When you’re nine years old, Aunt Jessie presses her powdered face to yours and whispers, “Now don’t you ever tell anyone what you saw. Your mother would just die.”
This is a scary thing to a child—to be entrusted with a secret that has so much power if could kill someone. Aunt Jessie probably didn’t mean to scare you like that, but words have power. Silence in the face of wrong has power. And when we begin to write our memoirs, we can get caught up in the webs of the past. Sometimes these webs are so tangled that we stop writing.