So, I guess nothing is really private anymore. I've been discovered by at least one family member and probably by more. Here's what happened --
I created this blog and felt so deliciously sneaky that I set my status on facebook as "Karen is keeping secrets." As I knew it would, that statement teased them and generated a good deal of nosiness and speculation among my grown children and children-in-law with whom I am facebook "friends."
Because I really didn't want them to investigate, I assured them that the secret had nothing to do with them or with family. I told them this for a very good reason. I knew that, since they don't know me as a writer, they would have a hard time separating "Mom" from Karen-who-writes.
This is exactly what has happened. My son googled my name and the word secrets, or some such procedure, and found the blog. He said nothing about it until today, when I told him I had something I wanted him to read. Then he fessed up. His next statement, referring to "Beneath the Veil of Winter Born," was, "...a little hard on Granddad, weren't you?"
Just as I suspected, my family will believe that anything I write is autobiographical.
Of course, I believe that all writing is autobiographical in many ways. It shows the deepest heart of the writer, revealing parts that are not apparent to the rest of the world. Writing reveals, and poetry may distill the essence of the person most of all. Yet, as much as it reveals, it also allows one to become someone else, and therein is the rub for those who know the writer. Which person is authoring the piece? Is it the one who is opening her heart for all to see, exposing her truest self, or is it the one who is creating a new reality that has little to do with the author herself but provides a wonderous landscape in which she may wander? Maybe the answer is both.
I have no doubt that all three of my children -- bright, educated young adults -- can understand that my father did not scorn me as the father in this particular poem does his child. I just hope that when they read my work, as I am sure they will, they can set aside "Mom" and just enjoy the writing. If not, then I hope they have enough discretion not to tell me.