Yesterday I finished reading Alison Bechdel’s new memoir The Secret To Superhuman Strength and I thought I’d write out some of my thoughts about it because it’s currently high on my list of Things That Are Inspiring Me.
I read this book in snatches, in between trying to get my grumpy 10 week old baby to sleep and trying to sleep myself.
I read this book on the cold floor and red carpet while nannying a four month old.
I fell in love with the book on page when Bechdel is talking about how she had transformed but only she could see it. She talks about her dad, her leap into transformation, all against a gentle black and grey winter scene. It’s classic of Bechdel. Thoughtful, laced with literature references, and introspective. I’m so thankful that I took a comic book class two years ago because it really helped me to look at the placement of text, the details in the panels and of course the panels themselves. All of the little details that work together to make once more a beautiful memoir comic.
Bechdel’s book is one of healing, like her other books, but in a different way. This time the book feels like a journey of healing from herself and the negative coping mechanisms she found over the years. In Fun Home she comes to terms with the death of her dad. In Are You My Mother she looks at her relationship with her mother. The Secret to Superhuman strength is a look at her relationship with herself and coming to terms with the fact that someday she will die.
This book really hit home for me because right now I’m thinking about my own path, my evolution and eventual death. The words conversation, relationship, and death, keep popping up for me. I recently watched a Instagram live done by Remodeled Love, in which the question “what is your relationship to death like?” was brought up. Now I read this book and again the conversation is around death. I feel like I need to do a tarot reading to see if the universe will whack me over the head with these messages.
I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do with these messages, but I’ll let you all know. And in the meantime I highly recommend this book. If anyone else has a love of all work by Bechdel please comment! I’d love to chat.