Well, I have completed the second book in your biographical set by Peter Guralnick.
Part 1 was definitely better. And not just because part 2 outlined your steady decline.
I have read a number of accounts about you as your world spiraled downward, and their focus is always the same: the drugs, the girls, the endless touring and ailments. Not exactly how you might want to be remembered.
I was hoping for at least a different perspective or perhaps an exploration into some possible “whys”. But that did not happen with Guralnick.
I don’t know, Elvis. There must be more to say.
And I think there would have been had you been able to live a longer, fuller life.
So much is written about family traumas now, and people share their struggles with mental illness so that others will feel less alone and become stronger; celebrities and entertainers included.
For the past year and a half I have been receiving counseling once a month about my great loss. It became my narrative : my traumatic experiences, my narrowing down of events that have shaped my life up until this point.
Yesterday, Bryan, my counselor, reviewed the notes he had taken since November 2020, so that we could discuss key aspects from the sessions. A lot of work done; a lot of strength and power gained.
I can no longer imagine not having control of my own story.
Suddenly I realized and spoke it aloud, “this was my journey. I started the process out of need. It was my project. Not only did I “make it”; I made it.
In this same afternoon, I visited with fiber artist and business woman, Deanne Fitzpatrick, at her studio in Amherst, NS, to discuss my work and another possible journey (a creative one this time) supported by Deanne Fitzpatrick Studio.
Not surprisingly, my mind, and thus my rugs, often include roads and rivers that never quite end. Secret dwellings amid whispering copses of dark, blueish green spruce trees. The realization that home will always be with me, wherever I am.
In speaking with both Deanne and Bryan , I also realize that there is a story that society tells us about loss and life, and living- and then there is the the actual story: your story, my story, and how we are going to manage and perhaps (hopefully) flourish.
My dreams follow me rather than me following them. It has taken me a long time to understand this, not that I can really explain it. Every time I sit down to hook a rug or write fiction, the images of people and places are always the same, of people I know, or at least think I know.
And you, Mr. Memphis, are a part of that dream.
We are in this together. And If I didn’t know that when I began these letters. I know it now. Let’s see where this journey continues.
Melissa xo xo