Kelle Groom on her essay, “How to Live with Uncertainty”

Kelle Groom‘s essay, “How to Live with Uncertainty,” appears in our Spring 2012 issue, guest edited by Nick Flynn. “‘How to Live with Uncertainty” opens with these lines:

The motel over the bridge could be demolished as early as spring, and a dollar store there overlooking the river and what I saw—a woman propped between two men. Her body looked stiffly drunk or drugged the way she was hustled upright with the posture of a fence. Held up by the men, like posts on either side. Heavy, older. She walked as if there was something unmended inside her.

Here, Kelle Groom describes her process:

I like the form of instructional essays. The clarity and numbered steps, the opportunity to learn. I was interested to see what would happen if, into an essay form in which I would be expected to supply expertise on a subject, I entered lost. I was afraid to write this piece, as if by keeping quiet about fear and uncertainty, I could contain it. Elements recurred – the freeze, mortality – like a rope thrown from point to point. The surprise of it, for me, was the way the writing of this essay taught me things I didn’t know.

(Photo by Honor Moore.)