My Little Brother, Asa, wrote a biography of me for his 7th grade project. Below is the foreward I provided:
They say the first biography is the hardest. Or maybe they don’t. Somebody might have, and I just did, so it has been said. Real examination of one’s life is hard and harder still is sharing it with another. The mistakes, personal flaws, and successes seems distant and unworthy compared to the present. Sharing them openly with a biographer brings up questions of the deepest self judgment.
The sharing is key, though. In sharing memories, between the biographer and subject grow new memories — a fusion of the old and the new, of the sharing itself. In this is connection to another person who becomes a confidante and confessor. This is the saving grace of opening one’s memories to examination through the clear lens of time: painful memories become duller; joyful memories become richer.
I have shared this process with Asa, my brother, and he worked it into its final form in the following pages. Starting from the simple idea of wanting to know me better he asked questions. And asked questions. And then more questions. I provided memories and stories: I certainly had nothing like answers to give except to the simplest factual questions. Together we navigated through the years of my life and found some of the pieces that make me me. And we found some of the parts that connect myself and Asa across the years, my childhood to his, my teenage years to those he is entering. (Note to the reader: I don’t ever plan to become an adult, but if I do that would likely connect too).
This project — this wander of ours — took serious turns into areas of regret and wistfulness. We shared those memories and stories. There were turns of sadness. We shared those memories and stories. The laughs were easily shared from the beginning but the serious emotions took time. But we shared the time and eventually the stories. We went in, we saw some things together, suffered some scrapes, laughed, and came out together on the other side: what more could adventurers want?
The bond I share with Asa is a project of ours. This book contains many steps along the way of getting to know each other better. One should make an effort to sit and share deeply with others. I recommend it, for the comfort and joy it gives and the bonds built. I look forward to holding the final finished form for us to look back on in the years to come. I’m sure we will laugh at how far we have come in the years after in building this bond.
Asa initiated this project and followed it through and deserves credit for everything contained within. I provided stories, he packaged them. In capturing a small portion of them, he saves them for us. This book is an index, a mnemonic, to this adventure of the last few months. Read it, but realize most of the biography is within us and between us, too precious to commit to paper.
I stand with Asa after knowing him for two years. We have gone from acquaintances to friends to comrades to brothers. Asa has determination, a curious mind, and passion for many things. He is destined for fine things in the world. One day it will be my honor to share his stories as he has shared mine herein.
Enjoy, reader! Here within your hands is a book by one person, a bond shared between two, and memories shared among the three of us. You are welcome here.
A note to Asa: I am proud of you.