Jennifer, a friend and writer said to me casually, "You don't really own it anymore, now that it’s out."
Replaying her words ... I'd never written anything more personal, never been so publicly vulnerable.
And now my memoir isn't mine?
When we share any art, writing, or work it leaves our hands. The work belongs to and sits in the public purview. Each individual brings her frame - her history.
Think of a young woman, a rainy day in a Greenwich Village gallery. How will her experience be different from the man holding his lover's hand in the Louvre gazing at the same piece or different from her own experience in 20 years?
Van Gogh a genius - bringing his personal history to a piece expands the viewer's understanding. We track our eyes’ travel, imagining the artist's work in context.
Memoir is a different experience all together. A writer paints the necessary context. A more directive artifact as readers’ eyes follow pages in the order intended.
Memoirists paint details of their lives for the public to read, experience, critique. They not only share their art of writing but open a door to their life, their soul. Indeed, it is no longer theirs.
Events captured in NAKED they are my artifact, my story, my history. But each reader is on a journey. Their wisdom plays in the background. Page one - NAKED becomes theirs - part of their history. A phenomenal web of unmapped human connection.
Hoping we all grow, connect, and understand each other more and more through memoir.
Reading - an individual activity that breeds communal understanding.