Having the Internet close at hand is a mixed blessing. I keep popping over to GoogleMaps to remind myself where things were. This also reminds me of how things aren’t, which sharpens my focus on the reality that the place I remember basically does not exist anywhere but my memory.

I’m also looking at other sites with historical information about Los Alamos. I need to be careful not to let additional material significantly alter memories. Maybe I should turn my browser off and just write.

On the other hand, I found an amazing eBook written shortly after the Cerro Grande fire of 2000 that shows how the burned areas regenerate. It refers to the love people still feel for their scarred, damaged land, and points to the possibility of looking at the fire as a new beginning that none of us will live long enough to see.

This perspective is powerfully important and dramatically altered my perspective on that fire, which has been deeply traumatic for me since the moment I heard about it back in May 2000. This insight will help me tie up the loose ends in the final chapter or two. But who knows what else I’ll discover — the story will surely change even more by the time I get there. That’s what’s happening now. As I write, I’m finding the story as fluid as water, not something to be contained in the palm of my hands.

Therein lies the excitement, adventure, and discovery of memoir writing. I’m relaxing into the wave, finding the flow. All is as it is. (more…)