The title of my newly released book The Power of Memoir feels muscular and, well, powerful to me. I find myself thinking about what this power is, the power of memoir writing, and then I’m floating back in my mind to all the workshops I have taught, to the moments when I’ve sat enthralled with the story the person is reading. Often they are scared, perhaps embarassed, usually anxious to put such personal writing into the room for others to witness, but also they are brave.
It is an act of courage and personal power to dare to write the truths you hold, to carve a space in the vast realms of time and dive in, using only words as ballast. To enter into memory, to find the body of the child you once were and to dare to listen to him or her–that is courageous, and in this act, new tendrils of self are launched across the abyss from past to present. As we balance on the fine lines of truth, memory, and story, we discover ourselves, we uncover layers that we didn’t know existed. The writing is the key, writing that comes from soul and heart, writing that launches us out from our comfort zone, and into the unknown. There we find wisdom, there we find who we really are.