I've written books before - chronological stories that unpack each lived moment. I've written positional stories that explain why I've arrived at certain conclusions - some controversial. I've fictionalized my own memories of earlier years. These are the easiest, just take a basic memory and fill in the missing gaps with whatever one wants. I've written historical fiction where I've indulged in my imagination and superimposed my idea of what happened to characters two generations ago. (Lack of confidence never allowed me to leave this one on the shelves.) And as a journalist/social researcher, I've spent a great deal of time writing about others and their stories.
But this current assignment has left me baffled. How does one go about providing a retrospective analysis of ones own life, and explain how one arrived at certain conclusions by describing an inner journey of thought and reactions? At least that's what I think the assignment is....
And how does one even begin to define what the controversial word, "forgiveness" means to the broader society - keeping in mind that it often means something quite different in the victim world from which I gained my identity as a mother of a murdered child?
But I do have to admit - whether this piece of writing ever sees the light of day or not - this process of embarking on a retrospective analysis of my own life is fascinating.
I am reading the books again that I read before Candace disappeared - at least the ones that I remember - and the ones that I know impacted me.
Sometimes they feel like new books that I've never read before. But then there are passages that just jump off the page and I know - and I remember when and how I read them - and I am caught in a time warp of some kind that takes me right back to that former place with breath-taking force.
I am amazed.
I am amazed at what I read - how I applied it - and how it lined up with my actions later.
It is almost as if I am going into a stranger's mind and heart - someone - and then just before I give that person a description, I remember it is my own life that I am learning about.
I always thought I was rather a simple person - direct and transparent.
Now I realize that there is nothing simple about living this human experience.
I am suspended in the moment. Flickering images faded with age, frozen thoughts hovering precariously in dead space, a whirlwind of memories that slice through my soul. ― Tahereh Mafi,