How the Truth Converges

     My first memory as a child is dust and white, frilly socks. I can't remember people but I remember standing in the dust down south, and seeing my feet and those socks they put on very little girls, and being so little that I could very easily look UNDER the houses that were raised up on cinder blocks. I know now that I am remembering what used to be sharecroppers houses-turned black people's neighborhood. (I'm not that old).  I don't remember ever being in that place again.  The house changed when my grandmother moved.
     My younger brother also has memories of that place. Interestingly enough, our memories are not the same, even though we are really close together. Maybe  he saw different things than I did. He told me his memories and now I would argue that his memories are so closely interwoven with mine that they all belong to me now. Mine also belong to him. These have created a new, bigger remembrance of that place in deep Alabama.
        When I talk to my youngest, she often tells me of things she remembers that I think she can't possibly; things that happened when she was two or so, and she recalls them with the most amazing vividness. Sometimes, these are things that I know we have talked about in the family. What I can't figure out is, does she remember the event? Or is she remembering our shared recollection of it? Have we helped her rehearse those things in her mind and that helps them stick, similar to the way you remember a dream if you tell someone about it first thing in the morning, versus not?
     As a writer, a fair amount of what you produce is made up, but I would argue that  good part of it is from what you have experienced yourself and then combined it with other people's memories of events or knowledge, or re-arranged it so that it is unrecognizable. The question is, can you really tell which is which? In my new book, Momma: Gone, I used a lot of truth. My truth and my brother's truth. I also folded in the truth of other people around me, the truth as they told it to me over the years. The story hold the essence of what was, but because of how it came to be, it is fiction.
     One of the things that stuck with me after finishing that is that everyone's truth is slightly different. Someone in my family said that there are seventeen sides of the truth.  It's multi-faceted because the truth is  viewed from a slightly different angle for everyone that lives it. Where those truths converge is  the story that gets told.

Momma: Gone by Nina Foxx


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