journey to write your memoir be the framework of your memoir?

    Anyway, I may not be making sense Kathy, but what I am trying to say is that your story as you have been telling it is powerful, and is only strengthened by your struggle. In my opinion, you are not lost, but you are finding yourself.

    Lisa

    • Holy Moly–that’s an interesting idea, Lisa. Use a frame that explores my experience of writing the memoir. That’s a really cool thought! WOW. I think you are very clear–and so damn brilliant, Lisa. How is it that you always have such great insight? I don’t know if it would work–but, gosh, it is a fabulous option to explore. Thanks, my friend! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Love it!

  8. Kathy,

    I have not read many other of your blogs about your memoir as of yet. Yet I think what you have here is “your story” what is your story? Who are you because of your hidden memories. Who have you become? or not become?
    I think what you have here is very true to you, can you jump off from there I don’t know. Do you want to write about the Mob or being a child within the space, a space where a mother was maybe over protective, as space where a father who may have been loving be, always being taken away.

    This is all off the top of my head. I don’t know anything about writing, even less about writing a memoir. I think you have received some wonderful suggestions above. and I know you will follow your heart.

    all best Jeff.

    • I really like the notion that this IS my story. Somehow the story is more than either of my parents; it’s my experience of them–my memory or lack of memory of them.

      I think you know more about writing than you think. Plus, you understand the creative process–hugely value–just as important as the product itself.

      Thanks for adding your thoughts, Jeff. I love your comments!

  9. I’m also struggling with memory, and I’m only trying to write a memoir about the last five years. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to write a memoir from childhood. I think maybe sometimes you just need to make up stuff to fill in the memory gaps :)

    • Gosh, I’m glad to hear you are writing a memoir! Thank God! Can’t wait to read it.

      I truly wonder about making up the details. I seriously consider that–and being open about that fact–that I have imagined the gaps. In some ways, isn’t that what creative nonfiction is about? I can’t tell you how much easier that would make this process! Do you think that’s truly okay? I would LOVE to try that and see what happens.

      Thanks for saying this, Heather! It helps make me brave enough to try!

      • I don’t see why it’s not okay, especially if you’re open about it. It’s your book, after all :)

        I’m in the very early stages of my own process, but I’ve put together a couple of chapters and started trying to string my blog posts together. We’ll see what happens. The other difficult thing (which I’m sure you can relate to) is that it’s very painful dredging everything up. But I’m trying my best. If I wait too long I’ll forget!

      • I know it’s painful–very painful. And I wonder to a degree is this interferes with my ability to remember–not consciously–but on some level.

        You are smart to work on this now–as I would certainly forget, if I were you. Good luck–and let me know how it’s going–if you are so inclined.

  10. What a great post, Kathy! I don’t think it matters that you can not put all the memories down on paper. I think that that is actually part of your story—the not being able to remember!!! My memory is horrible of my childhood years. I have bits and pieces here and there but not the vivid memories that my siblings have for some reason. And I had a very happy childhood so it isn’t that I am trying to “block” something, you know? Your story is moving and spectacular in and of itself and whatever pieces are included are going to be perfect just like they are. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to document every single little detail—-maybe they are not meant to be remembered!

    • I’m beginning to think this is part of the story, indeed. My struggle at the moment is that Ive done 25 posts on this, and I’m running out of things I remember. If I want to write a memoir that is primarily narrative, I may have to fictionalize bridging material–or I may need to experiment with form. Who knows.

      Thanks for your feedback, Beth Ann. It’s interesting to hear that you, too, have few memories. Hugs—-

      • It is weird—my sister has a very good and vivid memory. I always just think I have too much important stuff to remember so the rest of it gets booted out. I try to keep my mind active and learning because I think that that helps but I am not convinced I am doing it the right way! I have memories but I think not as many as I would like!

      • I bet you have just the right number of memories for you. I try to tell myself, that, as least. But, God, when trying to write a memoir, it gets in the way. Maintaining an active mind is essential. Sounds like you sure do that! Looking forward to tomorrow’s teapot!

  11. If I may offer an observation that you can take or leave in terms of a writing suggestion…. It seems to me that your memoir as you’ve described it is 3 stories that lay on top of each other. There is the historically documentable story of your father’s involvement with the mob. There is the observational story, highly biased by perspective, of your family dynamic. There is the very personal story, that no one can tell but you, of your own experience. Sometimes separating them out before trying to put them together makes the writing easier. Just a thought.

    • This is a fascinating observation. I completely agree that there is the stuff that can be documented. There is my personal experience. And then the second part, in my mind, involves details my family members remember and can share with me. Is that what you mean by that middle strand?

