“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
-Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
I love chiasms.
A chiasm is a literary term I was introduced to last year. Easily described as the palindrome of plot lines it follows an A-B-A format or longer, depending on the length of the story. The book of Ruth is a chiasm, so is the book of Lamentations; they’re everywhere, actually. I like to define chiasm as the inertia of the Bible: for every evil action there is a greater and opposite restoration.
I realize this is an odd way to introduce myself, but I’ve been told that I’m quirky and much of my writing is extraneous to my other identities. Perhaps you’d like to know that I am a wife, mother of four, a yoga beginner, and newly obsessed amateur film photographer. I’m also in school pursuing a psychology degree. You are correct to assume that I love third wave coffee and drink as much as I can afford, but I am not currently a believer.
In reality, writing this about page has been difficult for me and I’ve put it off for a long time. Because all those facts are too loud and need to fade out so that I can just figure out what it means to be a woman that knows her own name. So it makes sense that I haven’t known how to define myself to offer the authentic connection I desire with you, as the reader. What details matter to me that I am willing, and are right, to share?
This is my favorite and most real one; my life is a chiasm.
The confidence to define this as a significant part of myself came when I read the words of Kathleen Norris from her book, The Cloister Walk, “I knew they were mine in a way most words were not.” I know which words are mine and they are what I am meant to share. A few of my other words are: Vespers, Momentum, Defiance, and Renaissance.
The things I write about are places of my heart that fall somewhere on the greater or less than sign of good and evil. My title Parallel signifies my desire to find the symbolism hidden in the stories that surround, and are the substance of, our everyday lives, but I am beginning to wonder if Crescendo might be a better word because I want to see things redound connected to hope for all the sorrow endured.
This picture of me is a Chiasm. The image on the left was taken with my firstborn on my first outing with my digital Canon. The image on the right was taken with my lastborn on my first outing with my film Canon. It speaks of an ending and beginning for my heart and an evening and morning of my life. That is enough for now.
I love chiasms.