By Nancy Mccabe
One evening in 1990, a stranger reduce the reveal out of Nancy McCabe's bed room window whereas she slept and shone a flashlight into her eyes as she woke. a couple of weeks later, her father got here down with transitority amnesia. even supposing unrelated, those occasions grew to become associated in her brain, sweeping out from less than her the basics many people take without any consideration: defense, freedom, the steadiness of reminiscence, and a normal oblivion to mortality. After the Flashlight guy is the tale of ways one writer got here to phrases with those stories that threw her existence right into a entire new gentle: the self-defense sessions, rape problem volunteer paintings, writing, and meditation that served as checkpoints alongside her therapeutic trip whereas she re tested occasions from her early life and relationships with friends and family. finally, a flashlight grew to become opposed to her as a weird and wonderful weapon turned as an alternative a metaphorical device that blazed her course, the impetus to reclaim, recast, and inform her personal tales, studying her personal strength to reinvent her imaginative and prescient of her existence.
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Additional info for After the Flashlight Man: A Memoir of Awakening
I no longer read, like my relatives, to simplify a disorderly world; I started reading instead to confirm that people were as complicated and weird as I’d always suspected, and to try to figure out why. Today, my relatives take in stride my attempts to debunk our myths, although I suspect that among themselves they shake their heads in fond amusement at my eccentricity. And, if she were still alive, I suspect that Aunt Shirley would be shaking her head right along with them. Still, I couldn’t restrain myself from spreading the rumor among my relatives that Louisa May Alcott scorned Little Women as sentimental and moralistic, that she was far more independent and unconventional than we’d been led to believe.
For the amnesiac, the time traveler, the feral child, the world becomes a minefield requiring constant negotiation to heal the rifts between The One that Got Away familiarity and strangeness. That tension of identity is especially compelling for those of us who always saw ourselves as outsiders: a larger-than-life representation of that experience, but with the startling freshness of a poet’s vision. Now I wandered through my own interval between the past and present, memory and forgetting, the intimate and the unfamiliar.
I think, absurdly. Who will remember me before I remember myself? My mother’s eyes are nearly as empty as my dad’s, as if thirty years of marriage have turned my parents so symbiotic that she will be permanently disoriented by his confusion. m. illuminated the contents of my brain as if bringing to light all of my secrets. I think of all the darkened spaces my mind has created to cover those secrets again, to hide his muttered words. It’s as if that flashlight not only rearranged my life, but reached into the minds of my loved ones, too, scrambling us all.