      This is helpful, actually. Thanks so much. I hadn’t thought of it in exactly these terms–at least not as clearly as you have articulated. I will experiment with that.

    • Glad you found it thought-provoking. I think what I was realizing when I wrote the sentence you refer to was how much memory is both individual and involved specific detail. I don’t know why that was such a revelation to me. Seems kind of obvious in some ways. Thanks so much for reading!

  12. Perhaps such fine detail of one’s life is not necessary to tell its story…in much of the same way a short story need not convey every detail to build a complete picture….oh just a random thought I had before finishing my coffee. :-)

    • Yes, maybe not as much detail is needed. But the thing about a short-story is that it’s not book length. I think of myself as writing something longer. I hope I still can. I suppose I need to think about just how much detail is actually required. Thanks for the feedback, Charlie.

  13. Your art is so beautiful Kathy! You are so artistic with painting, making things and writing. I am sure the memoir will come. Writing something like that takes a long time especially when it is painful at times.

    • Oh, Nicole, thank you. So glad you find me creative in a number of ways–and appreciate my art. You are right. It takes time. Maybe I need to be more patient. That might be a large part of my problem. Damn impatience! Go away–NOW! LOL

      • It will come! Sometimes I find that when I have no time I can write and when I spend time on it, I can’t. Strange, huh?
        On another note, have you read the book Mountains beyond Mountains on Paul Farmer and his work in Haiti? I’m reading it now and it is amazing! :)

      • Cool! It was a gift from the UN Foundation at my Shot@Life training. I am really enjoying it and it is so eye-opening about Haiti. Wow, I hope we can meet sometime as we would have so much to talk about!!!!

  14. It takes so much courage to write a memoir (or even attempt to write one). My hat is off to you.
    Have you given any thought to working on something completely different? I like this article written by Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat Pray Love fame). She talks about how gardening was able to bring her back to writing by revealing the things that were most important about writing.

    http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Elizabeth-Gilbert-on-the-Importance-of-Curiosity

    • Thanks for the link, Jackie. I will check it out. Getting away from the project might actually help. Hadn’t thought of that. And glad you think I have guts/courage. I need it! Hope you have a lovely week, my friend!

  15. Hi, Kathy, I want to say something helpful, but nothing will come now. So just pausing to say that I am sitting beside you, knowing that you WILL discover which words to write. And that part of the uniqueness of YOU is your very own particular blend of remembering/forgetting. Love…

    • Oh, Kathy, what a sweet comment. You are always so kind and supportive! The words will come, I’m sure. I suppose you are worn out by caring for Barry. Hope you both are doing well today, my friend. Hugs to you!

  16. James Frey didn’t know how to untangle the truth, either – so he didn’t bother trying and just made things up! Not that I recommend this approach for you, of course. We don’t need another pissed off Oprah Winfrey on our hands.

  17. Your writing is so powerful. As others have already mentioned, its your impressions, your experiences, and your voice that make the story, not the minute details of date and time (which I might find boring, to be honest).

  18. I think it’s good that you’re focusing on writing your memoir again, but you often seem to be so hard on yourself. Possibly you should just tell your story the way you remember it rather than having trust issues with yourself. Of course this is advice from someone who has no recollection of what she ate for lunch today …

  19. I’ve had this very same dilemma while working on a proposal for my memoir. Who has a photographic memory, anyway? Not me. But I remember feelings and certain incidents. I’ve been drawing on these to tell my story, these moments in time, then finding a way to string them together.

    • Cool, Monica. Didn’t know you were working on a memoir. When you say “finding a way to string them together,” what do you mean? I’d love to know more about your strategy, once you have gotten to a place where you can articulate it. Thanks for reading, my friend!

  20. There are so many awesome comments and suggestions here I dont think I can top any of them .. It is very easy to look back on the past and find its very hard to pinpoint certain events .. and how frustrating that is !
    On another subject , I love the artwork , especially the watercolor , it reminds me of Aboriginal paintings except with more color :)
    Keep writing !
    Xx Kel

  21. From time to time I’ve considered writing a memoir, but the thought of memory overwhelms me–so many feelings that it seems like an endless pit. What I most agree with from the comments here is that TIME will out, my friend. So much of what happened in my past remains behind a dark curtain, lost in the fog that my brain (all of our brains) use to protect us from what we can’t handle. In time, with continued writing, more will come to you. You will undoubtedly uncover more to write about, the more you write about it. Does that make sense? At 38, I am still recovering memories (except in my case–they aren’t all that welcome). The same will be true for you. Perhaps you are too focused on facts. Try setting a schedule to write only about memories. Free write. Jibberish, even. Eventually, your brain will release its prisoners, however reluctantly. Keep chugging along, dear heart. Like Dorothy in Oz, the power to tell your story is, and has always been, within you. Take a deep breath and open your arms wide in welcome.

