Last night I spoke to 2ndSister about 3rdSister. 3rdSister is going through a BAAAAD time and when I say BAAAD time I mean the type of situation that takes you years and years to extract yourself from, even longer to recover from, and leaves permanent damage. We've all been seeing this coming for a long time and 3rdSister is finally ready to see it herself. But that's not really what I want to post about.
My talk with 2ndSister, as she conveyed the latest information and progress--if you can call it that--lasted 2 1/2 hours. Now that's not really all that unusual for us and these conversations used to occur on a fairly regular basis. However since I've moved away (1stSister, 2ndSister, and 3rdSister all live about an hour from each other in a place we like to call "UpNorth") my contact with all three sisters has dropped considerably.
After our lengthy discussion, in a move that can only be described as denial, I spent a lot of time thinking about how 2ndSister (and all of us really) talks. 2ndSister tells stories. Really she tells stories within stories within stories. A conversation with her with her can involve as many characters and subplots as a Tolstoy novel. She is also the Queen of foreshadowing. My own conversational storytelling gets mired down in details. I have a researcher's need for pinpoint accuracy, which can kill a good story.
My research for the past two years has focused on listening to women's lives and I've come to realize that some of us talk in stories and others do not. But no one, and I mean no one, rivals 2ndSister. I had the opportunity of transcribing an interview she did and was able to see, on the page, what I've experienced my whole life. My sister talks in novels. So last night I talked a novel with my sister. Unfortunately it was a tragedy.