The new project for my story circle group has to do with beginnings. This is a difficult assignment for me. I don't remember the first day of school or getting my first paycheck. Even my birthdays are just non-events.
I remember my wedding and the birth of my children. I remember a fall I took on the family farm which changed the way I look at life and death. I remember the phone call telling me I was accepted to medical school, but the first day is a blur.
Some images of my life are so painfully acute that they are difficult to unbandage and take a good look at.
Other aspects of my life are clouded in mystery. My own birth is clouded in speculation. I remember things which my mother always told me didn't happen or that I could not have remembered. And since memories are always tainted by the experiences of the rememberer, it is impossible to know what is truth.
I found a quote in a book yesterday. It summed up how I felt when I left the group with this new project looming. It is from The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and is attributed to her character Vida Winter.
"All children mythologize their birth. It is a universal trait. You want to know someone? Heart, mind and soul? Ask him to tell you about when he was born. What you get won't be the truth; it will be a story. And nothing is more telling than a story."
So I will chose to do a portait of my mother, as I remember her. Because in telling that story, I will tell you the mythology of mine.