Where does one begin a life story?
Life does not really move a long a straight line. There are no themes. No over arching lessons.
Memories are tricky material to weave into a story. When I look back over my life, there are many stories but they do not flow. Some of these stories are likely not even true, or at least did not happen the way I tell them. When I close my eyes, and think backwards through the years, the memories are fuzzy. They come in random bits, not in any kind of coherent order. I think of moments that stand out but that do not always connect neatly.
When I look back, there are not always stories or even words. There are times when what I remember is a smell, a flash of touch, jumbled images packed together in poem. There are memories that I have created over pictures. These picture tales are so old that I no longer know if the memory came before the picture.
And my memories of my religious past come now with a whole set of theoretical considerations. They come with the concerns of a mother wondering about her own children and religion. They come both sanctified with nostalgia and demonized with old wounds.