As it so often happened, a slice of the present crossed the rift to a sliver of the past. Sent her ricocheting from one remembory to another, crocheting odd pieces of yarn into an afghan of crazy granny rectangles and heptagons.
Started with a writing prompt storyboard, “Surfacing.” Submerged images of the cover of Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing, read sometime during her school years. Struggle to understand the relation of its contents to it’s title, hurtling forward to reading Atwood’s Journals of Susanna Moodie at another conjuncture of her life – half remembered. The Strickland Sisters – Susanna and Catherine – night and day to each other. Immigrants to Canada as brides. Writers in/of the Wilderness; pessimist to optimist. Topics in college essays as varied as backwoods feminism to kid lit of the north.*
“Funny,” she thought, “I still remember Catherine’s ink freezing in the winter, Susanna’s grumbling about what Catherine extolled.” More to add to the growing list of rereads; the books that shaped her or escaped her.
Appealing to her love of history inherited from her father along with his warped sense of humour. And the pessimist she was; the optimist she thought she should be. Susanna was her mother in all her depressed glory. And Catherine? The historian, tale-teller she secretly always wanted to be. Her bifurcated self; her bipolarsphere world before it had such a name.
Surfacing, like the gasp of air when she almost drowned or choked to death. Surfacing, as she planed her personae, her physical self trying to polish, to carve, to perfect. Surfacing from the abyss into the sunlight. She left her mind drift; sometime, someday, it too would surface again.
* Catherine Parr Traill wrote books on life in Ontario, including natural histories. Canadian Crusoes: A Tale of the Rice Lake Plains,published in 1852, is considered the first Canadian children’s book. I took a course in Canadian Children’s Literature (paired with Fantasy Literature) when I went back to complete a BA. I did write essays on the Strickland sisters in a Canadian history course as well. My past surfacing?
A ponderance, (or preponderance); a riff on the title not the storyboard for mlmm writing prompt July 30, surfacing.