Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Childhood Book One by Maxim Gorky

From a young age, I found myself drawn to authors like Maxim Gorky. I must have been around 13 years old when I found this book in a used book shop on South Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was taken by his ability to understand his innocence, the dreams and regrets of others, and the dynamics of the world that surrounded and guided him from childhood into adulthood. I immediately felt comforted by his words. The impressions left onto him from his gathered life experiences and how this gave shape and insight to his understanding of the world around him.

For me, this was a beginning of my own journey. In my attempt to understand his world, I was learning about mine. The more I read the more my own life began to unfold. Mirroring the book of old musty and brittle pages, my mind at first carefully took steps to clear a path towards what was once hidden. Then, like sudden madness, my memories came forth. Pages turning, giving me only glimpses to what was to be read. Words and images all fell around me to coat me in it's color and form. It gave way to new roads that would lead me back to my past and to give shape to my future.

So, I would go to my room and read more and more...I was engulfed in his past. The more I read the more I wanted to remember my own. I welcomed it regardless of my own fears. I wrote them down to not forget them again. I tried to revisit no matter how fast the pages had turned and moved forth onto new visions. My mind was awakening and I so desperately needed to know what was fiction and what was my life.

I did not welcome this new chapter in my life with much ease and comfort. I was scared and confused. The thoughts that would rush in and out of my mind left me angry and feeling alone. I had no one to turn to, no one who could define my past and secure my ground. I was lifted up into my memories and into an obscure place that I felt I had created all on my own. It had no beginnings and left only vague impressions of who and where I had come from. It was the origin of my two worlds.

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