Dear Friends Who Read,
“Writing is an extreme privilege but it’s also a gift. It is a gift to yourself and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone,” wrote Amy Tan. In her new film, Unintended Memoirs, the author ‘speaks with remarkable frankness about traumas she has faced in her life and how writing has helped her heal.” In Where the Past Begins (2017) she wrote, “As long as I kept searching and asking, I would never lose myself. I was the narrator of my life. I could write without loneliness but with purpose: to find meaning in both the past and in the moments unfolding.”
Searching & Asking on the Page
Like young Amy Tan, I liked to write alone in my bedroom. Feelings were routinely stifled in my family, but reading and writing awakened my emotions. I disappeared for hours with pen in hand or a book in my lap, safe from scrutiny and discord. I liked solitude and I also wanted a twin to steady me in times of paralyzing self-doubt, a trusted companion with whom to share laughter and tears in stories of love and pain and wonder. I adored the Bobbsey Twins and longed for a trusted twin brother to share the mess and metaphors of life. My mother laughed and laughed when I told her I wanted a twin brother for my birthday. After that, I confided only in my diary, but developed the lifelong practice of writing to discover Something More.
Searching and asking needs to do two things: make me struggle and affirm my insights. Discovery writing stretches me beyond what I do know so I can notice and record what I don’t yet know. Writing is spiritual when it sharpens the inner eye of awareness. And discovery writing is good when it blesses the writer’s soul; then it will be good for the reader’s soul