black-and-white-dress

Montreal circa 1971

I recently started to consider, since finishing my PhD, what it would be like to commit to a completely different kind of writing project.

I have always wanted to write a memoir. Reading the advice from writing teacher Natalie Goldberg, in her book Old Friend From Far Away, in which she talks about writing about our lives in an indirect way, like through an obsession we have, I realized that one of my biggest preoccupations is clothes. I have this amazing ability to recollect distinct moments in my life through remembering what outfit I was wearing when they happened.

ani-baaretz

Israel grade nine 1982


Having grown up in the “me” generation of the 80’s, I was born into a world of proud consumerism. However nowadays it is becoming harder for me to buy things, especially clothes that are brand new.  I have been deeply impacted by a few speakers I have recently listened to. George Monbiot, Annie Leonard and Jim Merkel have each reminded me just how much we are destroying our planet, one purchase at a time. I believe it’s time we all challenged our habitual identities as consumers, and instead, more deeply embrace our abilities as creators.

In my poem Clouds & Mozart (you can watch a video of the poem on my website at http://ahavashira.com/love-is-like-this/) I write:

“If I could tell you one secret
it would be to look closely at the words
in your closet, you have a whole wardrobe
of stories waiting to be told”

So I’ve started to tell those stories. I am just at the beginning.

What’s an obsession you have that would make an interesting memoir?