After the Flashlight Man: A Memoir of Awakening by Nancy Mccabe

By Nancy Mccabe

One evening in 1990, a stranger lower the monitor out of Nancy McCabe's bed room window whereas she slept and shone a flashlight into her eyes as she woke. a number of weeks later, her father got here down with transitority amnesia. even though unrelated, those occasions turned associated in her brain, sweeping out from lower than her the basics many people take without any consideration: security, freedom, the soundness of reminiscence, and a common oblivion to mortality. After the Flashlight guy is the tale of ways one writer got here to phrases with those reviews that threw her existence right into a complete new mild: the self-defense sessions, rape hindrance 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. eventually, a flashlight grew to become opposed to her as a extraordinary weapon grew to become in its place a metaphorical device that blazed her direction, the impetus to reclaim, recast, and inform her personal tales, researching her personal strength to reinvent her imaginative and prescient of her lifestyles.

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Sample text

It bugged me that I couldn’t remember the cave. That summer day, a few months before a stranger would disrupt my life and my dad would temporarily lose his own memory, that day as the sun flashed and steamed off the pavement, I shivered a little, briefly spooked by what might be stored in my brain that I couldn’t remember. Were the cave’s recesses what gave my mind ideas for creating its own hiding places, I wondered, for swallowing things up in darkness? My parents were thrilled to have me living so close by.

It was a story I couldn’t get right, still can’t. When Aunt Shirley died less than a week after my first try, I felt guilty about trying to write about her at all. In the children’s books my mother and aunts passed on to my cousin and me, people died dignified, graceful deaths. I hid my story in the bottom of a drawer but resurrected it a year later. Rewrote it another year after that, scrapped it and started from scratch five years later, revised that version for two more years. It was early in this process that my ghost made her presence known, born from what I could make no sense of or resolve, formed in the tension between truth and the world I’d rather live in.

Maybe, as a little girl, it was some prenatal tug I felt, staring at the waterwheel’s steady, soothing motion, a connection to my parents that I have spent my life trying to escape. ” Mom leans over to ask Dad, and he listens a second, looking knowing then exasperated as a title fails him. Palms upturned, he shrugs. Both of them defer to me, but I don’t remember either. Once, I longed to be the star of stories in which I was the smart one, the independent one. I feel less comfortable now, understanding how such power relies on others’ weakness; who wants to be the lonely memory in the midst of forgetting?

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