    • Oh, dear Miranda, another comment that testifies to what I love about you. You are wise, my friend. I needed to hear this, sweetie. Thank you. Thank you, thank you. Now Sara and I both want to meet you, so hopefully it will happen one day soon. Hugs!!!!!!!

      • I would love to meet you both! I hope it to be soon also. I’ll have to meet you two before I rip out all my hair and you no longer recognize me! My kids REALLY need to get back to school…

  22. Beautiful post, Kathy. I still think that these gaps in memory are part of what makes your story so unique and interesting! Your writing is so strong, and your poetic explorations of the difficult process of compiling your memoirs are book-worthy in and of themselves. Maybe your definition of “memoir” needs to be broadened a bit to honor your own coordinates, as you say. I don’t think you’ve lived a standard-issue life at all, so how can you expect your writing about it to fit into a standard-issue genre? :)

    • Fascinating comment, Dana. I wonder, too, if I may need to write a different sort of memoir. Don’t know that I have the courage to do that. Well, I probably have the courage. It just scares me. Fear doesn’t necessarily preclude courage, I suppose. I appreciate your mentioning the strength of my writing, as well. I needed to hear that today, my friend. Thanks, dear Dana. Hugs to you——-

  23. I’m in the last stage of a final edit of my memoir about being dumped by my husband. In my case there were so many events I wanted to include to prove my case as it were. What I found was that it was all about telling a story about me. I like what Lisa Wields Words had to say—“Perhaps you need to approach this memoir slightly differently, in the sense of interweaving the woman you are now with the fragments of where you come from.”

    Maybe if you gather all the data you can about your family from public records, relatives, friends, like a journalist would and then write about each fact and how it affected you, or if you don’t remember anything at all, write that. The record states that this happened, but I have no memory about it, all I remember about that time was that I was flunking history, or I got mumps and my dad wasn’t there.

    • The need to write a different kind of memoir is very real one, perhaps. Lisa has a lot of wisdom. I appreciate your thought about the public records, as well. I need to apply to get a copy of my father’s FBI file. I just haven’t done it yet. It seems like such an involved process, I’ve procrastinated–not good.

      Fascinating to hear that you are finishing a memoir, as well. I’d love to know more about what that process has been like for you. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Great to hear from you today!

  24. This post is so beautifulyl vulnerable and poetic. Thank you.

    I hear you. Through the drama of my youth, I am finding I couldn’t remember a lot of what happened and though I can only speak from my experience, I find diving into my subconscious via hypnotherapy and allowing myself the dignity of my own process and story as I release who I feel might judge my truth is so very important.

    Again, thank you for sharing yourself and I really love that painting at the top.

    You are awesome,
    Currie

    • Oh, thank you, Currie. I’m so pleased this post spoke to you. I, too, have done a good deal of hypnotherapy. It was very, very helpful. So tickled you like the painting, as well. You are a sweetie! Hugs to you———–

  25. I think this post is exactly what you should write about. It’s MORE interesting to me that you’ve forgotten so much yet you remember more than enough to explain what your experiences were like. I think it may be an interesting twist on the memoir. Plus, you made me connect with you in a new and deeper way.

    • Oh, Nora, thank you. So glad you think it’s more interesting this way. Several people have said this. I’m beginning to believe it. Plus, I’m delighted it helps you feel more connected. That bodes well for honesty, doesn’t it? Maybe that’s what matters most in a memoir. Raw honesty. I appreciate your feedback! I’m lovin’ you kitty photos!

  26. Well, I may be late getting to this post Kathy, but wow, you have written this so well. I love the way you lay bare your vulnerability….writing a memoir when memory fails you must be so very, very difficult.
    And that 15 year old watercolour is beautiful.

    • Oh, you’re not late, Mun–just posted Monday. But I’m happy to hear from you, even if it had been “late.” So happy to hear this post spoke to you. Writing a memoir while struggling with memory is, indeed, a challenge. Thanks for reading, my friend. Hugs—–

  27. I am playing a bit of catch up (again) so I’m just now getting to this, but in reading this post, and all the wonderful comments, a few thoughts occurred to me.

    I agree that a lot of detail, be they details of events or specifics of conversations, is not necessary to have a piece that is interesting to the reader. What makes your story so fascinating to me is how you approach the memories you do have. And your honesty in recounting what you do (or don’t) remember.

    Have you thought about using your art to explore some of those memories? Your art is so powerful … and I think one of the reasons it is powerful is that it comes from the same place that your writing does. Have you ever thought about incorporating your art into the writing process? When you get stuck and struggle to find memories of specific events perhaps you could switch to creating a small picture (or painting, collage, etc) of how you feel about those events. It may help break loose what you want to say.

