A few weeks ago a friend sent me a YouTube video (see below) of Kelly Corrigan reading an essay from her new book The Middle Place. The video moved me to tears, and I’m not much of a crier. So last week when I found a copy of the book in Sam’s I grabbed it. I consumed the book. Kelly is a beautiful writer, and has a way of describing emotions that puts you right in the moment with her.
This book is a memoir about one woman’s journey to grow up. The “middle place” is defined as that place between being someone’s daughter and being someone’s wife/mother. It’s about finding your way and navigating life’s tragedies, like her breast cancer, her father’s prostate and bladder cancer. It’s also about recognizing the good things, like what an amazing man her husband is and how supportive he was through her illness, and the feminine way we ladies take small things and make them really, really big deals. Or like her two daughters, or like the bond she has with her lovable father.
It’s about our relationships – with family and friends, and about recognizing the beauty in a moment. It’s a summary of the strength of not just the human spirit, but of the feminine – of what it means to be feminine and to embrace that fully. That is a poignant reminder, in a society where so many of us as women have pushed away from our femininity and embraced the masculine, having let society convince us we must be masculine to succeed.
Kelly is very relatable and throughout the book I felt myself thinking many times how much like her I am. And yet, I see myself as very different from her.
I think that’s one of the things we learn in life – in spite of our seemingly great differences, we can really find something to relate with everyone we meet. We all have common ground, and you find that sense in The Middle Place.