Writing Process: Not Knowing Myself

This blog has been effective at turning over the rocks from my childhood, dreams and half-realized works. The Young Chronicles in particular has been telling as it reveals my lack of identity; I distinctly remember having clarity when I was eight years old and then none on my hitchhiking trip eleven years later.

Pretending to be confident and cool somewhere in Saskatchewan

I was always on edge, unsure of where I was, scared to camp alone, scared on the side of the road, scared of riding in stranger’s cars. I wanted to be somewhere else and, when I got there, somewhere else again.

I found vague clarity a few years later in between tree-planting seasons, camping with my cat Popo in the Gulf Islands, reading dawn to dusk, but still scared of sounds in the night and the dark waters, of being alone, but nevertheless running away from others.

My little log cabin on Ahmic Lake. Scared even there.

That’s as close to a sense of self as I have ever come.

Anori Outtake: Watching Adults

“I read about you in the newspaper.”

“My life’s a scandal.”

“My mother cried when she saw that story. I remember looking at the picture of your house. It was dark behind the trees. I didn’t understand.”20140914_112241“No.” Dee traced her finger on the swirling lines of the granite. “You didn’t read about that.”

“I remember my mother talking about it at my uncle’s, standing by the fireplace. I was looking into the fire, watching the logs move forward and fall into the ashes.”IMAG2094 “My aunt told everyone about your father crashing his motorcycle, and they were talking about you. These people were all above me, adults talking like they knew things. That was the moment when I knew they didn’t. They knew nothing. They were scared. They just said these things that filled the air, that it was tragic and you were poor girl and there was nothing anyone could have done. And I looked at this fireplace and was suddenly terrified. I had felt like I was safe, that the fireplace meant something, the food on the table, the glasses in their hands, but it meant nothing. Everything was nothing. Nothing was nothing. It wasn’t just a word. It was all I knew.”