One Inch at a Time

A. Christine Myers
5 min readSep 15, 2019
Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

I want to write. I want so intensely to write.

Actually I want to live my life. My own life. I’ve never had the chance to do that before. I’m — dare I admit it — very much into middle age, and this is the first time I’ve been able to claim my own life, even my own personhood.*

I want to return to making things. I’m a potter; I work at the level of a professional craftsperson though I was forced to avoid selling my work for many years.

I design clay bodies for various uses. I design glaze recipes. I’m experienced in working on a potter’s wheel, but my great love has been discovering the ancient traditional hand-building techniques of the Americas.

There are other things. I want to bake bread again. I want to return to my work with fiber, my spinning and knitting projects. I want to create.

I love to use the ancient crafts because through them I feel, and have always felt, that I share a human identity across the ages. For someone who was deliberately kept isolated and made a social outcast, such a sense of human connection has been unutterably precious.

Right now I can’t even begin to return to all these loves. A little bit of writing, just a little bit, not every day, though I am slowly building up the frequency… I can write on my phone while sitting, resting…

It’s all about resting and recovery right now.

It’s all about resting and recovery right now. What else can be done when one is free for the very first time in their life? When the daily mental processing may include anything from memories of early childhood to admissions of how narrow the escape was.

For the first time I can admit how horrifying my mother’s touch was to me as a tiny child; even when not actually painful, there was hostility in the very feel of her hands. They were (and still are) hard yet clinging, manipulative hands. As for the narrow escape, I realize time and again, each time a little more deeply, that if things had gone just a little differently, our mother might finally have directly attempted to kill either my sister or myself, or both of us.

It’s too much to process all at once, even with a lot of help from our therapist. She tells us we are progressing…