I chose to pursue an MFA in Creative Nonfiction because I wanted to explore and articulate the complexities of love and the textures of loss. I am fascinated by true stories, the human connection, and the emotional and spiritual journeys that life demands. My own experiences have shown me that somehow from the raw, unedited mess of it all, from chaos and pain, from loss and betrayal, we are often lifted to grace and wisdom.
During my MFA work, I wrote Mosaic of a Man, a memoir which thematically centers on my father’s life and death, and explores his influence on me through the landscape of both internal and external journeys. This work illustrates how his legacy has shaped me and those who loved him, and how as I traverse the globe, he is always with me, both metaphorically and literally.
The book came to me in fragments, which I call memory tiles. Writing it felt like building a mosaic. I had to get the shape and color of each piece and then find where it went in the whole. When connecting the images and pieces in my memoir...the cracks in a family picture, a severed wedding ring that was reforged, the stain in stained glass, a cancerous body burned to ashes, and a mended walking staff...I saw that I had two underlying themes: what is broken can be repaired — and — transformation has its own beauty.
That is the true risk we take by loving. We are asked to become new, more expansive, and more fully alive, and that often comes with growing pains — but, the evolutionary journey is so worth it!
From one passionate traveler to another, let us celebrate this beautiful life with each breath we are given.