“I am the artist of my life who takes the raw materials given, no matter how bizarre, painful, or disappointing, and gives them shape and meaning. I am within each scene and each chapter of my life, defining my character through the choices I make. I am on my own side, rooting for myself, aching for myself, celebrating . . . . I am as engaged with the ongoing story in my life as is a reader who eagerly turns the page.” – Tristine Rainer, Your Life as Story
Like most with a love for literature and written expression, I suspect, my passion for reading and writing began at an early age. I devoured children’s books, often in one sitting, and I transitioned shortly to books for older children and young adults. I read quickly and compulsively, unable to stop once a narrative had engaged me. I would swallow the pages, both hungry for and dreading the tale’s dénouement, for with each ending came a sense of loss. The longer and more complex a story, the more disappointed I felt when I reached its conclusion.
My love for words and the images and inspiration they evoke was also manifested in my desire to write. I was fascinated with rhyming and with the history, meaning, and derivatives of words. I read the dictionary each day, imposing vocabulary assignments on myself to supplement the homework given by my teachers. I wrote poems and short stories as a young girl and kept a diary from the age of thirteen to give voice to my soul.
Soon I was no longer content to simply record events; rather, it became necessary to find meaning and purpose in life, and then make it endurable by transforming it to art. The events themselves are hardly remarkable without the willingness and courage to explore and articulate fully the universality and depth of human emotion, to present pain exquisitely. As both the author and heroine of my own story, I’ve learned, there is healing in the telling.