First there was the silence, The years and years of silence. Then slowly there were a few stories. I let it slip that my entire alternative school use to go skinny dipping together. That I used to be some kind of radical. That I was writing a book. Then finally there was the book. Red Star Tattoo. And now, as though to make up for those years of silence there are so many conversations. Conversations about secrets and story telling, revolution and resilience, getting through and moving on.
Books had a prominent but complicated place on my mother’s side of the family. Books gave you status, proof that you were not ignorant. I always got the impression that part of the reason my grandfather chose to become a preacher like his father was because it was as close as he would get to being able to keep studying after high school. He was at various times a preacher and a travelling encyclopaedia salesman. But growing up my mother remembers being yelled at for reading by her mother, who felt she was being lazy. Books were an escape and that was both something to be desired or feared, depending on who you were.
I saw this on my walk today and thought about you. You were the blonde woman with the radiant smile at the writer’s retreat. Your smile, your hair, they were full and sweet and from your hand-knit sweater I can tell you are the kind of woman who brings people homemade bread and vegetables from your garden. It is that kind of place, this little island, and you are that kind of woman.
I said when I began writing this book I would embrace all the learning and growth opportunities that the work gave me. I’ve battled with honesty, fear, ego, and now….IMovie. Here is a quick visual […]