Winter Solstice

These last few darkest, longest nights of winter have been stunning.  The snow seems to be illuminating the slice of moon hanging in the sky and the stars appear to be dropping to earth, their flashing glow is so bright. I’ve seen more than one meteor rip across the horizon – making my heart leap.  Thank you Tetley the dog, for forcing me off my corner of the couch into the darkness so I get to see the show.  My inclination is to hibernate rather than experience this glorious dimension of winter.

Somewhere, tucked into a corner of the garage are snowshoes and cross country skis I have picked up from tag sales or thrift shops over the years thinking that if I did something fun in the snow, I’d like it more.  Perhaps this year I’ll test that theory. But I savour the extra in-door time winter allows for — no garden work to do so I can read inside by the fire, or (even more decadently) in bed.  I’ve been reading Mary Karr’s Lit – a brave and vivid memoir.  A harrowing story of her alcohol abuse, but she manages to be funny and so likable. I find myself rereading some sentences multiple times, admiring and envious of their beauty.

I have been reading memoirs pretty compulsively. What is this compulsion we have to share our lives, or look into other’s? To find some kind of recognition, shared experiences, insights into the human condition? I’m also, just curious. I like to see the world through another’s eyes, sense the workings of their heart.  Fiction of course does this too – often more artfully – but there is something about a well done memoir that I love.  I first wrote my story as a novel – it felt safer to do so.  A dear friend from the bookstore read it and suggested that it would be more powerful in my own voice.  I took her suggestion and in doing so, feel like I found my voice.  It was frightening at first but ultimately, cathartic to just tell my story.  It continues!

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