Monday, May 11, 2009

Writing Madeline Part 4

There is a disturbing tension, redrawing a life. I set out innocently to write my way into the unknown terrain of my great aunt Madeline. With a curiosity that had become an insistent invitation, bubbling up at a moment in time when I was more than interested to see if I could, I took up this endeavor to Write Madeline. From a few photographs, a poem, a bit of family lore plus some need in me I sit in the soup of knowing I am taking great creative license with a very real life. The question comes up, would I want this done to me?

If all history is revisionist, which it can't help but be, given the nature of how we think and the tenuousness of memory, then what is the harm? Doesn't it help to draw from the past? To make sense of it, let it speak to you, tutor you across time about who you could be? Another question comes up. Is it fear or love, that drives my desire to take thousands of photographs, and write and make art? To be, or to not be forgotten. 

I think it's good to do, documenting my life I mean. But maybe not too much. I think I would like to leave for my great grandsomeone the thrill and hard labor of mucking around in the mystery.  

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