One lovely day this summer, I took my four boys to my new friend's house. She and her children warmly let us sink into their home and the fabric of their day. We sat on lawn chairs and watched our children slip and slide. We talked easily in a screened porch, a breeze gently cooling us while the kids created games on her lawn. And we set lunch out on her patio and screamed when a bat came swooping down in circles over and over again over our set table. We found ourselves in the house, peeking out the doors while our children stood outside, armed with various weapons against the bat.
Mister Luke stood swinging a tennis racket while Jackie Boy wielded a broom. Her son stood armed with a lacrosse stick and her daughter with a towel. The towel won and she screamed, suddenly afraid she had harmed it. It regained its' composure and flew to the roof. We tentatively made our way out to our lunch, laughing so hard we were crying.
I met Laura the day she returned to Montana from her book tour. We were already friends with her husband, but she had been out of town. You see, she is a writer and after years of perseverance was recently published. It all started with her article in the New York Times - Those Aren't Fighting Words, Dear. Please go read it now. I cried the first time I read it. It is about her husband going to her with the words- "I don't love you anymore" - and her unique response.
Though she is a novel writer at heart, her unique response turned into a memoir. She had written her way through her marriage's tenuous trial and people were interested in what exactly her response looked like.
I think that writing a memoir is sort of like blogging. When you put yourself out there and tell the truth of your personal life, the good and bad as you see it, then you are vulnerable. Naked. And it can be weird when strangers know more about you by reading what you have written than your close family and friends do. And then you sometimes start to tell a story and think- did they already read that? Am I essentially telling the story twice? Do you ever feel like that?
But, being vulnerable is good. It lets us see one another's imperfections and flaws. It makes us more real. And Laura Munson is very real. And I am happy to call her friend. You can visit her on her blog too--These Here Hills.