Last week I had the book-writing equivalent of a healing crisis, an occupational hazard when you’re writing about your childhood, maybe. Essentially I wrote my way into some unhappy revelations, then got so sick and unmoored that I dipped back into a romance that was a dangerous dissociation the first time around. It was a total “what’s it all about, Alfie” moment, no doubt triggered in part by the fact that I was actually getting somewhere. The only way I could coax myself into working again was to write some present-set essays, two of which I’ve shared here. But I must honor this memoir that’s been roiling in me for years, especially as I’ve removed myself from the flow of my regular life to so so. Far from here old white men are choking us on what’s left of their power, and the country is on holiday for what rightly would be a genocide remembrance day. Right around me, soft rain is falling, and the woods are hushed by the downpour. Grace, who never approves of my slacking off, is pacing like a schoolmarm who doesn’t know what else can be done with her unruly subject. I flash again on that Beckett phrase, “I can’t go on, I’ll go on,” and write to you.