    Fear and courage are not mutualy exclusive but are forever tied together. True courage is really just pushing forward in spite of the fear. And Kathy, you are truly courageous. *hugs*

    • Oh, thank you, D! I am so excited you mention my art. That may actually be a great addition to my memoir. I thought of that a long time ago, but more recently have kind of forgotten about it. The writing may in fact communicate part of story that language could not. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate this comment. Hugs to you, as well!

  28. This is wonderful writing. I love memoir as a reader, and look forward to yours. From only this, and what you say about the gaps in memory, I could see it pull together almost like a series of linked essays (I’m thinking of how Maxine Hong Kingston handled fact and family legend, dream, supposition and rumor in The Woman Warrior).
    I’m also most interested in your mention of the incubator, no one to touch or hold you…my youngest daughter was isolated from being touched and held for other health reasons when she was born. She would often pulled away from being hugged, touched or held throughout her childhood; she has also been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. I have often wondered if there was a relationship there.
    Thanks for a very enjoyable read!

    • It’s interesting to hear your daughter was also in an icubator and later developed bipolar disorder. I wonder if there has ever been a study done on this connection between infant isolation and adult mood disorders.

      So happy to hear you enjoyed this post and appreciated the writing. I always love to know when my writing works–and when it doesn’t, as well.

      Finally, I need to read Woman Warrior. I have read other Kingston books, but not that one. Thanks for mentioning this. I even think I may have a copy.

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again sometime soon———

  29. When I read books – fiction, memoirs, or whatever – I think that the pictures that form in my mind are largely my own interpretation of the words I’m reading. So knowing that, I wonder if some of the detail you’re striving to recall might not be as necessary as you believe it to be. What someone was wearing during a particular event? It doesn’t matter. If you have to describe clothing, describe something you remember that person wearing; something that might have been worn at that time. If you don’t put that person in the exact outfit they actually wore on that particular day and time, so what? Wasn’t it you who wrote recently about taking a little creative license with some of the smaller details? I think you could do that and still tell your story. You seem to remember specific events and how they made you feel. Fill in the gaps creatively.

    Just my two cents! :-)

    • This is great advice, Terri, and something several other folks have suggested, as well. I’ve thought about going back to our family photos and putting people in the clothes they actually did wear but on a different day the same year. We have a TON of family photos which I think will be helpful in that regard. Hope you’ve had a great weekend, my friend!

  30. Dear Kathi,

    Although I’m sure that our backgrounds are not alike, I share your dreams. I have recurring dreams about travelling and trying to get somewhere and something or things getting in the way. For me, they often have to do with one of my kids or my parents, and often has to do with losing a kid. If the dream is in a car, I’m in the backseat and not able to drive or steer or control the car. So, thank you for your post. It was so meaningful to me. (And I was in an incubator too after I was born)

    • Thanks so much for sharing all the things we have in common–that we even seem to have the same recurrent nightmare. I appreciate your reading and taking the time to leave a comment. As soon as this FP craziness slows down I will check out your blog. Great “meeting” you today!

  31. oh my, I don’t have a blog! but i have started reading yours which i discovered from reading Lame Adventures. and i don’t know how i found her blog! but i’m really enjoying reading both of your blogs. lots of dysfunction in my past with my original family, and then my family that I have made with my ex-husband, 4 children, and 2nd husband and his two kids. so much dysfunction, so few memories! haha

    • LA’s pretty damn funny, isn’t she? I thought you had a blog, as it shows in the comment info that you have one, but I bet that is only part of your registration in order to comment. Sorry to hear you come from a dysfuntional family, as well. But then again, that makes us who we are!

    • Um, you know I’m having a little trouble with complex thought, but maybe that’s why these impressions come to me now regarding this post.

      Memory, for me, isn’t linear; rather, it is the relationships between/among the memories.

      Memory is also not just verbal, it is highly visual, is it not? (It is for me–I get LOTS of pictures in my head!) So your art is definitely part of the language of memory.

      • I love this notion of memory not being linear. I remember a image from the opening of Margaret Atwood’s novel Cat’s Eye. She talks about memory being like a series of liquid transparencies laid on top of one another. And, yes, it is very visual! Thanks so much for this comment. It’s great to hear from you!

      • PS. I forgot to tell you that I LOVE Atwood, and The Handmaid’s Tale is one amazing cautionary tale!

        It’s very nice to be back here, Kathy! Let us hope my visits continue!

        Your art is made up of layer upon layer…. can’t wait to see how you work it into the memoir, which I can’t wait to read!

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