Monday, March 11, 2013

On My Mind Monday

Through recent experiences with both birth and death, I have discovered that we enter and leave life as, among other things, words.  Though we might later become daughters and sons, many of us start out as whispers or rumors before ending up with our names scrawled out next to our parents’ on birth certificates.  We also struggle to find, both throughout our lives and at the end, words to pin down how we see and talk about ourselves. 

Edwidge Danticat on the power of the word and also words as they become stories.

Such is the power of the stories we dare tell others about ourselves.  They do inform, instruct, and inspire.  They might even entertain, but they can also strip us totally bare, reducing (or expanding) the essence of everything we are to words.

I'm reading The Best American Essays of 2011.  She edited the compilation. I've appreciated Danticat's raw honesty from the first time I read her in college, which is to say many years ago.  I'm also appreciating the richness of the varied pieces included in this anthology, but especially the non-fiction.  I've always been drawn to the true story. There is something about sharing one's personal experience or outlook that takes it...takes a higher level.  It's more intimate.  I'm drawn in deeper.  It's a welcome break from all the fiction I read, and yet some of the topics are making me think a whole lot so it's not in any way a relaxing respite.  But who am I kidding?  I pick provoking over placating most any day.