I didn’t get the chance yesterday, but I’m back to reading Pearl’s book today. It’s so great. What makes it great? The truth! It’s just life shouting out at you from the pages. Sometimes I recognize myself at various turning points. Sometimes I see where I want to be later in my journey. All the times I’m just enjoying truth line by line.
It’s funny. It’s emotional. It’s thoughtful. It’s lots of things. The reading of it thus far has changed my relationship to writing. Partially because she’s written many of my own thoughts and I can see, at least vicariously, where some of them end up over time. But mostly because it’s encouraging.
We know how things turn out later for her, and it’s this pushing, prodding, growing process we are privy to on the pages of her book. Growing is tough. She doesn’t shield us from that.
We need more of that.
February 4, 1980
I know we are not going to make it. I think he knows it, too.
I don’t want to feel crazy and unhappy.
I want to be writing.
I want to be myself and be clearheaded and strong and beautiful.
I want to make myself as perfect as I can be.
I want to make myself as wondrous as I can be.
I want to be free.
From Things I Should Have Told My Daughter, by Pearl Cleage.