“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open.”
This quote from Muriel Rukeyser is fitting for Woman’s History Month, and some of us take it as permission to tell the truth about our own lives. Recently I joined a memoir group with the sole intention of gaining insight about who I am. What I write in this group will likely remain unpublished, an exercise that I’m eager to try all the same. Any writing can be good writing, whether useful to others or not. I want to understand my life in the context of the immigrants who spawned me. This family history has led me into the second growth of genealogy and into ramblings on paper about my lack of deep roots. I have little sense of belonging to a place, although New England comes close. So, my working title for the memoir is Woman on the Move. Writers I admire often have a deep sense of place. Mine is superficial.
It should not have surprised anyone that I married into the military with its assumptions about moving where and when the orders told us to go. But my own restlessness extended beyond that marriage. Colorado is a state of many migrants, immigrants, and transplants. I am an invasive weed that takes shallow root where it lands. I’ve mostly seen my restlessness as a deficit. I lack loyalty and stability. Maybe I can, through the memoir process, begin to see my travels and uprootings as positive.