I've arrived at the final post in my stint as guest blogger for Powell's. It's been a hectic, joyous, exhausting and exhilarating week. Often, as I dashed from one thing to the next, I wrote these posts in my head and then found once I actually got to write I wrote something else entirely, mostly because I didn't have enough time to compose what I hoped to. Today my idea was to write about the complex feelings I've had when I talk to old friends who've read Wild
. They aren't hearing the story for the first time — they knew me during the time I wrote about in the book — and yet in some ways the story is new to them because Wild
is a book and life is life. I'm so busy I don't have time to do the subject justice, but I can at least offer a few notes.
Last night I went out with my dear friend Anne after my reading at Elliott Bay Books. We talked about old times and caught up on what's happening right now, and we also spoke of the stories I recount in Wild. Anne repeatedly said she felt like I was sitting there talking to her the whole time she was reading the book. She could "hear" me all the way through. "It's just so YOU," she kept saying, and every time she said it I asked what she meant, as if I didn't know what was me.
It made me think about perspective, how it is we know who we are and yet we can't ever quite see who we are through other people's eyes. What did Anne see on the pages of Wild that she knows to be me? What does she see about me that I couldn't have put on the pages of Wild because I don't know about myself? Writing a memoir is a radical act of self-examination. Having conversations with a friend who has known you since you were 19 is too. I feel grateful for both. Here's a shot of Anne and me last night:
Thank you for reading these posts this past week. Thank you, Powell's for having me. Happy trails, sweet peas.