And then, in addition to the vagaries of memory that plague the memoir-attempter, there are the ups and downs, the changing moods, of the memoirist at her desk. One week, I was inclined, while writing, to emphasize the health of my family: how we laughed through the miseries of dysentery and worms, and traipsed the castle parks of Europe. The next, I could only see the sickness, the quarreling in the car. The next, I felt, “But that’s not right. Ours is a story of adaptivity. We all did extremely well with the hands we were dealt.”
Each day, conceivably, I could have knit, out of the strands of my life, a sweater that seemed to fit. And the sweater I would knit the following day, in all likelihood, would be a different one. But let’s stop this now—you see how easily one gets ones’ fingers all mixed up in a tangle of yarn, how easily one could toss the whole mess down.