Creative Nonfiction by Robbin Farr

It’s time to mix things up a bit, change the rhythm and the vocals, and treat you to the words of my dear friend Robbin Farr. She’s the author of Become Echo and Transience, two books of stunning poetry, and the editor of River Heron Review, a free-access, online poetry journal with an international following. She also writes lyric nonfiction, which has appeared in Cleaver, Citron ReviewAtlanta Review, and elsewhere.

The piece Robbin shares with us here is a poignant and powerful essay called “Assemblage of Houses: A Geography of Memories,” published in the journal Lumina. I’ll let Robbin set the stage:

“The essay is, more or less, a tour of the homes my family and I inhabited when I was growing up in the fifties and sixties. I never thought it odd that we moved so frequently. In fact, new neighborhoods, new architecture, and a new view from my new bedroom window seemed to flow seamlessly into the rhythm of our family’s goings-on.

“Change was frequent and accepted. That much I understood. So, when my father’s illness first struck, of course we were worried, but we thought we were prepared for this latest change. We persisted and wove his symptoms and lessening abilities into our routines, adapting as need be. I did not know it at the time, but my father’s illness was to become part of my core view of life

“As with most stories, the perspectives are layered. One was magical thinking and the other was reality. The interplay of the two invited me to consider the format of the piece. Thus, the story’s form is split, moving from facts into memory, the place where we imbue events with the enhancements time affords. Neither perspective is wholly accurate, nor purposefully misleading. The truth lies in the blending of two.”