T. Pearl Joynz
I cannot imagine what would have become of me or my story if I were not able to capture it in writing. My children and children’s children will be able to dissect the story I have left behind.
Toby sometimes seems like an interruption, a reminder that I never can go back to who I’ve been before, making me fear that I’ll never finish these stories based on the life I once had. But in his tiny body, in his activity and energy and passion, I’m reminded of my brother.
Jackson’s demons were clearly bigger and more terrifying than the conventional ones of balancing writing and childrearing. Yet she managed to give space and import to those smaller moments of ennui and absurdity that many of us experience while raising children.
But over the last year or so, no matter how engaging the book, I could never get through more than two or three pages before he’d decide that was enough.
I had driving questions: How much caregiving can any one woman do without breaking down? Why do women seem so often to be the caregivers? What becomes of us when we are too ill to work?
Susannah Q. Pratt
Just when I think I have all my essays dressed and ready, I’ll discover that one isn’t actually ready at all—and another is wandering off.
Cindy Adelman Frank
For me I realized, Jolabokaflod was an extension of a language I had been speaking with both passion and conviction my whole life. Jolabokaflod is about speaking book.
But that morning, I felt something sweeter than being needed. My little girl was taking wing and exploring her way through a world of images and words, independent of me.
I am more aware than I’ve ever been of patterns, patterns that have stunted growth and shored up strength, patterns that have contributed to my identities as daughter, woman, and now, mother.
I wrote to reassure myself that my kids would be okay. That I could be less than perfect, and that they would still be okay. I wrote to reassure myself that it was okay not to love every minute of mothering. In retrospect, I wish I had put effort into finding and respecting the line where my story ends and my children’s begin.
That sentence I wrote, to announce the end, said it all. Yes, it was surrounded by other words–accomplishments, family lineage, hobbies–but that one sentence was truest. I’d never written anything better, never will.
Literary Reflections Archives