Sharing Secrets


Last Friday I was in Montreal attending the launch of my book, “With a Closed Fist: Growing up in Canada’s Toughest Neighbourhood.” Today I’m back in Waterloo, sitting at my kitchen table, and chewing my nails.

Within the next few days I expect to get a sense of how the people of the Point feel about the book. Do they hate it? Did it make them laugh? How many saw their own story in some of the details of mine?

For many of us who grew up in Point St. Charles, the Point remains a special place and feelings can run deep if we think someone is misrepresenting ‘our’ neighbourhood. Or telling secrets.

I admit, my book is filled with secrets, including a few ugly ones. So I understand that some people might prefer I had remained silent and just kept my mouth shut. The truth is like that sometimes. It makes people uncomfortable. But if there is one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that secrets are bad. Especially those secrets we sometimes ask children to keep.

I hope everyone who reads my book from Point St. Charles loves it. But I don’t expect that of course, and nor do I require it. Just the fact that the book is now out there means I’ve already achieved a really important goal. I’ve given that kid in the book a voice.

You might not like what she has to say. But I’m glad she’s finally being able to say it. Today she is no longer invisible.


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