She thinks of a former teacher who, running into her at a conference, blurts out: I hear your writing is as exquisite as ever, but that your life isn’t. What does one say in the face of such a stupendous welcome? She could have said, Let me start from the beginning; or— no, the beginning before that beginning. Which thread would you like to follow? But then again, it doesn’t really matter, does it? The ball of red yarn might tangle in the bushes, catch on thorns; but always, it leads back to the beast that slumbers in the center. Sometimes there is one beast. Sometimes the one beast is many. It’s grown fat on the gristle of the past and its bedroll of stories: pity, fear, the hurt from a pebble in a shoe. It never spared a thing, lover or child, parent or sibling. In remembering, she remembers too how myth is perhaps the baddest habit, the hardest one to break. Who said she couldn’t lay that tightly wound mess at her feet and simply walk, finding the way back by instinct? Who said she had to pick up the thread, retrace the steps she took before? She wants to leave it, leave it where it is; the signs say it’s time to unhalter her story.
In response to Via Negativa: Helmsman.