If this doesn't pan out, or if it does and you finish mining this particular vein, see if focusing on holidays and big events helps you recollect your life as it was. Write down everything you can remember about every birthday or Christmas or Seder or Easter or whatever, every relative who was there. Write down all the stuff you swore you'd never tell another soul. What can you recall about your birthday parties--the disasters, the days of grace, your relatives' faces lit up by birthday candles? Scratch around for details: what people ate, listened to, wore--those terrible petaled swim caps, the men's awful trunks, the cocktail dress your voluptuous aunt wore that was so slinky she practically needed the Jaws of Life to get out of it.
|Cover of the Saturday Evening Post, March 31, 1963. From here.|
Write about the women's curlers with the bristles inside, the garters your father and uncles used to hold up their dress socks, your grandfather's hats, your cousins' perfect Brownie uniforms, and how yours had looked like it had just been hatched. Describe the trench coats and stoles and car coats, what they revealed and what they covered up. (5)
Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. New York: Anchor Books, 1995.