I was witness to the genesis of this book, and though the book says the seed of an idea was planted in Missouri, I think something had already clicked into place in Chicago. We were both there to record some spoken word and Mona had been looking out of a window at the scene before her; a friend told her to sit down and look at the scene again. Something shifted in her head – a brief and seemingly inconsequential alteration of perspective and bang: satori. I think that moment informs the whole architecture of this book – look at anything, shift around a bit and look at it again. What do you see? It’s never quite the same is it?
How many people are capable of shining a light into those dark places in the psyche, especially when those dark places are their own? This book does that in an unflinching manner. For me the keystone of the book was Bi … something – it perfectly encapsulates that idea of looking at something in more than one way and forging something new out of it. Dancing between light and dark, past and future, love and hate, prose and poetry, this book knits together into a compelling whole.
This book talks about surviving without entailing that idea of being a “survivor” – that would sound too much like victim and that is not the flavour of this book at all. This is about living; it is about a life – a journey from somewhere and to somewhere. It is about casting off the ideas others have of you, of being true to yourself. It’s about being a writer.