Last night, I had the great pleasure of introducing Nick Krieger who wrote a piece for my blog years ago and, in it, he gave this advice, which I printed and posted above my writing desk -- it was advice for raising children but also for my own humanity: "I wish someone had told me, not that my life would be hard, but that it would be phenomenally rich. I wish someone had told me that through my own self-inquiry and my own unique experience, my empathy would deepen, my compassion would expand, my gratitude for being alive would be huge."
And in my introduction, I talked about memoir -- that in telling one's story, each writer is lighting a path through the dark woods. Each of us has our own path to light. But what I love about memoir – especially those as thoughtful, as rich and keenly insightful, as generous and clear-eyed as Krieger's – is that when we face the forest or find ourselves deep within it at night, we see those other lights bobbing in the distance, small globes that dip in the trees – what I think of as our collective human experience sending out a glow – and our paths are lit here and there along the way, by the thoughts and words and shared experiences of others.
I'm so thankful for Nick Krieger. He read from his memoir NINA HERE NOR THERE -- http://www.beacon.org/Nina-Here-Nor-There-P819.aspx -- posting in case you don't know his work or the work at Beacon Press.