Interviewing Myself

I wrote a chapter today for my new novel. When I went back and re-read it I started crying, it is a sad, tragic story, about when I got pregnant at fifteen years old. I’ve been writing and re-writing this story for years. I had to question why am I writing this story? Why am I writing at all, going through the same questions I’ve asked previously about my painting practice. It’s a dumb question, really, it’s what I do. I write and paint. When I first started writing it was for the school newspaper in High School. I wanted to be a feature writer, I wanted to interview people. I remember my first interview was at the mall. I interviewed a security guard in a department store. I don’t know what made me choose that subject. I used to love writing interview questions and thinking of all the people I wanted to interview. For the novel I’m working on now I’m interviewing myself. I’m asking myself questions about things that happened in my past, trying to remember. Lots of things are still buried deep inside me. I can’t remember feelings I had during my most tragic experiences. Occasionally, something will surface, then I remember a few more key facts, like a detective solving a mystery.

I realized today, through my mining for information I have lived double lives twice in my life, once at the very beginning of my fertile years and once at the very end. Both times I was filled with shame, I had to keep painful secrets, and my life was de-railed. It all stems around fertility, around only being able to talk about things that are normal or common having to do with my reproductive system, my sexuality. Because the things I went through are shocking and uncommon. I’ve been painting about these things, ghostly figures come out. I am going to start stitching and printing on silk.

After writing and painting like I have the past two days I always feel so tired. I need to take a couple days off, but I know it will be hard with the writing. I’m in the thick of it, the structure is starting to come to me. If I had complete freedom and didn’t have kids or responsibilities I could get lost right now in my work. Maybe it’s good I have these restraints. To make me step away and be present.

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