I am a 69 year-old retired lawyer and I am embarking on writing a memoir. I am a private person. I don’t share my innermost thoughts easily. But when writing my memoir, How Deep is the Lake: A Century at Chilliwack Lake, I find that when I open my heart, my writing comes alive. I say to myself, “I will write the truth as I know it. I can delete later passages that make me squirm.”
My story is about our family’s summer cabin experience over five generations. Our life at the cabin, seemingly picture-perfect, has an undercurrent of unease. I delve into that unease, trying to find out the causes. There are secrets, hidden beneath the smooth surface. I explore my own part in keeping these secrets. I decide that I wanted to bring things out into the open for the reader and for myself.
I finish my book. When it comes time to approve the final manuscript for publication, I have a week of sleepless nights. I worry about the reaction of friends, neighbours, work colleagues, and especially my family. In the end, I decide that the full story needed to be told. This is what life is, after all.