Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My Snapshot Life, by Patti Witten

1. I was born in a house full of music made or silenced, and several big secrets

2. Three sisters, me in the middle, bickering or absorbed in play; summers at the beach where the art of rowing and the power of storms was learned

3. Adolescence spent in defiance and alliance, fighting for permission to wear jeans for god's sake, and breaking other rules

4. Forcing myself to experience sex, drugs, and risk but finding no joy in it, feeling betrayed by false promises of becoming a normal woman, a pretty girl, of being accepted by the cool kids

5. Drinking my disappointment

6. More of this, for years

7. First short marriage ending in separation, then his sudden death and my guilt

8. Second short marriage ending in self-doubt and fury

9. Four abortions; three without remorse

10. My father's death, such a blow, followed by a decade of courage marked by a brief music career that was incredibly hard and at times incredibly rewarding

11. A bunch of part-time jobs

12. Caretaker for my elderly aunt who taught me that care is not the same as love

13. Suddenly I am the oldest in many social and work situations

14. The inner life swells as the active life diminishes, but there is always Netflix and Facebook to distract me. Memory and mental agility decrease along with increase in arthritis and insomnia

15. What next? I am a little scared to find out


NOTE: This piece was inspired by the poem "Curriculum Vitae," by Lisel Meuller