Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sameness Not Being The Same

I'm reading "Driving With Dead People" by Monica Holloway. Actually, I pick it up in fits of girded loins to read because her childhood is just a wee bit like my own: Terrible father, absent mother, left to your own devices as a teen. I read this woman's account of her childhood and instead of completely embracing it, I find myself finding her not telling the story right. As if I want her to tell my story in some respect that I myself have not had the guts, or talent, to tell on my own. So, instead of precisely reading her story, I'm looking for my own relatable touchstones that then I can hurl at her.
But, and I've been thinking about this all afternoon while watching football, the one thing that she does get spot-on right is that everything isn't horrible without reprieve. There are moments, in even the worst childhood, of startling beauty, familial connection, warmth and caring from friends that in memory stand in such stark contrast to the horror and strife that you daily not so much endure, as try to avoid. Junior and I always referred to it as 'flying under the radar'.
While I wend my way through the final chapters of the book, I think that I've finally started to appreciate how the same paths don't necessarily run parallel so much as become entirely divergent, while maintaining a commonality. How could it be otherwise?
What I want from this book it can never give, but at least it's made me think, and for that I think that it deserves an audience to consider all of the balefulness that lies within.


drollgirl said...

you are so right. i was very angry for many, many years about my family/childhood, but it wasn't all bad. not at all. i might need to read this book.

Phoenix said...

Maybe what this book will give you, instead of allowing you to read your own story, is the strength and will to put into words what the author neglected to write.

Coming from a background fairly similar to yours (I'm guessing), it's what I've done, and it's worked out well. The silence I see in others becomes the impetus to write my own words and hear my own voice.