m's essay is now available. i've read it many times before publication but somehow the fact of it bound and in your hands, inserted among other essay/fiction/poetry, alters the context, changes the perception. it is a strange phenomenon to (re)read about a traumatic life-altering event (part of it anyway) years later. you have the picture in your head. you have the memory, fixed and immobile. and yet there is another viewpoint, equally valid & equally correct, which can bring into question your initial memory, creating in turn a sort of white-noise loop where things are indexed according to relative value as opposed to anything approaching conclusive finality. How can it be both? Well, it just is.
There's another component to this: the public aspect of what had been highly private and personal. in that period (the essay covers the first wk after my brain tumor diagnosis) there was only m and me. no one - not close friends, not family - really knows what it was like. [in fact the argument can be made that i can't speak to m's experience really and her to mine. it was that divisive, that singular. two separate entities orbiting the identical event]. but now people can read a text-based approximation of that week. now they can peer in. this is good as far as our book is concerned but adds another degree of strangeness and remove to the entire undertaking. Does the addition of the anonymous reader now alter context further? I have no answer.