Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things
Pretty All True is in the house today and as one of Kris’s many fans (ever notice the small distance between fan and fanatic?) I just have to say…
She has this way about her that makes me laugh, cry, SNORT, and just generally love every moment she shares of her life.
The good, the bad and the…not always pretty.
When she’s good, she’s really, really good. And when she’s bad she’s brilliant.
I can think of no other writer I read regularly who covers so much emotional ground. I love that she lets us in to bear witness. I love that she lets us love her even when it’s uncomfortable.
I have a Kris Crush.
I so do.
1. Why are you here?
I am here because weakness met weakness and surrendered. I am here because of broken bits and shards that never cohered into a whole. I am here because of mistaken promises. I am here because of damage. I am here because of harm. I am here because of insanity. I am here because of cruelty. I am here because of evil. I am here because of failure.
I am here because I did not break, although breaking was intended.
I am here because I am stronger than I expected to be.
I am here because I am weaker than I hoped to be.
I am here because I am determined.
I am here because my path thus far has led me . . . here.
2. What is your future self calling for?
This is actually a trickier question than I imagined it would be, because I do not voice dreams.
I wrote once of coming to my father with cupped hands, some small treasure held within that I wanted to share.
My father beckoned me closer, so that he might more fully enjoy the delights that I had gathered for him. I moved eagerly forward. To share.
My father’s hand darted out quick and hard to smack at my hands from underneath. A sharp surprising pain that stung my hands and my heart. I watched the thing I had wanted to share fly up into the air, made worthless by his laughter and contempt.
The memories of that and other repeated humiliations have lingered.
As an adult, I have enormous issues with trust.
As an adult, I find the voicing of my dreams to be nearly impossible.
I am not able to place myself in a position of such perceived weakness.
I hold my dreams of my future self close, in cupped hands that I am hesitant to open.
I see what I hold, but I do not trust others with that vision.
3. How do you honor that calling?
Without revealing what is in these cupped hands of mine, I will share that I honor my future self by honoring my past. I tell my stories. I tell of who I was and who I am.
I honor my past, and I know that while the past is powerful, it is not powerful enough to demand repetition.
And so every day, I start anew.
4. What is both effortless and life-giving to you?
My marriage. I chose wisely many years ago, and that has made all the difference.
Mark and I have been married for 21 years.
People always say that marriage is hard work. My marriage is not hard work. My marriage is a joy.
Life is hard work.
Hard work made easier because I hold this man’s hand.
5. What is extraordinary about your work?
I am not comfortable saying that my work is extraordinary to anyone but me.
That said, my work brings me great joy. My work is extraordinary because I see that I can tell a story. I see that I can paint a picture with my words. I see that I can arrange my thoughts and my emotions and truly share them with my readers. I see that I have the ability to connect with others through my writing.
I see that I have the ability to tell my story.
I see that I have the ability to make myself seen and heard and understood.
My work is extraordinary because it brings me joy.
I am a writer.
No matter what else happens. No matter what level of success I may or may not achieve.
No matter what.
I am a writer, and my words will stand.
That is extraordinary to me.
6. What do you better than anyone else?
Better than anyone else? That’s ridiculous. I am the best at nothing.
That’s a foolish goal . . . to be the best.
I am me.
I am human. I am filled with imperfections.
I have small areas of polished brilliance within the rougher parts of my being.
But no perfection.
So I will change this question to read instead, “What do you do to the best of your ability?”
I tell my truth.
7. What is guaranteed to inspire you?
If explanations are required, then we are probably not destined to be great friends.
8. What will your epitaph say if you’ve lived life on your terms?
I don’t do a lot of texting on my phone, but in the midst of a text exchange with a close friend the other day, I kept getting an error message . . .
NOTHING TO UNDO
I don’t know what I was accidentally doing to cause the phone to think I wanted to undo something, but it kept reassuring me that there was nothing to undo.
How lovely would that be, if I manage to finish out my life with no regrets or mistakes I will never get the chance to fix?
NOTHING TO UNDO . . .
Yes, if I’ve lived life on my terms?
That will do.
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