Monday, May 28, 2012

With a husband like that...

I'm taking off tomorrow to spend a week with my best bud from college.  Tonight at family worship time, Mark asks the boys to pray for "Mom to be a blessing to Heather and her family and not a pain like she usually is!"

He was kidding.  I think.  I hope.

Poignant Words

The other night, I listened to an episode of my favorite podcast.  It was an interview with author Augusten Burroughs, best known for Running with Scissors.  I've never read any of his books and don't even know if I'd ever heard of him before that night, but I was so fascinated with his story and the following sections of the interview, particularly. I would like to remember them always.

LB:  Were you finding because your books are about your life and your adventures,which I think is a very sunny way to put it--all the stuff that happened to you...were people coming to you with advice questions a lot, just from the get-go, because of Running With Scissors?

AB:  Even before I was a writer.  Yeah, for some reason, yeah.  But way more after being a writer.  And people have also asked, “How did you survive, you know, fill in the blank...alcohol, being molested, crazy parents, nut psychiatrist, adopted father... and people always think, too, that they couldn’t survive that and that’s just inaccurate.  It’s just not true.  People can, they just can’t imagine it, but a lot of things you can’t imagine, you can do, you know?...You know if you lose the ability to walk, you should have brownies, you know, because brownies will matter more to you.  If you accept it.   

You’ve got to accept stuff when it happens.  You can’t pretend things didn't happen, but you also can’t go back and live in the past.  And it sounds like I do because I write all these books about my life, but I don’t think about this stuff unless I’m writing a book.  I go back in the past and I retrieve the stuff and I recycle it into a book. 

You can’t be a victim even if you’ve been victimized.  If you’ve been raped and left by the side of the road, you’ve got to find a way to be grateful for what that rape has given you.  Because it has given you things-- skills, insights, depth, yes, that you did not want, but that you also did not have before.  And it can be extremely useful in your life.  And that can make you furious to hear, and it can sound insensitive...

LB:  And do people get upset at a reading if you say that?

AB:  I’ve said it. No, they don’t get upset, because I think they recognize the truth in that.  Apologies and amends, when you fixate on wanting to understand why something happened to’s nice to understand and lucky you, if you actually get to, but it is beside the point.  Just exactly like apologies are beside the point.  If you’ve got parents that you are blaming for whatever, and you want to confront them and get an apology or make them see it your way, it’s like,  that’s all kind of interesting, theoretical stuff, but what about your life, you know?  It doesn’t really matter if you have resolution or not, you have to live right now....

LB:  A big part of being in a relationship is living in the past a little bit and shared experience,  that’s what adds up to something and if it’s always ever forward, does that not leave enough time for memory with another person?

AB:  I don’t think being so focused on the present means you can’t reflect and appreciate memories.  I think of things like that—when you have mutual experiences--I think of that as sort of a mental photograph.  And in that way, the past exists, it exists in the indentation of a sofa cushion, or sometimes as a scar or a tattoo,  or a wedding picture.  You know these are the signs that we have that things have come before us and these things matter, photographs matter and stories matter, things that were written a long time ago in this past that is no longer real, matter to us now, and memories, they matter to us on a neurological, biological level.  I mean, we are in many ways, made of our memories.

In general, we are not haunted by the past, we haunt it.  You might come across a smell or aroma that brings back a very specific memory of when you were 13 or 14 and then it reminds of you something that made you angry so you think about it a little more, you come to a fork in the road mentally,  do you want to keep going down that road, thinking about where that memory leads you, or you know what, maybe you just don’t go down that road if it’s going to be disturbing and it’s tempting to go down that road, I’ve gone down that road.  

The whole interview is something quite special.  I'm bookmarking it for sure.