« Balance This Load | Main | My Life Waits »

May 02, 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


This post is about 1,000 words long which makes it a tough slog for most internet readers. Thank you for slogging through.


It occurred to me that by painstakingly going through and researching files, my journals, books and the internet, I am in fact trusting a piece of string or Ariadne's thread. Here is the definition of Ariadne's thread from Wiki:

Ariadne's thread, named for the legend of Ariadne, is the solving of a problem with multiple apparent means of proceeding - such as a physical maze, a logic puzzle, or an ethical dilemma - through an exhaustive application of logic to all available routes. It is the particular method used that is able to follow completely through to trace steps or take point by point a series of found truths in a contingent, ordered search that reaches a desired end position. This process can take the form of a mental record, a physical marking, or even a philosophical debate; it is the process itself that assumes the name.


Flann, this is beautiful writing. And looking back, I found this quote in your post "Blood Trail":

You cannot disown what is yours. Flung out, there is always the return, the reckoning, the revenge, perhaps the reconciliation. There is always the return. And the wound will take you there. It is a blood trail. (222)

Whether a thread or a blood trail, you are moving forward with telling your story. I just finished reading Cheryl Strayed's "WILD", a book you gifted me. In telling the story of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, she puts her whole life in there. You are doing that, too ... though maybe instead of hiking, your "adventure" is in turning 60, which means, of course, that you have more than twice as many years to cover than Strayed did in her book. Keep going. Trust ye boots.


PS: SNOW DAY! I woke to about eight inches of snow with eight more expected. I am not leaving Wisconsin today as there are long stretches of road between here and Des Moines where no travel is advised. I will hope that the plow comes by and will try to leave tomorrow, when the weather will still be crappy, but clearing. Reading and writing by the fire and shoveling are on the schedule for today.


Thank you, PEACEsista, for slogging through this post and Lord know what all else over the last seven years.

(Also, please be careful slogging through your snow. What weird weather.)


When I was a kid -- as most of you know -- I loved all those espionage shows that featured women. When I was a senior in high school, I published in my senior directory that I aspired to be a "private detective" one day.

Writing my story entails much, much investigation and the uncovering and detecting of so many private details. It truly is like putting together a puzzle or, perhaps more accurately, unweaving a web. Taking a strand (a string?) and finding the end, naming what's there, putting it aside and then continuing to move forward.

Writing one's story demands not good memory as much as it demands patient focus . . . and faith that what was important enough to put down into words decades ago can lead to healing revelations today.

My mind may have "gone blank" back then when I tried to tell my story and truth be told, it still does go blank if I relied solely on the blank page. But I have thousands and thousands of pages of words I've written over 40 years. Those pages are not blank.


PEACEsista -- the bridge in this tragic story is near Casper, Wyoming. Do you remember reading about Rebecca's death in 1992. Did the local papers cover it?


Well, here's a memory that just now came back to me when I read what I wrote in my diary (not my journal) on August 13, 1992:

"I got up and read three articles in the paper about murders, including the one the evidence of which I handled when I worked in the FBI Laboratory about 20 years ago."

I had completely forgotten -- until about 10 minutes ago when I read this diary entry -- that the clothes Rebecca and Amy had been wearing that night had come into the FBI Laboratory for analysis. I remember reading the police report that accompanied the evidence. I remember the hushed horror of my colleagues; the slow steps I took when I delivered the evidence to the Physics and Chemistry Unit; the agent who said, "You should have called. I would have come and assigned a file number to these bags and brought them here myself so you wouldn't have to see this."

Where do these strands lead?


I agree, your writing is filled with research and details. You find a thread(s) weaving these stories together. Similar to six degrees of separation.

I too was wondering why you had saved this article. It was long before you knew PEACE and noway, so there would be no Wyoming connection for you. And although horrific, why save this murder article?

The fact that you found the connection in your diary is amazing to me. And fully explains why you would be so interested in it. Do you think if you searched your journal further you'd find something referencing this story?

It's fascinating how you bring it full circle. You might want to work the details from your 10:33am comment into the story.


"Writing my story entails much, much investigation and the uncovering and detecting of so many private details. It truly is like putting together a puzzle or, perhaps more accurately, unweaving a web. Taking a strand (a string?) and finding the end, naming what's there, putting it aside and then continuing to move forward."

These lines really resonated, Flann. How in the world does one unweave a web? Yet that is what you have been doing for so many years, what you continue to due. And as you unweave, you write your story with each silk thread. Beautiful.


Thank you, treesta, for being a faithful witness.

It's fascinating to me that a key revelation about this story happened as I was typing a comment. Real-time revelation. WOW.


Thanks, too, for your comment, my beloved Matissta.

I looked at my 1973 journal (I wasn't keeping a diary back then) and the pages are blank from August 30th through the end of the year. In September, I fell desperately in love with a woman (I call her Sophia in the 'sphere) who would eventually lead me to Christianity and what some would call a "born-again" experience on Halloween night 1973. I must have been so caught up in that that I didn't write a word.


In Strayed's book, "wild" she compares hiking the mountainous Pacific Crest Trail to knitting (hiking up) and unraveling (hiking down) a sweater, over and over and over again. I wonder if it isn't a fitting metaphor for a writer telling her story as well. For just in the telling there is a deconstructing of what was held to be "true" with the past informing the present and vice-versa.


I have no memory of reading about this event in Wyoming. August 13, 1992 was noway and my 15th wedding anniversary. My oldest son was 11 and the twins were 7. We may have been in Wisconsin in August with my parents, which was far-away from every day news before the internet arrived here.


PEACE -- Rebecca actually plunged to her death on July 31, 1992. The story took a while to hit the East Coast papers, I guess.

The knitting metaphor makes sense to me.


So, Flann, to add to the information: In 1972, all the death penalty statutes were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Wyoming didn't rewrite its statute until 1979. So the perpetrators could not be executed. Also, it looks like Wyoming has a true life sentence statute and they could not be paroled. I wonder if she knew that, if anybody bothered to tell her.

I love your mind, Flann. There is such a fascinating connection between the FBI lab information, the unraveling of your own story, and the connection you feel toward this woman. Of course, you realized the FBI connection while you were writing. That's when it happens, right?


Precisely, Justista.

Thanks for loving my mind and all of its quirky connections.



I love your mind and your beautiful writing...what a journey you have been on, and have taken us on, today. May there be healing in the unraveling or the knitting together or both.


Thank you, barista.

Getting ready for the First Graders and guiding them on their own journeys. Thank you for being on mine for nearly 30 years.


Snow again in today ... but not too much more on the ground yet ... so I am planning to hit the road in a couple hours. It's been really good and so quiet here in Wisconsin. Time for re-entry!


Be safe, PEACE. Drop us a line when you stop over for the night. We don't care how late it is.


YES! We made it. Snowy the whole way, but the roads were just wet and not slippery at all. Diesel and I are both happy to be stopping for the night!


I ain't dead.

Still diving.

The comments to this entry are closed.