A process for recovering memories:
“I think what preoccupies me is transition, that zone between one place of relative stasis to another, in particular how we act, or react, when we don't know what will happen next. Or, put another way: during moments when external circumstances throw us into crisis or flux, what do we do?” – K.M. Soehnlein
Often when a writer begins writing, they do not know what the “meaning” of a poem or story is or will be, what its significance is, what the theme will be, how it will be focused. In a sense the writer discovers the meaning of the material during the process of writing itself. Later on, once the writer understands what they wish to say, the piece can be focused and shaped.
(From In The Palm of Your Hand) Write a brief answer to the following questions – note how “hot” your reaction or memory is – the hotter or more emotional the material, the better. If you don’t have a memory for one, then skip it. The incidents you come up with don’t have to be from your childhood. Then choose one to write about in more detail. If you can, explore the place in the memory where you didn't know what would happen next, that place between two stable situations.
- Recall a pleasant time in the past
- Recall a building in which you once lived
- Recall a secret you once had
- Recall a magical person from your childhood
- Recall an incident that filled you with dread
- Recall something dangerous you did when you were young
- Recall something sinful or bad you did as a child
- Recall something that happened during a school vacation
- Recall something that happened in a classroom or schoolyard
- Recall your first romantic infatuation
- Recall something funny that made you laugh happily