No, I haven’t become religious; that is, I haven’t experienced a late conversion to a particular faith. If that means I’m going straight to hell when I die then so be it. One of my problems with religion has always been the idea that the righteous are saved and the rest are condemned. Isn’t that the ultimate logic of religion’s ‘us’ and ‘them’ paradigm ?
Now my summer of reading memoirs has almost come to an end, I finished the last page of “Dying, a memoir” by Cory Taylor. And I realize that the circle is round. In “Between them” I started reading about the kid Richard Ford who was almost not born because his parents lived happily in the bubble the two of them were. Dani Shapiro showed me a picture of her 20 year marriage in “The Hourglass” and now Cory Taylor describes how it all ends. Being the child you always stay to be, being a spouse, being a mother, being Cory.
I’d like to be remembered by what I’ve written. As somebody warned me, if you don’t tell your own story, someone else will.
The book is not, what you might expect, the story of the cancer killing her. The cancer plays a role, but a minor one. It is about Taylor assessing her life, her relation with her parents, her brother and her two sisters, her husband and her two sons. You might expect for someone dying to be conciliatory, but that is not the case here. She loves her mother and hates her father. She connects well with her sisters but is hard on her brother.
Saying the things such as they are, is good but wouldn’t it be much better to do so whilst you still have the chance to build. Being able to say whatever you want with friends and family is the value I appreciate most in relations. It ultimately makes everybody stronger and makes you move on together.
“Dying, a memoir”, Cory Taylor, The Text Publishing Company, Melbourne, 2016