Alas…Posted: October 24, 2010
Five ten this morning and I strike a match and stick it to rolled up newspaper in the fire pit on my patio, and it lights the small hackberry branches from Cedar Ridge, twigs gathered from my own backyard, and hickory logs Ken gave me yesterday. I pull on my RHODES TAVERN sweatshirt because it’s a little cool out there, and I sit in my Adirondack with a cup of coffee and a chapter from my memoir, revising. And then it happens.
I get my title.
I cry. And it all falls into place. The structure. The ending. What I need to do to pull it together.
It is so obvious, beautiful, miraculous, meaningful, just perfect, and I cry some more.
I’ve been working on a title for this for five years. Nothing has been right. This is it.
And as the sun nears in the east and the few birch leaves left get nudged by the breeze, I sit there and look at the sky and feel the healing wash over me. Because in a memoir you write to discovery, and I have. I have something meaningful.
Something honest. I’ve wanted to write my subject with honesty since Dinty W. Moore in his workshop at the first Oxford creative nonfiction conference, when asked what he wanted to see in writing, said he wanted to see honesty … in the very thing I am writing about. I’ve been trying to get there for over two years, and I finally am.
And I cry some more. And I breathe in smoke and sniffle and realize that it just takes a little fire to get there.