By Sarah Hoenicke
Mine is the only body I’ll ever experience. I am limited by my perceptions, my history. Reading is one way to transcend these boundaries, somewhat, to enter the psyches of others, through their words. Reading can result in an understanding of experiences that can’t or won’t be shared by two people.
But the full experience of personhood remains something singular. Even if a very industrious and tireless person were to decide to read every page of every diary I’ve ever kept — there have been twenty-five, of various sizes, starting with the very young, flowery, and heavily illustrated, and becoming ever more monochromatic and wordy — they still would not be me, or even know me.
Another way to gain a still incomplete understanding of a person is to know them in the context of their family.
I am the middle child in a family of eleven. My parents homeschooled the nine of us, didn’t expose us to TV unless it had originally aired pre-1960, dressed us as though wanting us to be comfortable on the set of Little House on the Prairie, and thought it was more important that we knew the ten commandments by heart than the names of the seven continents.
Continue reading at Anomaly.