Wednesday, November 08, 2006 · posted at 3:33 PM
Miss American Pie
About the time I started being grounded, I started writing things down; it gave me something to do. Writing to and for myself had an acceptably low risk factor for feeling misunderstood or ignored, and it was a form of conversation I came to value more and more.


I have heard it said that there are two times in your life when you stand a chance, in the face of whatever social forces struggle to get you in their grip, of becoming someone new, of creating your own personal universe through the sheer power of imagination and persistence: one is adolescent and the other is middle age.


Among other things, like teaching for a living and getting my kids to the dentist twice a year, I make photographs, and sometimes I write, and usually in a way that scrutinizes life, offers up a version of the world that can be beauftiful but also can, in its exactness, at times seem cruel. Diaries, on the other hand, are truly cruel. A diary has none of the sweetness of nostalgia and little to do with the sentiments that lock certain moments into the patchwork of the mind's eye to become a memory. A diary is not about the past; it's about the present, a record of preceisly what you are getting through or over, trying to savor or avoid, at the very moment you are doing it.

Miss American Pie, Margaret Sartor

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